“That’s right! Orient Star’s flagship, the Skeleton, is 30 years old…”
Feel old yet? Yeah, me too.
In any case, I think we can all agree that certain things get better with age. Things like Orient Star’s Skeleton, for example. Falling under the brand’s ‘Classic Collection’, the new models stem from a lineup that turns 30 this year. Additionally, Orient Star itself is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2021! And the number ’70’ is also the power reserve figure for this watch’s all-new movement.
Pure coincidence? Who really knows…
“So, the big one then. The Skeleton’s all-new movement?”
The in-house 46-F8 series movements, specifically the Cal.F8B62 and Cal.F8B63 in this case, feature a silicon escape wheel in its construction. You can thank this tiny component here for the higher power reserve. Why two separate references for what is essentially the same movement, you might ask? Purely aesthetics, folks. Two new Skeleton models make their debut this year. The RE-AZ0001S features the F8B62 calibre (champagne dial with the gold-plated movement) while the RE-AZ0002S contains the F8B63 calibre (white dial with the silver-coloured movement).
The 22-jeweled hand-wound (!) calibre provides 70 hours of juice and features hacking capabilities along with an accuracy rating of +15/-5 secs per day. Beat rate is a decent 3 Hz while water resistance is a fairly commendable 50 m considering the type of watch this is. The calibre also features a power reserve indicator which is visible at the 12 o’clock mark.
Here’s a little bit of extra info regarding the silicon escape wheel. Orient or rather Orient’s parent company, Epson, utilized MEMS and semiconductor technology in the fabrication of the escape wheel. The result? Orient is able “to control the film thickness at the nanometer level to adjust its light reflection, resulting in an eye-catching blue.”
“Okay, new movement aside, how well might it wear?”
The newer Skeleton models have shrunk a tad as the stainless steel case now measures 38.8 mm across compared to the 39 mm of its predecessor. Thickness remains at 10.6 mm while lug width is 20 mm. Other upgrades over the older models include sapphire crystals on both the front and the back of the watch. The front features a dual-curved sapphire unit with “super AR” coating while the back gets a sapphire crystal in place of the older mineral glass unit.
As mentioned, there are two variants with a champagne and white dial version. The gold-plated movement gets paired to the former while the more subdued silver movement gets paired with the latter. Both versions come on a crocodile leather strap with a deployant buckle with push-button release. The gold dial is matched to a brown strap while the silver dial gets a black strap.