Orient Sun and Moon - multiple versions

Orient Sun and Moon – Picture Guide to all Versions (Updated 2022)

Few watches carry such a luster of luxury and class as the Orient Sun and Moon. Even fewer can do so at an affordable price point (under $500).

Combining a mix of a traditional dress watch and a modern executive style, the Orient Sun and Moon is a veritable compliment magnet. This is a watch that will get you the full attention you deserve.

If you’re in the market for one of these bad boys, you’re thinking along the right track. But there’s so many different versions today that are called the “Orient Sun and Moon” – so which one should you get?

A handsome conversation-starter
Not you – the Orient Sun and the Moon

In this guide, I’m going to show you all the current models (as of 2021), and highlight their distinctive features.

Also, we’re going to look at the qualities shared by all the Sun and Moon models so that you can better appreciate what Orient has given us. Enjoy!

Orient Sun and Moon Review

The Orient Sun and Moon is a dress watch with multiple complications that make it a pleasure to look at every time.

The display is done elegantly by a reputable manufacturer with an exquisite eye for detail made to enhance your pleasure in wearing it.

The Orient Sun and Moon gives you the look and feel of an expensive automatic moonphase without the hefty price tag

Here’s what to look for when you’re buying the best version of the Sun and Moon:

Sun and Moon Complication

This is the center of attention of any version that you get. It’s not the most functional feature, but it will give you a tremendous amount of satisfaction to look at.

Sun complication
The Sun coming up. This is about 10:10am. At 10:10pm, the mon would be in this position.

This is not a moonphase watch – nor does it claim to be. Instead, it’s a sun-and-moon face that’s synced to the 24-hour time. At 12 noon the sun is at the zenith of the subidal. At 12 midnight, the moon is at the zenith.

The Sun and Moon chase each other around the subdial, leaving you in awe throughout the day

The Colors and the Dial

Whether you pick the reflective blue or the guilloche-texture white, you’re going to see a lot of attention to detail on this very affordable watch. And you’re going to get a lot of attention from your colleagues when you wear it.

The blue dial is my favorite - looks different in every light
The blue dial is my favorite – looks different in every light

The dial adds mystique and sophistication to an already-complicated timepiece without being overwhelming. It takes a master watchmaker like Orient to pull this off.

Make sure you know what the dial looks like before you buy – the product photos can’t capture the true beauty of these watches.

In-House Movement

All automatic versions of the Sun and Moon have an exclusive feature that’s usually usually only found in luxury watches: an in-house movement.

Orient (owned by parent company Seiko) is a reputable Japanese watchmaker who’s been making their own watches and movements since the 1950s.

As a result, their automatic watches are all made with an in-house movement. This is an important aspect in a watch because it means that the watchmaker purposefully engineered the watch and movement to work with each other in tandem (rather than fitting together spare parts).

This is a hallmark of a quality timepiece, and you’re not going to find an affordable watch with an in-house movement outside of Orient.

Attention to Detail

Every part of the Sun and Moon is intentional and thought out by a creative genius. Though it’s hard to tell from photos, Orient has included loads of small fine details that they simply didn’t have to – all for your enhanced pleasure.

The Sun and Moon watches will continue to astound you with their details: From the deep layering of the date window to the concentric circle texturing on the date indicator, and even to the purposeful use of visible screws.

Orient has gone out of it’s way to compose this art piece to be specifically beautiful

The Day Indicator

Adjacent to the Sun and Moon subdial is another useful metric to track the passage of time – the day of the week.

Watch as the analog hand points to a different direction every day, and you’ll never be bored. Track how close it is to the weekend like an arrow on a pie chart that shows how complete the week is.

As a bonus, Sunday is highlighted in red so that you know it’s almost time for business once again.

The Date window

Although it’s a relatively common feature, the date window on the Orient Sun and Moon is anything but common.

Foregoing a boring traditional single-date cutout, the Sun and Moon showcases it’s creative engineering by making a boring feature into one of it’s most interesting (v2-v4 only).

The date window is cut out in a wavy jigsaw piece that reveals the next and prior date as well. While it’s superfluous in a way, it’s also brilliant.

It gives the watch a complete look of budding circularity – you can see the date wheel is indeed a wheel, and it plays off of the other circular elements quite nicely.

A square window would be too square, and the Orient Sun and Moon is anything but that. Some versions do go square, but they’re typically going for a retro style.

Leather Strap

The leather strap that’s included with the watch is pretty comfortable, and is more or less adequate.

It has a deployant clasp that makes it easy to put on and take off at a moment’s notice. Overall it’s very formal, and will take a few weeks to break in. However, it’s a adequate – don’t expect it to blow you away.

