Recommending a watch especially when you are on a budget is tough. Thankfully, there are a few timepieces around like the Orient Automatic Curator Power Reserve FFD0J002W Men’s Watch that make the job somewhat easier. It is a nice dress automatic under $300 for which you do not need to think a lot before making the purchase. It’s definitely not made in Heaven, but its in-house movement with the power reserve complication and a sophisticated design does make it a watch worth going for. Orient is one of the only brands offering budget watches with power reserves. Moreover, it never fails to surprise with its simplicity and elegance and its vintage undertone. This sets the Curator in a class of its own among affordable mechanicals, where it hardly has a strong competitor.
The Orient Curator is comparatively new addition among dress watches. So it’s trend-true, offers a great style and comprise quality components. All this at a price that’s remarkably low!
There are influences from the Orient Star Classic big time but then again, the dial layout and markers twist things up to a very different feel. The Curator’s everyday appeal blends seamlessly with its masculine palette, which includes a beefier case. An automatic movement with power-reserve indicator and sapphire crystal are both uncommon at this price point.
Orient’s in-house 46N40 calibre is a 21-jewel automatic movement that stores 40 hours of power, beats at a frequency of 21,600 bph and displays a date. It doesn’t hack or hand wind, but the movement winds quickly and the keeps good time.
The power-reserve is Orient's signature complication. It contributes a lot towards bringing the classic look, but the detailing is quite sporty. It’s not very easy wrapping two opposing things into one. This aspect, as well as the case (41 x 47.5 x 11mm) makes the Curator a nice casual wear. It’s very simple, without any design or grooving but that’s what gives it a free access to every zone. Neither is it flashy enough for a formal setting, nor even bland enough for sparkly spaces. It borders on the plain; that’s its whole charisma!
The Orient Automatic angled bezel merges with the slab-sided body; equally thick lugs taper to 22mm but without losing any of its robustness and masculinity. That’s upgrading a typical dress watch pattern. A solid case back with a large brand logo and other basic information (details about the watch) prettily etched. It matches the face; handsomely full due to the small, individually printed lines denoting minutes and seconds and vintage styled lume dots. You’ll need a closer inspection to detect them. It’s a very low-key implementation to bring in the dress/sporty style; it’s very wearable and very cool look.
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