Orient Monterey – $213.50 with code winter2012 ($305)
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.
Some of us are suckers for chronographs. And if you’re not comfortable (or able) to walk around with something that costs more than $500 on your wrist, then you’re going to be going with a quartz chrono. Automatic/mechanical chronograph watches are quite the micro-engineering miracle, and their cost reflects that.
Ever since Citizen killed off the silver dial version of their AT055 chronographs (seen over here), finding a light dialed, suit-worthy chrono for around $200 has been a chore. Citizen eventually came out with the CA033 series, but the Monterey from Orient is just cleaner looking.
Surprisingly lightweight and decently svelte this is going to appeal to the guys who prefer to not be weighed down at the wrist. It’s not quite razor think like a Skagen, but it won’t be fighting against most shirt cuffs all day either. The styling is dead on for someone who likes chronographs, but also wants to wear one in more dressed up situations. The dial is busy with a tachymeter and all the markings, but there’s no high contrast or overly sporty look to this thing. The well-balanced onion style crown and rounded off rectangular pushers show that Orient’s designers paid due attention to those small details
The crystal is mineral instead of sapphire, and it would have been nice to have seen the water resistance hit 100m instead of the lower than you’d expect 50m. Diameter is 42mm but it seems to wear a little larger. Along with the silver seen here, it’s also available with a cream colored dial.
Does it try and get pretty far on it’s looks? Sure. But most quartz watches do, and this one melds a dress watch with a chronograph extremely well. And while lightweight, it feels well built as you cycle through setting the time, the date, and using the 12-hour chrono. It’s a pretty face for sure, but saying it’s nothing more than that is unfair.
Besides… it’s always good to have a dependable quartz on hand to set your automatics by, right?
Enter here to win the Monterey Chrono from Orient. One entry per person. Deadline is 11:59 pm ET on 1/10/13.
UPDATE: Congrats to Jin P. who won the drawing for the Monterey. Thanks as always to Orient!