You can replace the strap with another one for a more formal look, or to dress it down for a jeans and shirt outfit.

Slightly-Domed Sapphire Crystal

The Orient Sun and Moon comes with a top-of-the-line scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to keep your watch blemish-free for it’s entire lifetime. Actually it’s for your entire lifetime since the watch will most likely outlive you (not guaranteed).

On many of the versions, the crystal is slightly domed. This is an aesthetic choice, and it’s rather impressive to accomplish this with a sapphire. Historically, dress watches often came with a domed crystal made of acrylic or mineral glass (very scratch-prone).

Orient made this design choice to accentuate the fusion of old-and-new styles which is characteristic of the Sun and Moon.

The Many Versions of the Sun and Moon Collection

One of the more intriguing aspects of the Sun and Moon is that it doesn’t refer simply to one watch. Instead it denotes a whole line of watches with multiple generations and colors.

From the early simple days of the v1, Orient has been tinkering with the design to try and find the perfect balance. In v2 they transformed the date wheel and dial color, throwing out the tired traditionalism in favor of modernity.

In v3, they added hacking, hand-winding, and a quickset date. In v4 they made it even less formal by incorporating classic Arabic digits instead of the roman numerals.

After that, they also made a contemporary version that is a v1 Renaissance.

Then we also got the open-heart model and a smaller quartz “petite” version.

There’s so many colors, so many versions, how to keep track and differentiate them all? Fear not, for the rest of this guide will make that crystal-clear.

Version 1 (v1) – The Original

It all began with the version 1 back in 2007. Of course back then it wasn’t called the “v1” – just the “Orient Sun and Moon.”

Back then, Orient was just starting to take it’s place as the daring innovator we know today. The v1 has many crossover retro elements that showcase this transitionary period.

orient v1 with champagne dial
v1 with champagne dial

Unique to the v1, the date window is a conventional rectangular cutout at the bottom. The Sun and Moon complication and it’s relative position to the date indicator take their shape, and remain there for v2.

The movement of the v1 is the Orient Calibre 46B46. It doesn’t hack, doesn’t hand-wind, and doesn’t have a quickset date indicator. Today we consider these omissions to be unacceptable, but back then they were the norm.

The hour markers in v1 are very subtle, yet bold – bar indices cut out into the chapter ring. The dial features an aristocratic reflectivity in gold or champagne.

orient sun and moon v1 champagne dial with blued hands
v1 champagne dial with blued hands

The hands on the v1 are a traditional dauphine style, which is found on many dress watches; the blued hands are my favorite of any model.

At 41.5mm in diameter and 13.29mm thick, the v1 is the smallest of the Sun and Moon series. In my opinion this is as large as these watches should be. The subsequent versions go up in size and thickness, and we don’t see a return to the v1 size until the Contemporary.

macro on the sun and moon v1
macro on the v1

Sun and Moon v1 Specs

VersionSun and Moon v1
MovementOrient Calibre 46B46
Case Diameter41.5 mm
Case Thickness13.29 mm
Band Width21 mm

v1 Models

Version 2 (v2) – Restyle

Half a decade later, the Orient Sun and Moon v2 is a true next-gen release of a favorite classic. This version gives us the look and feel of all the modern Sun and Moons.

Sun and Moon v2 white dial with guillotine texturing

First, the v2 retains the relative positioning of the Sun and Moon complication to the date indicator (top left and top right, respectively). Instead, they change up the date window to feature a deep layered cutout, and make it switch spots with the logo.

The date window now shows off the preceding and succeeding date. However in my opinion (and many others’), this throws off the balance of the dial, since now it looks too much like a face. This is a big thing they ended up changing in v3.

V2 doubles down on the success of the textured subdial elements and brings texture to the entirety of the white and black dials in a classic guilloche pattern.

For the first time, Orient also adds a beautiful reflective blue dial version.

The blue reflective dial that came to us in the v2
The blue reflective dial that came to us in the v2

The blue version doesn’t have any texturing, and the date window is moved to the right side, perhaps experimentally.

In v2, the hour markers are changed from bars to more classic Roman numerals, which I personally find less appealing.

The hands are also changed from dauphine to a skinnier leaf handset. This removes the emphasis from the hands since there is now so much more to focus on.

While the movement is upgraded to Orient Calibre 46B40, it still does not hack or hand-wind, and again still doesn’t have a quickset date wheel.

Black textured dial on the Sun and Moon v2
Black textured dial on the Sun and Moon v2

With these changes, the diameter of the v2 increases by 1mm to 42.5mm, and the thickness by 0.8mm to 14.1mm. This gives us the current size of the Sun and Moon, which many find “rather thicc.”

