Amazingly stylish and surprisingly elegant, the inexpensive Orient Dyno Alarm (Refs. FTD09004B and FTD09005W) collection makes it possible to look smart and cool without breaking the bank. It is almost as if your Toyota Prius was designed by Bertone.
I am not really sure whether it is a cultural thing or just a lack of good design skills, but so-called “affordable” timekeepers from Japanese brands are rarely pleasant to look at.
Often generic and lacking character, they try to compensate for their deficiencies with an exaggerated design that usually involves extra rugged bezels, strangely shaped hands, and dials that mimic the famous guilloche patterns of their Swiss-based competitors.
Having said that, I must admit that it is truly a pleasure to also say a couple of hundred good words pertaining to this beautiful Dyno Alarm collection.
Although at Orient‘s USA website the timepieces sport relatively affordable prices of just $355 (and you can find one on eBay at just over $210), the gadget looks surprisingly convincing featuring a nice blend of elements that, while clearly inspired by their European rivals (mostly Omega, I think), still looks organic.
The internal slide ruler on the bezel flange (you can operate it by the crown at 10 o’clock) features finely printed numbers that are easily readable and do not make an impression of a total mess (it looks especially good on the ref. FTD09005W that features a silver-toned dial with a cool black outer ring).
Yes, the indicators on the sub-dials (there is a 60-minute chronograph totalizer at 12 o’clock, an alarm sub-dial with the hour and minute hands at the 6 o’clock position, and a rare -for a quartz watch- running seconds counter at nine hours) are thin, but, being gold-plated, there is quite a contrast and easily readable.
Frankly, I am not really sure about the shape and proportions of the hour and minute hands but must admit that they feature an adequate amount of a luminous compound and do obstruct the view of the numerals on the internal ring of the slide ruler.
The watch sports the usual Caliber KFA00, which is, as far as I know, a Seiko 7T62 clone.
This means that the central chronograph second hand will move at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour thus mimicking a lot more expensive mechanical chronographs (and it also makes the chronograph part more precise allowing you to measure time intervals with the precision of up to 1/5th of a second). While nothing really to brag about, it still looks sort of cool.
While the rose gold plating on the stainless steel case will sooner or later reveal its true value, you will still have years to enjoy this Oriental beauty.
The only thing that worries me a little is the “Japan Mov’t” inscription on the dial. It probably means that the watch is assembled in China, and we all know how buying their goods is often close to Irish Sweepstakes.
On the other hand, at an online price of just over $200, it is almost a steal.
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Orient Dyno Alarm Quartz Chronograph (Refs. FTD09004B and FTD09005W) specification
Price: $355 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Caliber KFA00 (Seiko 7T62 clone), Made in Japan
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel, PVD rose gold-plated
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Dial: Black (FTD09004B) / Silver (FTD09005W)
Hour markers: Rose gold-tone, luminous
Hands: Rose gold-tone, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather