In early 2018, Orient Watch released a new dive watch in three colors, which online watch communities quickly took to calling the “Orient Triton.” From the very begging, it bore a similar resemblance to Orient’s flagship diver – the Orient Saturation Diver (OSD or OS300).
The beauty of the Triton was immediately clear: for a fraction of the price, you could get the same movement and a similar aesthetic as the $1000-$2000 Saturation Diver. This new watch comes in a much more affordable price and compact size for a new generation of watch collectors and enthusiasts.
You can appreciate the Orient Triton right away as a cut above the rest. It’s main competition would be Seiko and Orient dive watches in the $250-$350 range, and it really blows them out of the water: sapphire crystal, power reserve indicator, solid end-links, impeccable reported accuracy, youthful new design, and in a slim size akin to the SKX007. The Triton absolutely embarrasses all other dive watches in this price range.
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About Orient Watches
Orient Watch (usually just called “Orient”) is a Japanese watch brand that was established in 1950, when it began making quality automatic watches. In 2009, it was acquired by Seiko Epson – another Japanese watch company.
While Seiko focuses on re-releasing old and popular designs they originated in the 1970s, Orient is a much more youthful and adaptive brand that focuses on new deigns. Many of their watches have power reserve indicators – complications which are generally only found in ultra-luxury Swiss watches.
From a bang-for-your-buck standpoint, Orient makes some of the best-value dive watches. From the Orient Saturation Diver, to the Orient Revolver, Orient M-Force divers, Orient Triton, down to the Orient Makos and Rays (side note: those are ordered by descending size and price), Orient crushes the competition at each price segment. As a bonus, you never have to worry about date or chapter-ring alignment issues.
The Orient Triton continues the tradition of high-quality, high-value divers.
Orient Triton becomes Orient Neptune
Originally the Orient Triton was just a model number. The “Triton” name was given to it by fans, along with “Baby OSD” or “Mini-OS300” (again, named after the huge Orient Saturation Diver).
Some time in late 2019, as the popularity of the Triton grew, and it’s reputation spread, we noticed that Orient had dubbed the watch the “Orient Neptune.” Other retailers changed their name, and now everyone selling it is calling it the Orient Neptune. Everyone wearing it, however, still calls it the Orient Triton.
The Neptune name leads to some confusion, because Orient has another Brazil-only 500m diver called the Neptuno. It looks pretty similar, but is considerably toolier and less refined than the Triton. In this review, we’re going to keep calling it the Triton, and nobody can stop us.
The Three Orient Triton Models
Blue Triton: RA-EL0002L
This is probably Orient’s most beloved Triton model – the blue RA-EL0002L. Orient has built a great reputation around how well it pulls off blue dials – from the Orient Mako to the Orient Sun and the Moon, and especially among it’s Orient Star line. Marc from Long Island Watch calls it “that famous Orient blue,” and it’s hard to find another watchmaker that pulls it off with such consistency.
Black Triton: RA-EL0001B
For those who probably already have an all-black watch collection, the Black Triton RA-EL0001B is the way to go. Sure the blue is nice and reflective and pretty, but something deep inside you is tugging at the black one. I can hear your inner voice whispering: “It’s such a classic look. The blue is nice, but the black is so much more versatile.” Don’t fight it, you’re a black watch guy – I know because I used to be one. You’ll always second-guess your blue purchase, so hey – keep it black.
The good news is that this dial is still beautiful and rich. It has a deep matte black look to it that you can get lost in.
Black-and-Gold (Two-Tone) Triton: RA-EL0003B
Finally, every black watch-lover has sometimes considered pulling the trigger on a two-tone black-and-gold watch. Could this be the one? I can’t tell you, because I’ve never had the courage to do so myself. What I can say, is that the RA-EL0003B draws inspiration from one of the two-tone Orient Star Saturation Divers.
Orient Triton Dive Watch Review
So what makes the Orient Triton so special?
It’s a “next-generation” 200m Air Diver that comes at the same time as Seiko’s most iconic 200m diver – the SKX007 – is discontinued. Along with a small price increase, it brings about the upgrades Seiko fans have been asking for for a long time. Where Seiko has ignored the consumers’ demands, Orient has answered. What were these demands?
A modern movement (Calibre 40N5A) that has hacking and hand-winding, to start. An anti-reflective sapphire crystal instead of a scratch-attracting Seiko Hardlex. Maybe a power reserve indicator? How about an original twist on an old (though classic) design?
The watch does have two downsides – the bracelet and the crown. You should keep your expectations for these two moderate, but everything else is top-notch. This watch isn’t just made by a Japanese brand, it’s entirely made in Japan; few Seikos can say the same.