As of 2021, I see no reason to get the Sun and Moon v2. For a similar price, the v3 comes with many upgrades (features and design-wise). Otherwise, the v1 is also a good option since it’s so different from the rest of the collection. The v2 seems destined to be an unloved orphan, but is still a good deal if you can find it under $170.

Sun and Moon v2 Specs

VersionSun and Moon v2
MovementOrient Calibre 46B40
Case Diameter42.5 mm
Case Thickness14.1 mm
Band Width22 mm

v2 Models

Version 3 (v3) – Movement Upgrade

In 2017 Orient finally brought it all together for the Sun and Moon v3.

While keeping most of the architecture of the v2, they’ve made a few key design and feature upgrades that put the finishing touches on the Sun and Moon series.

Orient Sun and Moon v3 reflective blue dial
Orient Sun and Moon v3 reflective blue dial

First, they fixed the dial layout that bothered so many people in the v2. For the first time, the date indicator is moved to the top left, and the Sun and Moon complication is moved to the bottom right.

This gets rid of the “looks like a face” problem from v2.

The black dial gets changed from textured (like the white dial) to a gorgeous reflective black (like the blue dial).

Besides the dial arrangement, Orient gives us the big one: upgraded movement to Orient Calibre F6B24. This one does have hacking, hand-winding, and a quickset date.

Orient Sun and Moon reflective black dial
Reflective black dial on the v3

At last, Orient has modernized the Sun and the Moon, and these features have become standard in all subsequent releases. Everything with an older caliber now seems dated, and it’s hard to imagine living without such basic movement features.

Overall, the v3 is going to be the biggest bargain in 2021. Right now it’s a few years old, which gives it a slight market discount; but it has the same movement and specs as the new v4.

Sun and Moon v3 Specs

VersionSun and Moon v3
MovementOrient Calibre F6B24
Case Diameter42.5 mm
Case Thickness14.1 mm
Band Width22 mm

v3 Models

Version 4 (v4) – Arabic Numerals

For those following the Sun and Moon releases, v4 was a big surprise.

Overall, it’s nearly identical to the v3. After more than a decade of experimentation, Orient isn’t messing with a successful formula.

Arabic numerals - new on the v4
Arabic numerals – new on the v4

Instead, they’re using v4 to offer a larger variety and test the market with a different aesthetic. Of course, this is the change of the numerals from Roman to stylized Arabic. I very much welcome the change, as it spices up the aesthetic for the next decade.

A few other changes: first, Orient only released white-colored dials so far (there are rumors of more colors coming soon).

Big surprise: the dial texturing has been removed in favor of a flat finish, which looks almost enamel-like. I think it’s fantastic. Second, since less attention is taken up by the omitted texturing, Orient finally added the blue hands back in, giving it a beautiful contrast against the dial.

Sun and Moon v4 with gold case
Sun and Moon v4 with gold case

Finally, the case has been modified to have a satin finish, which gives us a much more expensive look than it’s predecessors.

Overall, I would spend the extra money on the v4 for these changes. In my opinion it’s the classiest of the entire v1-v4 collection, most modern, and also most professional.

And all this while it retains the luxury aesthetic we’ve grown to love.

Sun and Moon v4 Specs

VersionSun and Moon v4
MovementOrient Calibre F6B24
Case Diameter42.5 mm
Case Thickness14.1 mm
Band Width22 mm

v4 Models

Sun and Moon Contemporary – v1 Reborn

A big welcome surprise in recent years is the addition of the Sun and Moon Contemporary series.

At first glance, it looks like our favorite collection has adopted the new-age religion of minimalism. While this is true, the Contemporary is actually a hybrid of all of Orient’s experimentations thus far.

Orient Sun and Moon Contemporary in white with custom strap
Orient Sun and Moon Contemporary in white with custom strap

Overall, this watch is a direct descendant of the v1: bar indices, square date window, and a simple case and dial. The Sun and Moon now looks more like an unobtrusive moonphase instead of a loud star.

The increased size of the date indicator contrasts very nicely with the smaller moonphase-esque Sun and Moon feature. The hands have returned to their v1beveled-style duphine hands.

The big changes come to light in the specs:

First, the movement is the same as in the v3 and v4 – the Orient Calibre F6B24, which means it hacks, hand-winds, and has a quickset date.

Second, the size of the watch has been reduced to be smaller than even the size of the v1: 41.5mm diameter x 13mm thick. This has been one of the biggest-requested features since the v2 came out.

Orient's blue dials are always the most mesmerizing - Sun and Moon Contemporary
Orient’s blue dials are always the most mesmerizing – Sun and Moon Contemporary

The final change is that the strap is now 20mm (the v1 was a silly 21mm).

