Review of Orient King Master World Time

P3090139.jpg
Model # WZ0371EM
At a Glance:
Brand/Model:  Orient King Master World Time (modern re-issue)
Movement:  Japanese automatic
Material:  Stainless steel case and bracelet
Complications:  Day and date display
Price:  Street price $250 USD (used)
Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.
Orient Japan produces a number of watches that bear the ‘King Master’ moniker.  I’m not an expert on the genesis of the King Master series, but I do know that some of the original models appeared in the ‘60s, I believe.  This particular King Master World Time is a modern re-issue of one of those originals and came out a few years ago.  As a ‘JDM’ model (Japanese Domestic Market), these aren’t seen too often for sale stateside, so when this one came along, I snatched it up.
First off, this is a large, impressively weighted and beautiful watch.  Even though it is not an Orient ‘Star’ model, the build quality on this puppy is a definite step above other three-star Orients I have owned.  The case is fully polished stainless steel, measuring 42.2mm without the crowns.  Thickness is 14.5mm, lugs are 22mm.  The screwdown caseback is polished stainless steel and shows the Orient ‘Marlin’ logo.  The watch is factory rated at 10 BAR of water resistance.
The crystal is a thick, heavy domed mineral with a large and effective cyclops over the date display @ 3.  There is also a day window on the opposite side of the dial @ 9, but not a cyclops for this window.  It would look rather strange having dual cyclops on a watch face, but to me it seems a bit odd to have just one.  I guess Orient thinks knowing the date is more important than knowing the day, so why not just leave the day out of the equation or eliminate the cyclops altogether?
The bezel is a coin-edge style, a nod to the original King Master design and something which adds a bit of retro-inspired cool to this watch.  The dial is black (almost a matte charcoal grey, really) and in a word, busy.  I usually eschew busy dials because too much clutter detracts from simple timekeeping, but in this case, I make an exception.  This dial is busy, but in a very cool way.
The outer 24-hour bezel rotates via the signed crown @ 4 and has scalloped silver pointers to help center the bezel on the selected city.  Action of this crown is super smooth and it rotates in both directions.  The 24-hour bezel is used to track the time in any of the 23 cities, plus summer time and GMT that encircle the dial adjacent to the 24-hour track.  Simply rotate the dial to the current location’s time (if it’s 10 a.m. in Chicago, rotate the dial until the ‘10’ is aligned with ‘Chicago’) and then tell the time in any of the cities using the 24-hour bezel.  The thin white line visible at the nine minute mark corresponds to the International Date Line.
As with all world timers (except maybe the digital ones like Citizen) the cities are quite hard to see without readers, but I’ve always liked the international flair of city names on a watch face.
The hands are fairly wide and filled with Lumibrite, so the lume is good.  A reddish-orange second hand sweeps the dial.  There are also lume dots at each five minute mark just inside the cities track.  The main timesetting crown is signed and is also used to quickset the date.  In typical Orient fashion, the pusher @ 2 changes the day display.   Since this is a JDM model, this is the first watch I have owned with an English/Kanji day display, which is über cool.
The movement is Orient’s in-house 21-jewel automatic that does not hack or manual wind.  Factory specs are +25 to -15 seconds per day, with a power reserve of 40 hours.  In my testing, these specs have been met.  Timekeeping on the watch is very acceptable.
The bracelet is a fully brushed solid link oyster style with polished edges.  Solid end links and a signed pushbutton clasp with cheapish stamped steel deployant complete the presentation.  The bracelet measures 22mm at the lugs and tapers to about 17.8mm at the clasp.  Adjustment is by standard split pins.  The clasp has only two micro-adjustments, so exact (and comfortable) sizing may be difficult for some.
I cannot understand why Orient would not choose to install a machined deployant on this watch, given that the remainder of the bracelet is of high-quality.  They put an awesome machined deployant on their Dolphin, a watch that sells for about half of what this one goes for.  Some things just don’t make sense to me.
The King Master World Time is a pleasure to wear and looks great on the wrist.  The 24-hour bezel is easy to rotate while wearing and the bezel stays in place despite the lack of a screwdown lock mechanism like the Seiko Land Monster features for its rotating compass bezel.
This watch was purchased in nearly ‘as new’ condition on the used market and came without papers or box, so I cannot comment on these items.  I got a copy of the instructions on the Orient Japan web site, really only needing the section on how to use the world time function.
Overall, this Orient King Master World Time is a jewel of a watch with great build quality, nifty world time keeping ability and Orient reliability.   For the world traveler or stateside land lubber, this watch fills a niche and does so with style and function.
Pros:  useful world time keeping function, great build quality, Orient automatic movement, Kanji day display
Cons:  cheap stamped steel deployant, sapphire crystal would be nice, somewhat odd single cyclops for date only, small print on dial hard to read, dial may be too busy for some
Verdict:  you gotta love the King Master name and the way this watch looks, for its world time functions and overall JDM style, an Orient through and through!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.
Excelsior!
-Marc

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