The Orient Triton is a 43.4mm dive watch that wears like a 41mm watch. The shape of the case and the placement of the crown allows it to attain a profile that’s considerably slimmer than these specs would indicate, so don’t be put off by the “large” size. The extra millimeters give it more wrist presence, but hardly any extra bulk.
The lug-to-lug measures 51mm, which helps with the profile. As such, it looks best on wrist sizes of 6.5 inches and above. I wouldn’t recommend this watch to anyone with smaller wrists than that, although it wouldn’t hurt to try it, because you might not care.
The watch comes in at a lug width of 22mm, which is the correct size for a watch of these dimensions. This is good news for anyone who has a lot of straps to try out, because this watch is a veritable strap monster. To accentuate those dreams, the watch comes with drilled lugs to make strap changes a breeze.
The watch weighs 7.4oz (210g) which is kind of heavy, but a lot of that comes from the non-tapering bracelet. It’s kind of hefty like that, so if you want something more lightweight, get it on a NATO strap. Nonetheless, the weight doesn’t detract from the comfort, and gives it a more tooly robustness.
Orient Triton Dial
The dials on either model color are both worth writing home about. The blue has a crisp ocean-blue shine that glistens when the sun is reflected on it. The black has a deep rich matte that almost looks like charcoal. Both fit well with the rest of the dial ensemble, and are very versatile with many outfits.
At the 1-2 o’clock is the power reserve indicator (more on that later).
The date window is a diagonal at the 4 o’clock position which cuts into the 4 o’clock hour marker in an unexpected way. Not many other watches besides Orient have the capacity or audacity to pull that off.
At the bottom center is the Orient logo – big, bold, and unapologetic: a royal crest with two lions and a crown. In classic Orient fashion, the writing is very minimal – just the basics: Automatic and Diver’s 200m.
The hour markers are in the classic circular Submariner dive style, but cut away or aside whenever Orient needs to put something of their own in that spot, proclaiming that it will not be beholden to decades-old designs just because. Even so, the indices have their own flavor – tapered bars, cut away circles, and a trapezoid at the 12 o’clock instead of a triangle.
The Hands on the Triton
Continuing the theme of original design, the Orient Triton sports a unique handset that hasn’t really been seen before. They kind of look like SBDC053 hands, but they have enough originality to them.
The hour hand is an arrow with thick lume and a brushed base. The minute hand is almost entirely lume with a little bit of brushing at the base. The brushing matches the outer edges of the hour markers.
The Gold-tone Triton hands have a golden perimeter to match the golden bezel edge; same with the power reserve hand.
Personally, I find the brushing quality on the hands to be the only weak point of the watch, although I haven’t seen anyone else complain about it (maybe I was spoiled by the OSD).
Orient Triton Specs
|Models|| RA-EL0002L (Blue)|
|Movement||Orient Calibre 40N5A|
|Power Reserve||40+ Hours|
|Water Resistance||Air Diver’s 200m|
|Price||View Price on Amazon|
Power Reserve Indicator
Let’s talk about the power reserve indicator. I would say that the biggest difference between Orient and Seiko is that Orient will boldly put power reserve indicators on most of their models.
Seiko purists decry this practice. “Ugh! It upsets muh classic design!” or “I love the look but I just can’t get used to muh power reserve indicator!” These are the cries of late adopters.
A Power Reserve Indicator is the most useful feature of a mechanical watch
First – what is a power reserve indicator? Fundamentally, it’s an arrow with a gauge that shows how much power is left in the power source that drives the movement. In quartz watches like Citizen’s Eco-Drives, it’s not immensely useful since those have power reserves of 6-12 months.
Mechanical watches, however, usually have power reserves of 40-80 hours. So if you have 2 or more mechanical watches, it becomes pretty darn useful to see which one is running low, and maybe give it some manual power via the crown so it keeps ticking until you can wear it the next day.
The usefulness of a power reserve indicator becomes self-evident if you have a watch with one. You’ll have an “aha” moment where you see the utility, and will also see it become invaluable. At that point you might ask – why doesn’t Seiko have power reserves on anything automatic under $3000? Why don’t Swiss watches have power reserves on anything under $10,000? Yet here you stand, with a sub-$500 diver that boasts a power reserve indicator, which is one of the most useful complications you could have in a mechanical watch.
Some people hate the placement, or the appearance, but those people are purists. They haven’t yet been told what looks good. They’re stuck on the classics: the Turtle, the SKX013, and the like; old school designs for old school people.
