Why a dive watch?
They’re among the most affordable style of mechanical watch: Of the five major watch styles – field, chronograph, pilot, dress and dive – when it comes to mechanicals, dress watches and dive watches are generally the most affordable.
I didn’t want to spend too much on another watch: I’ve only just started collecting watches in earnest so for my next watch I was looking to get an affordable vintage watch, some type of dress watch, or a dive watch.
They’re the only style of watch I don’t have: My current collection comprises two field watches (both Casio quartz digitals), one dress watch (a Casio quartz analogue), one chronometer (also a Casio quartz analogue), and one pilot watch (a Techné mechanical). So, to round things out, I was leaning towards getting a dive watch, anyway.
Why the Orient M-Force Beast?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford a Fifty Fathoms – certainly not first-hand – but I could have easily bought myself a Black Ray Raven. (Note: This watch isn’t poorly named. The ‘black’ refers to its black dial and the ‘raven’ refers to its black case and bracelet. There’s also an Orient Blue Ray, for example.)
However, in exploring watches over the last few months I decided that, during this early watch collecting phase, I would only buy watches that had sapphire crystals. Why? Because I have a limited amount to spend on new watches so I want to make sure that the watches I do buy are worth it – and watches with sapphire crystals generally are.
Which basically meant I wasn’t going to be buying myself a Black Ray Raven, either,
Now, there are generally four levels of dive watches (that roughly correspond to their price category):
- Basic: These are the most affordable, but almost all of them have mineral crystals and ‘workhorse’ movements – think the Orient Mako series, Seiko’s SKX007 (probably the most icon affordable dive watch), or the Vostok Amphibia collection
- Mid-range: Many of these have sapphire crystals and better quality movements – the Orient M-Force Beast falls into this category, as do several professional dive watches (like those from Squale)
- Professional: These tend to have higher depth ratings, helium release valves, and other features professional divers are interested in – pro watches from Edox, Citizen, Doxa, Marathon, Orient, Oris, Seiko, Squale, Tissot and Victorinox fall into this category
- Luxury: These don’t necessarily have the features that professional dive watches do, but they do have high quality designs and movements; plus they’re made by luxury brands – think Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Rolex Submariner, and Omega Seamaster (the James Bond watch)
Since I don’t need a professional dive watch, I can’t afford a luxury dive watch, and I don’t want a basic dive watch, I was looking to buy myself a mid-range diver. Specifically, something from Orient’s M-Force series, Squale’s 1521 collection or Glycine's Combat collection.
Of course, the problem with most mid-range divers is that they’re beyond my budget. So earlier this month I had decided that I was going to get a dress watch, instead. In fact, I’d even settled on the gorgeous Mondaine Simply Elegant (a quartz watch, I know, but I adore that Swiss railway clock design!):
Fortunately, with Christmas fast approaching, several online watch stores had huge sales on Seiko and Orient dive watches so, suddenly, a whole range of mid-range divers became affordable.
So pouncing on the Beast when it was on sale at 40% of its original price was an easy decision to make :)
About the Orient M-Force ‘Beast’
Orient is one of Japan’s biggest watch brands (along with Seiko, Citizen and Casio). Its history dates back to 1901, though it was incorporated as Orient Watch Company in 1950 and became a subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corporation in 2001.
Orient’s M-Force series of dive watches has been around since 1997 and this M-Force EL06 line, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, was first released in 2012. The latest M-Force line, EL07 (nicknamed ‘Delta’), was released in 2014 but I actually prefer the older EL06s.
The watch I’ve bought is the M-Force EL06001B0, which is the black dial variant. This watch is large (47mm wide and 53mm tall) and chunky, but very nicely proportioned and very nicely designed:
It is powered by Orient’s 22-jewel, three-hand 40N5A movement – a movement that also provides date and power reserve complications.
Or, if all you want to do is see how gorgeous this watch is, check out this promo from Watch Tanaka:
It’s been a few days since I got this watch and I’m super happy with it!
It’s good looking, reliable, and its lume is bright and long-lasting. Also, its leftie-crown took surprisingly little time to adjust to.
Yes, its build is a little chunky and it is a little heavy. But, as someone who has owned multiple G-Shock and ProTrek watches over the years, it’s nice to be wearing their equivalent in the mechanical watch world!
Finally, it looks good on different coloured NATO straps (I’m not a huge fan of metal bracelets) and this versatility makes it even more fun to wear.
And all this means I now have two fantastic mechanical watches to choose from every day :)