FWA Number 2 – The Orient Mako XL

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My Orient Mako XL watch cost me £101 including shipping.

I just want to leave that statement floating there before I begin to talk about why it is a First World Artefact.

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When I was a child my father wore an old, square Seiko Kinetic made in the 1960’s. I used to marvel at the fact that it never required winding and my father maintained the watch with fastidious devotion. He always told me that one day that watch would be mine, and it is an eternal regret of mine that the watch was sent for its regular maintenance just a couple of weeks before he died and I have no idea where it was sent. That watch did inspire me though to find myself a watch of similar modest price and supreme reliability which I could maintain as well and hope one day to pass on to my own son.

The Orient Mako XL is also know as the Mako II as it is Orients second itineration of their most popular diving “style” watch. I highlight the word style as there is some debate amongst watch nerds about its provenance as a true diving watch due to lack of ISO accreditation, however I will say that it is rated as waterproof up to 200 meters and another watch which also does not have ISO accreditation for diving is the Rolex Submariner, so make of that what you will.

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The differences between the Mako and the Mako XL begin where you would expect , the size, the case of the original Mako measures 43mm whereas the XL packs quite a wrist presence at 48mm and a depth of 13mm. The case itself is made from polished and brushed stainless steel, it’s big, heavy and feels pretty much indestructible, the bracelet has wide solid links (apart from the end links) and the uni directional bezel is reassuringly stiff to move. Date and time are set by a screw down crown and the day is set by a single push button.

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The face of the watch is large and clear, the lume covering the hands and numeric positions is rather disappointingly dull though not to the extreme that some reviewers would have you believe (it does not fade in a few seconds as some have said). The whole look of the watch is, and I’ll be careful how I phrase this, extremely reminiscent of the Omega Planet Ocean watch. This is no bad thing as the Planet Ocean is a beautiful and stylish watch, and this similarity certainly does nothing to detract from desirability of the Mako II.

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I doubt that anyone can deny that the Mako XL is a magnificent looking time piece, but it is inside where the real power is. The Mako 21 jewel self winding movement is one of the most highly regarded movements in the world, anywhere, in any price bracket. Orient themselves rate the movement at +-20 seconds daily, but most users report that they are selling themselves well short with much, much smaller variations being more close to the norm, indeed with constant wear it is entirely possible to wear the Mako for months without the need for any real adjustment. Compare this to certain other much more expensive and highly regarded watches (I wont mention names for fear of assault by lawyers), and you will very quickly learn just how impressive this is, in short, VERY.

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The Mako is fully deserving of its FWA status for so many reasons, it is seriously cheap for a watch of its quality and outperforms watches which cost over 10 times more, it is stunning, stylish and pretty close to indestructible, I would struggle to think of a single reason not to heartily recommend it. Just to note that upon receiving mine I did change the strap from the standard link version to a shark mesh bracelet, this was only done as a matter of taste though as the stock strap is completely adequate and beyond.

My Orient Mako XL watch cost me £101 including shipping.

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