The Orient Triton Power Reserve Indicator
Orient makes watches for those of a youthful and daring nature. The classics are useful, but they didn’t have power reserve indicators for the same reason they didn’t have hacking or hand-winding; the technology didn’t make it cost-effective at the time. But it’s now 2020 – a new era in mechanical watchmaking and aesthetic innovation.
So what about the power reserve indicator on the Orient Triton? It’s located in the 1-2 o’clock position, and actually slightly cuts into the 1 o’clock marker for the indicator hand. It runs from 0 to 40 hours with a hash mark for every ten hours; the final 10 remaining hours shows in red on the gauge.
The red on the gauge matches the red indicator hand, and it’s actually lumed so you can see how much power is remaining in the dark. The entire indicator is also cut away into the dial, giving the whole watch a lot more depth. Furthermore, the red on the hand and gauge matches the red of the Orient logo, making NATO straps with a touch of red a nice pairing.
Aesthetically – I’d say it’s as good a place to put the indicator as any. if I were designing the watch, I’d get rid of the logo, put the date at the 6 o’clock, and the power reserve at the 12 like in some Orient Star models. Bottom line is that Orient knows what they’re doing. It’s a new design and it will grow on you until you absolutely love it.
The Crisp Triton Bezel
The bezel is crisp and satisfying to turn. It’s a standard 120-click diving bezel, which can be used to time dives (remaining oxygen) or any other elapsed time. It’s got an aggressive edge to it, fitting with the tool watch style.
I usually judge the quality of a bezel but how annoyed I am to have to turn it another 119 clicks if I accidentally miss the 12 o’clock alignment position. For this watch, I give it a solid 7 out of 9 stars. I’d say it’s on par with the Rolex Submariner, and slightly more satisfying than the SKX007.
The bezel is made of aluminum – it could be ceramic, but that would raise the price a lot, since most other divers don’t get this feature at this price range.
Triton Case and Engraved Caseback
At a thickness of 13.6mm, the case is a little tall, but not overbearing. It’s got a basic diver shape similar enough to the SKX007. The sides are nicely polished, and it’s got drilled lugs for easy strap changes. The case is nice and hefty, giving it the feel of a proper tool watch.
The caseback has a rather nice and deep Orient logo engraving. It’s the same logo as on the dial, but blown up, and accentuated with a lot detail.
Signed Orient Crown
The Triton has a diver’s screw-down crown located out of the way at the 4 o’clock positions like in many classic Seiko divers. This prevents it from getting in the way when you bend your wrist.
The crown has a lot of character, with light grooves for easy gripping. Borrowing from the M-Force divers, its got a black band around it for style points.
According to some owners, the crown is one of the weak points of the watch. I personally never had any issues with it, but a lot of people want a certain type of crown, I guess. This one is rather springy when you push it in to screw it in. You kind of have to learn how any watch coexists with it’s screw-down crown, and how to properly use it. It takes a certain level of acuity, and they’re not a one-size-fits all.
Anyway, people are complaining about the crown because they must be used to Seiko crowns, calling it “wobbly” or “flimsy.” Many others are saying that they don’t know what those complainers are talking about, and I’m one of the latter.
Just push it in slightly, turn it slightly counterclockwise until you feel the threads catch, then start tightening down clockwise. It’s pretty straightforward.
Overall, the crown has plenty of character, laser-etched with the Orient crest, and it matches the aggressive texture of the bezel.
Movement and Accuracy
The Triton is powered by the Orient Calibre 40N5A. This is the same movement as their flagship watch, the Orient Saturation Diver. It has an accuracy specification of +25/-15 seconds per day.
Many users report an accuracy of +1 second/day, which is pretty incredible. However, keep your expectations in line, because as the watch gets worn more and more, it will gradually settle on an accuracy closer to official specifications. However, you can still enjoy many years of COSC-level accuracy until then.
This movement has both hacking and hand-winding, which is excellent for a perfect time-sync, and for recharging the power reserve (which you can tell is empty or full through the indicator).
The Triton crystal is a sapphire glass – a standard feature in most Orient watches, and rarely seen in Seikos. This glass is one of the most scratch-resistant materials on the planet. Not only that, but it’s got anti-reflective coating, which makes seeing the dial “crystal clear.”
The lume (glow-in-the-dark material) is nice and thickly-applied on the hands and hour markers. Even the power reserve indicator has lume so you can see the charge level in the dark. Overall it’s very good, and on par with Seiko lume.
Water Resistance and ISO Certification
The Orient Triton is rated as an Air Diver’s 200m. This means it’s more suitable for water sports than your typical 200m WR watch since it’s actually made for diving. Per Orient specifications, the watch is suitable for the following conditions:
- Exposure to rain / face-washing, etc.
