Orient Polaris GMT Automatic – $341.25 w/ NWYR17 ($575)
December 2016 UPDATE: Heads up fellas. After a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng wait, the Polaris GMT Auto with the white dial and blue hands is back and stock. And getting a nice discount. The NWYR17 code is good for 35% off, including sale items, and runs through 1/6/17. Only exclusion is the Mako USA II.
Look, not to go full hyperbole here, but…
That’s it. That’s the design a lot of us were wanting. This watch, right here, is going to fall squarely into the “perfect” category for many. A couple of extra complications, but nothing garish. A useful power-reserve indicator. Those cobalt blue hands. The well executed, extremely subtle GMT hand. AND… it hacks and hand winds.
Their classic Bambino line has made Orient a ton of money. And for good reason. But if you can scrape together the extra cash, their new Polaris is absolutely worth it, and it has every right to become the new crown flagship of their line of dress watches.
Case diameter is an easy to wear 42mm, with a dial that has multiple textures to it. The outermost ring, where the indices and GMT ring are located is smooth. At the center there’s a diamond pattern of texture, and the power reserve indicator at noon has a subtly contrasting wave pattern to it. It’s not a cheap watch by any stretch. No, it is not. But that change from the diamonds to the waves makes it look like a much more expensive piece when you give it a look.
Most guys who wear automatic or mechanical watches appreciate having a power reserve indicator. It’s a gas gauge for your watch. Knowing just how much wind is left in the guts helps prevent constant re-setting of the time. And since it hand winds at the crown, instead of just having to move the watch around to get the oscillating automatic weight to move, you can keep that thing up to speed even easier
So why a GMT hand? Well, it looks nice. But, it’s also helpful if you travel a lot. It’s nice to know what time it is at “home” at a glance. If you don’t travel a lot, but have someone or something (say, a sports team you follow) you like in a far off land, you can more easily get an idea as to when to send a text, make a call, or turn the tv on to see the game.
Orient lists the dial color as “white,” but it’s not a stark white. Not quite eggshell either though. Crystal is sapphire and there’s an exhibition case back. Only drawback seems to be that the band is a bit long. On my average sized wrists, the point of the band shot out and into the open after I put it on my wrist. But, with some break in time, it’ll soften up and curve towards your wrist. And if it doesn’t, a band change isn’t the worst thing in the world. All the better if you’ve got thick wrists and need that extra distance.