The end of the year means it’s time to hand out some awards. No, there’s no little statues to pass along, but over the next few days we’ll still highlight some of the best in affordable men’s style from this past year. And it was a good one. Feel free to send in additional nominations here.
How well executed is the style on these things? They’re so good looking that most of us were just fine with ignoring the less than spectacular specs. It’s a Japanese quartz in a 5om water resistant case with a mineral crystal. That’s all well and good, but those similar bits and pieces can be found assembled into watches that go for much less.
But the design. The font. Those hands. The slightly domed crystal and the shape of the chronograph pushers. It screams vintage without looking costume-y.
They’ve since changed their name to “Armogan” watches, but it’s still ridiculously difficult (impossible?) to find a U.S. retailer who carries them. That means you’ll have to pay 30 euros in shipping on top of the 170 euro price tag ($240ish). And what about returns? Or fees that come with an international purchases? It quickly adds up to (punches buttons on calculator) … too much.
THE AUTOMATIC/MECHANICAL: Orient Producer – $175 (w/ 30% off code*)
Not everyone likes rectangular dials. And not everyone likes skeleton/open-heart dials. But the Producer is a mighty fine symbol of what Orient keeps on doing: They keep on making new designs, many that have a foundation in the classics, and they provide those of us that like/want an automatic movement with watches at an affordable price point.
Also available in black on black, the Producer collection is grounded in the Art Deco style of the Roaring Twenties. The stunning detail on the dial isn’t something you’d expect on a sub $200 automatic. It’s Jay Gatsby looks on a Nick Carraway budget.
Is it too different for some? Sure. But Orient’s commitment to a formula that results in relatively simple, affordable, automatic watches, with one foot in the past thanks to classic designs, adds up to the Producer being a great sign of things to come.
*About Orient’s Codes: Try Dappered30 or Youtube30. Both should work, and offer you the choice of a free watch at checkout. Sometimes selection on the freebies can change depending on what code you use, so, use whatever gets you something that you think you’ll like. There’s lots of 30% off codes out there.