- Exposure to water sports (swimming) and frequent water contact (car washing, etc.)
- Skin diving (without air tanks)
- Scuba diving (with air tanks) (hence “Air Diver”)
However, it is not rated for use in Mixed-gas diving environments, such as those found at the 300m depth. Luckily, that still gives the watch about 660ft, which is lower than most people will ever go. Beyond that would require special Saturation Diving equipment and depressurization procedures, and is outside the scope of 99% of diving, water, or swimming situations.
The watch is not ISO-dive certified like Seiko watches, but instead attains a JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) certification. This is basically the Japanese Domestic certification body, and is equivalent to an ISO certification.
Orient Triton Bracelet and Strap Options
Now for the weakest link of the Triton: the bracelet. Some people may disagree, but I think Orient really cheaps-out on their bracelets. After being spoiled by the high-quality buttery feel of Orient Star bracelets, I would personally never wear an Orient bracelet with anything, and this one is no exception.
It feels cheap and rattly, the clasp insults my fingertips with its roughness, and many people agree. Now, some people do disagree, and I won’t spoil it for them. Hey – enjoy your bracelet, don’t go looking for reasons to hate it!
As a caveat, I also think most of the popular Strapcode bracelets are garbage too (specifically the Super Engineers and Super Oysters). I’m kind of a bracelet snob though, so it depends on your standards.
The plus side is that it has solid end-links and a diver’s extension. Diver’s extensions are great because your wrist size naturally slightly shrinks in the cold and expands in the heat, so you can always regulate it on the go for a snug fit.
The bracelets are adjusted via pin adjustments, and it has a stamped clasp – a sign of a cheap bracelet. I’ve had better luck with Strapcode’s Jubilee bracelets, but frankly… this watch can’t be beat on the NATO strap. At the end of the day, it’s not a high-end bracelet by any means, but it’s also not bottom of the barrel.
The bracelet is 22mm and doesn’t taper. Some other choices are to put it on a rubber strap for a classic dive watch look. A bracelet will give it a very tooly look, and a NATO will get you a versatile look depending on the rest of your outfit. I generally don’t recommend a leather strap on a diver, but I’m open to pleasant surprises.
Orient Triton vs Other Orient Dive Watches
Oftentimes it can be hard to get a full picture of a watch from a review, so I’ll leave a few helpful comparisons to popular watches below.
Orient Triton vs Orient Neptune
The Orient Triton is the same watch as the Orient Neptune, they just go by different names sometimes. It used to be called the Orient Triton, but many retailers have transitioned to calling it the Orient Neptune; you might see both. Not to be confused with the Orient Neputuno – a Brazil-only 500m model than hardly ever makes an appearance.
Orient Triton vs Orient Saturation Diver (OSD)
The Triton is a genetic descendant of the Orient Saturation Diver, and they use the same Cal. 40N5A movement. The OSD is a giant watch compared to the slimmer and sleeker “Baby OSD.”
The OSD is meant for 300m+ saturation diving, while the Triton is a 200m Air Diver. It’s fat, thick, and super heavy.
Orient Triton vs Orient Mako II / Ray II
The Triton bears the Caliber 40N5A, which is an upgraded version of the Orient Ray II and Mako II Caliber F6922. However, they have the same accuracy, hacking, and hand-winding.
Overall, this watch is the older brother of these models. It’s about twice the price, more robust, and comes with the power reserve indicator. However, value-wise, nothing can really beat the Mako II and Ray II.
Orient Triton vs Orient M-Force Diver
The Triton uses the same Cal. 40N5A movement as the Orient M-Force Diver series. Those series of watches was a very sporty line of watches originating in 1997, and has since been discontinued.
M-Force stood for “Mechanical-Force”. The Triton picks up the legacy and design cues in a much slimmer watch ready for the next decade in watch history.
Orient Triton vs Seiko Dive Watches
Orient Triton vs Seiko SKX007
First, let’s state that the Seiko SKX007 has been discontinued. At one point in time, you could pick them up for under $200, but now the minimum price they fetch is the price of a new Triton.
So what do you get for the same price? An outdated Seiko 5-tier 7S26 movement that doesn’t have hacking or hand-winding, and an accuracy of +50/-20 sec per day. This is compared to the Triton which does have hacking and hand-winding, and has an accuracy of +25/-15 sec per day (and reported at +1 sec per day).
Overall they wear about the same, even though the SKX has smaller dimension numbers. It has the same basic shape and a 4 o’clock crown. One thing you’ll get in the Triton compared to the SKX007 is 100% alignment of the chapter ring. The world is still mystified by Seiko’s misalignment issues.
