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A common question affordable watch enthusiasts ask is “what is the best diver under £100?”. Time and time again, the same watches are mentioned. Seiko Monster. Seiko SKX007. Orient Mako. I decided to get my hands on a Mako once and for all to see why this watch is considered one of the best value watches money can buy. Let’s look why this may be the case…

The dial

The deep blue dial of the blue Orient Mako is very stunning and visually striking. It has a metallic property about it very similar to the galvanic dial of the Christopher Ward C5, which has a rotating shimmer within it depending on the angle you are looking at it.

The logo is a nice touch at this price point. Usually one would expect just a printing. But we have a very well executed and applied logo with Orient and automatic printed underneath. This little extra gives the watch a higher quality appearance. The font used for automatic and water resist is perfectly chosen for the style of the watch – it really is classy!


The day and date wheel has black text on a white wheel, and coupled with the professional looking font it gives it great legibility.

The day and date window surround has a very well made and finished steel frame. It gives the watch an extra bit of shine when the sun catches it. It has a beveled interior adding to the quality and high level of finish.


The hour markers are rectangles with points at the end pointing inwards. They are all well lumed and have a steel surround. There are numbers at 6, 9 and 12. These are also very well made and applied, they all look flawless.

The lume is probably better than your average lume, but still not amazing. This shot is after a full charge. It dies down pretty quickly.


The hour and minutes hands are subtle swords, and are stainless steel with lumed centres. The second hand is a thin steel point, with a larger red point at the end. All of the various steel elements to the dial really makes it stand out and appear exquisite when the light hits them.

The deep blue dial, and hands and hour markers with chromed surrounds gives the watch very high legibility.

There is also an angled rehaut consisting of a minute track, with every 5 minutes being a slightly thicker line. This is very subtle and not overpowering. In fact, I barely noticed it – but you also know that it’s there when you want to refer to it.

The case

The case is an absolutely perfect size at 42 x 13mm. It wears slightly smaller than 42mm, and everything about it is just right. It looks and feels tremendous on the wrist – it just has something about it that you feel the very first time you put it on.


The case has a brushed top, and polished sides and back. This matches the finishing of the bracelet well, making the transition through seamless.

The screw in crown has the Orient logo embossed on it nice and deep. The crown guards are very thin and pointy, and more or less protrude the whole length of the crown. I like how thin they are, as they offer high protection, whilst being subtle enough to match the classy style of he watch. Not too bulky!


There is a day change crown at 2, where you unscrew the surround, which raises up, allowing you to depress the button, advancing the days. It is very well engineered and works well. Some people don’t actually like it, thinking it unbalances the watch, but I like it – it gives the Mako a unique characteristic about it.


Sadly, the Mako has a mineral crystal, which I have found to be easy to get dirty or greasy marks and fingerprints on. A sapphire crystal would have been much better, but it is understandable that it would not be possible on a watch of this quality at this price. There doesn’t appear to be any sort of anti reflective coating on it.

The case back is well designed, but has not very deep etching. It has a decent size dome to it, increasing the thickness and girth of the watch, which also makes the Mako seem chunkier.


The bezel

The bezel is a lovely deep, dark blue. The rotational action is nice (once it gets going), similar to the Seiko Monster. It just feels high quality and sounds great as you spin it around. To start with it can be pretty stiff, which is a problem which occurs on many a Mako, but once you start moving it, it loosens up. It lines up perfectly as well – which is always good, but rather surprisingly not every watch manages to get this right! At 12 there is a small triangle with a lume pip in. The grip around the outer edge of the bezel is well machined, not sharp at all.

The bracelet

The main concern I had before reviving the Mako was the bracelet. There is nothing I hate more than a cheap feeling jangly bracelet that makes a watch feel cheap. Thankfully, the Mako’s bracelet is good and solid. The links are thick and well machined and finished. It is brushed on the top and bottom, and polished on the sides.


The clasp, however, is certainly something that feels a little bit cheaper. The looks are fine, with the deep engraving of the Orient logo, and the decent flip lock which gives a decent click when you open it up. But, when you do open it up you have a very plain and thin elbow joint. I understand that if anywhere, this is the best place to make cost cuttings, and it is out of sight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s even impressive that the clasp is double locking at the price! But I just thought it would be worth mentioning. The end links are hollow, which is another cost saving measure. But, they are well machined and fit the case so well you cannot tell – apart from looking underneath.


The movement

An In-house Orient caliber 46943 movement powers the Mako. This is one of the biggest selling points Orient have. The fact that the movement is completely built by them at a price this low is staggering, especially being that they aren’t as big a company as Seiko or Citizen, whom they are up against. The 46943 is an extremely sturdy and reliable movement, and it is exceptionally accurate too. It has a bph of 21.6k, which equates to 6 ticks per second.

The movement does not have hand winding ability. So if it has stopped, a gentle gyration of the wrist will get it going.

