Orient watches are known for their automatic wind mechanical watches. Their watchmakers decided they were ready for a bit of a plot twist with this piece. The Orient FDD03003Y0 Monarch is truly vintage in its look and feel, and so gives us an idea of what the watches of the past looked like. Even though the design is fairly old school the actual mechanics are modern. It’s a hand wind watch that has a 40 hour power reserve.
The Japanese watchmakers really put their craftsmanship on display with this model. Let’s have a detailed look at the Monarch Hand Wind watch.
Old School Dial
The dial of the Monarch has a pearl white finish with Arabic numbers in a curly type font. This look is window into the Orient watches of old.
There is no date on the dial which makes the face seem less clattered. The blue watch hands are quite unique on the white surface and cause them to stand out a little bit more than silver hands would. The power reserve indicator just under the 12 o’clock is a nice addition that adds to the more modern functional design and helps you keep the mechanism from running flat.
The case looks like somebody took a pocket watch and put straps on it. It has a genuinely classic look that makes for a perfect dress watch. At 40mm x 13mm it isn’t very large and is comfortable enough for everyday use. A polished stainless steel case brings it all together quite nicely and the heavier feel makes it seem more genuine. The crown is made to stick out a bit more but because the case is not so large this doesn’t make for awkward wearing. The sapphire crystal is slightly domed which magnifies the face nicely.
The back of the case could perhaps have been covered up instead we see an exhibition case that doesn’t really exhibit very much. The mechanism is covered by a metal plate and therefore doesn’t make for much viewing. This however is the only criticism I can find for this timeless timepiece.
The mechanical hand wind design does leave space for a loss or gain of a few seconds a day but in the long run this shouldn’t get too annoying.
There is a certain calming effect to winding the mechanism every second day. The engine that drives this manual movement is the Orient Caliber 48C40 manual. It is the first manual wind mechanism from Orient and they managed to get it just right.
The leather strap may seem like an easy and unimaginative choice but Orient is often referred to as the watchmakers watch and for this reason flamboyance isn’t going to be a good fit. If for some reason you feel it will be better suited with a different strap you shouldn’t struggle to find an 18mm replacement.
It is best suited to the work environment and can give you that hint of sophistication that some other modern timepieces might not be able to offer you. It does also come with the standard 50m water resistant rating so if you forget it on when you get in the shower or quickly jump into the pool there will be no need to panic! When I first spotted this classic I expected it to carry a slightly heavier price tag but I was pleasantly surprised with the price that it is currently going for.
The Orient FDD03003Y0 Monarch Hand Wind watch doesn’t come up short, if anything the watch over delivers once you have it in front of you. If you are looking for something to add a dynamic aspect to your collection then this must be it. The Orient Monarch gives you the style of a pocket watch on your wrist but just in a scaled down version. The manual hand wind might seem like it has overstayed its welcome but with the power reserve indicator it is really easily managed. Due to the mechanical movement you will probably find yourself needing to service the watch after about two or three years depending on how regularly the watch is used.
This watch might not necessarily be ideal for recreational activities but it can serve as a daily wearer for work and socialising with ease. The classic look might make it a better fit for wearing when you feel like changing things up a bit.