Orient Defender – $175 with code SUMMER2012 ($250)
The code also gets you the Orient “freebie” package, which includes a quartz watch of Orient’s choosing, a 2012 desktop calendar, a lanyard, and their catalog. Instructions on how to win the Defender are at the bottom of this post.
This one might take a little time to grow on you. If you’ve ever handled Orient’s Aviator or Sparta, you might expect some noticeable, substantial feeling weight to the Defender. They’re all in that rugged/field looking category, and the Aviator and Sparta carry a middle linebacker type of heft to them. The Defender is more like a free safety. Not a featherweight, but that lack of bulk and matte stainless case might make you wonder if it’s titanium once you pick it out of the box.
But plenty of guys don’t like wearing something with noticeable mass on their wrist either.
The face is different. There’s one 24-hour subdial and a larger day indicator dial. The date is shown at 6 o’clock, with Orient’s terrific logo at eight. The somewhat reflective hour markers look a little futuristic with their white outer ends, which conflicts with the overall classic military inspiration to the rest of the piece.
No exhibition case-back on this one, but the automatic movement’s oscillating weight feels like it swings nice and easy in the guts of the watch. The screw down crown at 4 o’clock is a nice touch, and water resistance is a respectable 100m. Not sure where Orient got the leather for the band, but they should keep sourcing from that place. It’s the softest, most flexible band I’ve ever felt on an Orient (and it’s not like they stick plasticky cheap-o bands on their watches either.) Case is a decent sized 42mm that won’t overpower an average sized wrist.
It’s a nice watch for sure. But with no rotating bezel and a face that’s got a few quirks, most might want to think long and hard about spending $28 more for the Aviator or a $7 less for the Sparta.
Here’s how to win the Defender seen here: Send your first and last name in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Orient Defender. One entry per person. Deadline for entry is 11:59 pm ET on 9/5/12.
UPDATE: Congrats to Ryan C. who won the random drawing for the Orient Defender!