Another thing you get is an upgraded crystal – from Seiko scratchy Hardlex to Orient’s AR-coated scratch-resistant Sapphire. I will say I much prefer the stock SKX007 bracelet, though many people love to hate it. (They just want an excuse to blow another $60 on a Strapcode of course, which are about the same quality).
The SKX007 and SKX009 used to be the best-value dive watches, but that era is gone. Now, the Triton dominates that title by a long shot.
Orient Triton vs Seiko Turtle
I love turtles, and the Seiko Turtle is no exception. It comes in so many colors, I can hardly keep track. But the cushion case is starting to show it’s age. It does have the better 4R36 movement than the SKX007, giving it an accuracy of +45/-35 sec per day. This is still pretty bad compared to the Triton. It does have hacking and hand-winding, which is nice.
The Turtle also suffers from the same inferior crystal problem. I find that the Turtle bracelet is one of the most comfortable stock bracelets, and it runs circles around the Triton one.
The Turtle is a few millimeters thicker and wider than the Triton, so the latter wears much smaller. For about the same price, I would go with the Triton.
Orient Triton vs Seiko Samurai
The Seiko Samurai is probably as close in dimension to the Triton as you’ll find in Seiko’s under-$500 diver range. It has pretty much the exact same dimensions, albeit being a bit shorter lug-to-lug. I find that the Samurai wears flatter on the wrist despite having the same height, but the case shape gives it a much wider appearance.
The Samurai has a fan-favorite angular case shape. Once upon a time it was a great value diver, but these days I find that the quality of the case finishing is lacking. The Triton is clearly made of a much higher finish and build quality; it feels much toolier and sturdier.
The Samurai bears the 4R35 movement, which is the same as the Turtle one but without the day window (just the date); we’ve already seen that the Triton has a superior movement as well as a power reserve indicator.
The Samurai is roughly in the same price range as the Triton, though you can usually find it for about $50 less.
Wearability of the Orient Triton
For Daily wear
Can you wear the Orient Triton as an everyday watch? I think it checks a lot of boxes, but you’ll probably want something more versatile in your collection as well. It pairs well with a lot of straps, which is an important aspect of a daily beater, but it’s a little too large to be comfortable enough to fall asleep in.
Furthermore, it may be difficult to pair it with as many things in your wardrobe compared to something like a Hamilton Khaki Field. But who am I kidding? For the same price the Khaki looks and feels like a kid’s watch.
Still, it’s comfortable to wear all day, but is less versatile with your wardrobe than some of the classic Seiko divers from above.
With a suit
Can you wear the Triton with a suit? I once wore the Orient Saturation Diver on a thick NATO to an interview with a suit… I didn’t get the job. This watch is probably also a bit too thick for cuffs.
If you’re going full formal suit and tie, it won’t work under the tight-fitting cuffs. But for semi-formal, you can definitely get away with it.
On a small wrist
The Orient Triton is by no means a small watch. However, it’s not that large either. You can comfortably wear it if you have 6.5 inch wrists or greater, which are generally considered “small wrists.” I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone with smaller wrists, although some people just don’t care.
Orient Triton / Orient Neptune Conclusion
Is this the Seiko Diver killer? Once upon a time, Seiko was the undisputed best value in watchmaking. This was compared to Swiss watches, which offered way less value for the price, and required much more frequent and expensive servicing intervals.
However, Seiko’s prodigal son Orient finally outshines the father: first with the Orient Mako II, and now with the Orient Triton. Still, I know I beat Seikos to hell and back in this article, but I love them to death. There’s really not a lot of watches besides the Triton that can put them to shame, which is why I praise them everywhere else I go.
The Orient Triton offers immense value for the money: a modern hacking and hand-winding movement that’s also very accurate; a sapphire crystal; a very solid and crisp bezel; a signed crown and engraved caseback; a power reserve indicator; a beautiful and modern design that stays true to Seiko and Rolex heritage; and a solid sturdy high-quality case.
Compared to everything you get, the two complaints about it are very frivolous – the jangly bracelet and springy crown. I would get rid of this bracelet for sure, and learn how to operate an Orient crown if you’re annoyed. Just be patient and check how the threads catch properly. And don’t forget to enjoy the fact that when you wind it, it visibly increases the power reserve meter.
The Triton sets a new bar for minimum-acceptable specs and features in a dive watch for the new decade. If I were to tell you that you could have all that for under $500 a few years ago, you would have laughed. Today, the Orient Triton delivers the promised land in this 200m Air Diver.