You change the date the usual way, by pulling the crown out to the first position. The day change, however, is by the extra screw in crown at 2. You unscrew the surround, which raises up to the top of the height of the button. It the. Allows you to depress the whole lot. You then flick through the days of the week, with their Spanish counterpart. A well engineered solution to making an extra pusher water tight. I think it looks good too!

Final comments

I must say that I agree with all the sentiments of others regarding the Orient Mako. Bar the Seiko Monster, you would be extremely hard pushed to find a proper rated  high quality diver under £100 better than the Mako. It is a real looker on the wrist – everything about it exudes class and quality. Sure, it has its minor downfalls, but at this price it would be ridiculous to expect any more from it. It is just so impeccably finished and manufactured, and well designed to boot.

Bravo Orient for manufacturing such a brilliant timepiece, whilst keeping the price down to an incredible low!



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View comments 13


  1. FM

    First of all: I love your website / blog – thanks a lot for all the great reviews!

    Just picked up my black Mako after a crystal change at a local watch repair shop – I got a sapphire set (inc. o-ring, single AR) from which fits perfectly. I love my Mako but (as you mentioned in your review) couldn’t stand the mineral glass anylonger. The sapphire has completely changed the watch for me – the dial details now pop even more and the whole package just looks exteremely well.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of the Mako which I use as a daily beater/tool watch – but now it’s almost to good to abuse when working in the garden, swimming etc.

    Just in case somebody is interested: The sapphire costs €60 and I paid €20 for the change (inc. pressure test). In total I spent less than €200 on the whole package ( also sells fully modded Mako for about €200 as well, I believe). For me the very best “inexpensive automatic diver” (below €300) there is. (After that, it’s gotta be the Steinhart O1s. 🙂

  2. Jojoe

    Very good watch value for money .if this same model is made by Rolex ,tag heifer, or similar company it costs more than 5000 US dollars

  3. A gap in the market for affordable movement style watches? - Page 3

    […] Orient Mako Blue Watch Review | Watch It All About […]

  4. Peter O

    Fair & detailed review combining personal objective assessment with the relevant facts.
    The band caught my attention also & I think it is a bit bland.
    More worrying for me the extra case protrusion to adjust the day ????
    That’s another case penetration with potential for leaks.
    More important perhaps this is a divers/sports watch & I believe clean lines are essential – this thing is too easily snagged or damaged. It puts me off seriously considering purchase!
    What were they thinking

  5. Alex

    I picked up an Orange Mako a while back and it’s keeping all my other watches in the drawer. It has a really good feel, not too chunky, you know it’s there in a reassuring way. Terrific value for the money – wish I saw them on every wrist.

  6. Brian J. McClure

    I’m very satisfied with my Blue Mako, but I wish it had the bracelet of the Blue Ray which has 2 glossy lines running along the inner links. What I really concern about the watch is the bezel, it accumulates minor scratches overtime and I cannot find a replacement anywhere. Anyway, this watch worths every penny I paid for it, superior quality at an affordable price.

  7. peterlonz

    Responding to Brian’s comment on the bezel:
    Surely replacements must be available?
    Bezels take a hammering when the watch is used in sports recreation, particularly diving, or even if the watch is your everyday beater
    To keep the watch looking decent you must be able to easily obtain & fit new bezels.
    If this is not possible I’d say do not even consider buying the watch.

  8. Brian J. McClure

    @peterlonz: Well, I contacted an Orient distributor, and they said that the bezel for this model is not available now, at least several months or a year later, maybe never, and it would cost me no less than $20 – $30. I searched Google for a Mako’s bezel , but just stumbled across Invicta and Seiko ones. Maybe I will try a SKX007’s bezel, it fits well with the Mako.

    1. peterlonz

      Replying again to Brian:
      That sucks & I think this certainly puts this manufacturer to shame.
      The failure to have spares, and an essential spare at that, is inexcusable.
      Best Divers under $100?????
      NO this does not count & I hope everyone who was considering this as a “possible” just go elsewhere.

  9. John Thompson

    I really enjoy reading your Blog. I find it interesting that Orient is owned by Seiko Epson which is part of the SEIKO GROUP in Japan. I wonder how much cooperation there is between SEIKO Watch and ORIENT.

  10. Martin007

    Great review! Where can you find this watch under £100 ($125)? I know the review is a few years old but still, this watch should hover around that price tag.

    1. Dr.jojoe

      I bought orient blue daydate mako for Indian rupees 16000/- in about 220 us $ from online shopping site, 4 years ago.its a good watch. The movement is made in Japan. Good value for money product

  11. Justin Thyme

    I purchased the Mako II recently – love the look and the feel of the watch – and I feel good about the price that I paid $165.00.
    Overall a good watch. However, I never did like the double clasp lock on the bracelet, it sat way too high and was too easy to pop open. I tried adjusting it various ways but finally took it off – so it’s just go the main clasp lock now, which is fine and I don’t have that annoying double clasp lock thing flapping open now.
    After my home adjustment, I really like it. I think it works like a single lock clasp like on my other watches like my Hamilton field khaki, but just has the indents in it, but feels secure. I recommend this watch, especially for a budget automatic diver. I have the black dial version.

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