Overall, the Sun and Moon Contemporary is a bold new direction for a watch that busied itself with tons of beautiful details. It’s a minimalist Renaissance of the original v1 with all the upgrades for the modern era.

That’s why it’s called the Contemporary. I think Orient absolutely nailed it with this one, and it’s my favorite Sun and Moon thus far.

Sun and Moon Contemporary Specs

VersionSun and Moon Contemporary
MovementOrient Calibre F6B24
Case Diameter41.5 mm
Case Thickness13 mm
Band Width20 mm

Contemporary Models

Sun and Moon Open Heart

In 2018, Orient released the Sun and Moon Open Heart.

Open Heart on the Sun and Moon
Open Heart on the Sun and Moon

Rather than an expansion of the Sun and Moon collection, this watch is actually an expansion of their Open Heart series. They’ve taken their existing Open Heart and added a Sun and Moon complication to it.

The watch is sized the same as the v2-v4: 42mm wide x 14mm thick, and carries the Orient Calibre F6L24.

Sun and Moon Open-Heart with black dial and gold case
Sun and Moon Open-Heart with black dial and gold case

They’ve got a decent selection – all with textured dials. But this one strikes me as an old-timey Seiko Premiere, which is not the direction I want the Sun and Moon series to take at all.

Sun and Moon Open Heart Specs

VersionSun and Moon Open Heart
MovementOrient Calibre F6L24
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness14.1 mm
Band Width21 mm

Open-Heart Models

Sun and Moon Petite – Quartz Version

An interesting addition to the Sun and Moon line – the “Petite” or “Quartz” or “Ladies'” version. We’ve yet to decide on the final moniker for this one.

As you may have guessed from the names, this is a much smaller quartz-powered watch meant for women. The regular line is too big for many men, let alone women, so this is actually a nice addition.

Orient Sun and Moon Ladies' Quartz with MOP dial
Orient Sun and Moon Ladies’ Quartz with MOP dial

It’s sized at 34.8mm diameter x 8.7mm thickness. The quartz movement allows Orient to pack all those complications into a very tiny case.

As for the complications: all the usual suspects.

  • Sun and Moon indicator
  • Date indicator
  • Day indicator

The arrangement of the sub-dials is typical of old-school moonphase watches. The roman numerals end up giving it that “old-timey” look.

Frankly, I don’t care for this watch at all, but then again it’s for a totally different market-segment: women.

More traditional styling on the quartz Sun and Moon with guilloche texturing
More traditional styling on the quartz Sun and Moon with guilloche texturing

For women, there are quite a few varieties depending on what you like: rose gold or mother-of-pearl (MOP) dials, or both, or none.

With an unorthodox lug-width of 17mm, if you want a replacement strap, it will likely only fit this watch.

While it’s a lot of money for a quartz movement, it works well as part of a “his-and-hers” collection.

Sun and Moon Quartz Petite Specs

VersionSun and Moon Quartz Petite
MovementJapan caliber KUE00 quartz
Case Diameter34.8 mm
Case Thickness8.7 mm
Band Width17 mm

Quartz Petite Models

Which Version Should You Get?

Since they’re all priced pretty close to each other, the Sun and Moon you should get largely depends on what you want it for, or who you are.

My recommendation is the Sun and Moon v3 in reflective blue. This is because it’s going to be the cheapest (since it’s one generation older) while getting the latest movement. Additionally, you get the beautiful blue dial that contrasts really nicely with the sun face, and shines like crazy in the real sun.

However, if you prefer the Arabic numerals and flat dial, I would go for the v4. This would be my second pick.

My first pick would be the Sun and Moon Contemporary in white. Something about the minimalist aspect of it, combined with the smaller v1-style size makes it the most timeless of the entire collection. The smaller size and minimalism also makes it the most versatile on many straps and with many outfits.

I would stay away from the v2 entirely. I really love the v1, but realize that you’re giving up hacking and hand-winding with that watch.

Your best bet is to check out a few styles and narrow it down to the ones that get your heart beating. Then find the one for the best price, and pull that trigger.

Final Thoughts: Hail the Sun and the Moon!

Once you do that, you become part of the exclusive Sun and Moon club. When you see others with this watch, you say “Hail the Sun!” and they respond with “Hail the Moon!” Then you both say “Hail the Sun and the Moon!” in unison.

If you aren’t bored of your old dress watch yet, everyone else is. Add a little flair with a socially-enhancing timepiece, without being disruptive. This will bring the attention back to you.

In the back of their minds, your friends and colleagues will be thinking about how sophisticated you are whenever the sun glints off the watch as you walk by.

Read More: Check out our full article for a review of the best Orient watches!

Image Credits: Reddit, Watchuseek forums, and Orient-Watch.com

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