By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
The Orient 300M Pro Saturation Diver SEL0200 is another professional diving watch that I own. Upfront I have to admit it that this watch is by far, the best professional diving watch currently available on the market in terms of capability and value-for-money.
The Pro Saturation Diver comes in a stainless steel case with beautifully polished sides and brushed lug tops. The case is large, measuring 45.4mm without the large signed screw down crown. With the crown, the case diameter is 50.4mm. Case thickness is hefty, at 16.9mm. Lug width is 22mm.
The flat sapphire crystal is anti-reflective coated and is almost 5mm thick per. The crystal has a slight beveled edge and fits flush with the bezel. The bezel is excellently designed, with a 120-click unidirectional increment, with an anodized aluminum insert with nicely painted inset numbers and markers. You can easily mistaken the bezel to be ceramic. That is how good the manufacturing quality that goes into the watch. A lume pip is inset on the bezel at 12 as required under the ISO 6425 diving watch standards.
The Pro Saturation Diver has subtle detailing on the dial. The black color is a deep, pure black semi-matte-like. The large markers and the silver toned hands have ample amounts of lume applied on them. The quality of the lume is excellent.
The quickset date window is located at the 9 position. Orient was smart enough not to utilize of 9 o’clock index as the date window. In the dark, you can still see 12 lumed indexes illuminating instead of just 11 as in other typical dive watches with date windows (Rolex is also guilty with its Submariner models).
The power reserve meter takes up the upper right quadrant on the dial and is slightly recessed, with a simple silver pointer showing how much power reserve the watch has, calibrated in hours. The meter goes from 0 to 40 hours. I’ve always liked power reserve meters on watches and this watch gets brownie points for having it! Above the 6 marker is the Orient logo, the words ‘Orient’, ‘automatic’ and ‘300M’ in red. Just nice. Any additional information and it would crowd the dial.
The Orient ‘O’ logo is etched on the end of the crown. With a big crown, it is easy to screw (or unscrew) to set the watch. The screw down action is surprisingly smooth.
The lugs are also drilled (as shown in the photo above) which makes strap changes easier.
This particular model comes with the newer 40N5A movement which can hack and manually wind. Power in the springs has been stated at 40 hours although in tests, my watch was able to run for about 44 hours straight. The specifications on this movement are 22 jewels, with the movement beating at 21,600 vph. Accuracy has been +-15 per day, which is acceptable. Honestly, does one really need such accuracy? If you do, get a digital watch.
The Pro Saturation Diver comes with a very nice stainless steel solid link bracelet with solid end links and a ‘glide-lock’ adjustable deployant clasp. The bracelet has three links across and is brushed and polished. The clasp is signed, with a pushbutton release and a double lock safety clasp.
The glide lock portion is heavy stamped stainless steel. A push-pin mechanism next to the flip lock on the clasp activates the glide lock and allows the clasp to extend for fitment around a diving suit. Fully extended, the glide lock allows almost 31mm of extra length to the bracelet.
The case back is polished and heavily embossed with the Orient logo.
In the picture below is the ‘glide-lock’ adjustable mechanism used in the bracelet. The ratcheting system is obvious in the picture below.
Once engage, you can slide the clasp to extend further. I believe it is similar to the Seiko Marinemaster bracelet.
For USD1,000+, you will get a watch designed for mixed-gas diving but does not have a helium escape valve, because the case has been designed to prevent any build up of helium without the need for an external valve. With a depth rating of 300m, this watch can be used underwater without any worries in the world.
You would also note the smooth edges which allow this watch to be used in an office environment. The watch easily slips under shirt cuffs. This means it is more of a sporty watch instead of a dedicated divers watch, although it is designed for professional divers.
Overall, you cannot find a watch that could operate in all environments for the price point Orient has it on. This is clearly a winner.