Orient Ray Raven – $276.50 with code winter2012 ($395)
The code also gets you the Orient “freebie” package, which includes a quartz watch of Orient’s choosing, a lanyard, and their catalog. Meanwhile, instructions on how to enter to win are at the bottom of this post.
At 41mm and wearing a bit smaller, Orient’s Ray and Mako buck the trend of bigger is better. Dive watches used to lean closer to the high 40mm than 45 (i.e., the Rolex Submariner) and Orient’s fraternal twin 200m dive watches stick to that tradition. But maybe it’s the black ion plating that adds some sort of slimming effect, because the Ray Raven looks even smaller, and honestly less eye catching out of the box, than it does in the pics on Orient’s website.
It’s certainly a good looking piece, but not as dominating as you’d expect. Most black IP divers can be awfully imposing. This one hangs back a bit visually when seen in person.
Right in-between a Timex Weekender and the 44.5 mm Orient Explorer, it’s a welcome midsize leaning smaller diameter for guys under 6 foot and on the slim side (or, those who just prefer more traditionally sized watches). It has a nice weight to it, the expected feel of a well built watch, and the bezel and crowns all operate crisply. The day and date windows have had their color schemes inverted, so the text shows white on a black background to match the dial. Thanks to luminous, off white hands and indices, it’s plenty easy to read and keeps it well away from the true black-out watch realm.
Both crowns screw down with the one at two-o’clock acting as a pusher which adjusts the day of the week. There’s no exhibition case back on these, the crystal is mineral, and once again the water resistance is a diver-worthy 200m.
At retail, the ion plated Raven is a full one hundred dollars more expensive than the standard stainless steel. That’s a big jump, and it’s sure to drive plenty of potential buyers back into the arms of the standard stainless steel Ray, Mako, or maybe even something slightly larger.
Enter here to win the Ray Raven from Orient. One entry per person. Deadline is 11:59 pm ET on 2/21/13.
UPDATE: Congrats to Josh G. who won the random drawing for the Ray Raven. Thanks to all who entered!