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MarkR's Blog

Today's watch: Orient M-Force CEX04001H0 Red Beast

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.


It's a beast, a Red Beast! Specifically it's an Orient M-Force Red Beast CEX04001H0. This watch is something of an acquired taste, I think. Clearly I acquired it.

This model has been discontinued for some time -- I'm not sure how long exactly but several years. It was finally replaced in 2012 by the new Orient 'Beast', references SEL06001H (burgundy red dial), SEL06001D (blue dial), and SEL06001B (black dial). These new watches are quirkier still and I think I prefer the old Beasts. See pictures of the new models below for comparison.

2012 Orient Beast red dial SEL06001H 2012 Orient Beast blue dial SEL07001D 2012 Orient Beast black dial SEL06001B

The Beast (we're back to the discontinued one that is the subject of this blog now) has broad similarities with the Seiko Monster: It's a shrouded bezel, 200m, non-hacking, non-handwinding with mineral glass crystal, diver. In general, I'd say that build quality is on a par with the Monster, except in the area of the bracelet (more of which below).

The movement is a common Orient movement, the 46G41. It uses Orient's unusual push button method for setting the date. The crown is screw down but there's no screw down locking for the pusher. A nice feature of this movement is the power reserve indicator. Some people perceive these as useless or unnecessary but I find them rather handy, especially on a watch with no manual wind capability. I mentioned that the crown is screw down and it's a particularly good one in my opinion: Large, clear of clutter around it, engages the thread very easily, and has a decent depth of thread.

The dial and crystal are perhaps two of the more questionable aspects of this watch. The dial colour is not to everyone's taste to begin with (this watch is red but there were blue and yellow versions of this watch too, if I remember correctly). More than the colour is the fact that the dial is rather cramped and cluttered. It has the date and power reserve (complete with blue against red scale), large hour indices, lots of dial text, and an interesting dial texture in the centre. And then the crystal compounds the watch's sins (at least in some people's views) by having a cyclops! Well, if asked, I would admit that the dial and crystal together were a bit cluttered. The central dial texture is probably unnecessary for aesthetic purposes All I can say apart from that is that it nevertheless appeals to me. ;-)

The bezel is nice and clicky and yet not too hard to move, the bezel dot is spot on the 12, and it's very easy to grasp due to the large grip pattern and enlarged 1-15 minutes section. It has to be said that the shroud adds nothing in terms of functionality; it's really only aesthetically pleasing.

Another drawback of this watch, one that does irritate me a little, is that it's very top heavy. It has a heavy and quite wide case (about 44.4mm at the greatest diameter) but the display case back which of course rests on one's wrist narrows to 27.5mm at the glass (it has slightly raised, bevel edged glass). Together with the narrow bracelet (20mm lugs and 18mm bracelet width!), the entire watch can seem very raised up and prominent on the wrist. I've become used to it but it's definitely unusual.

Now the final feature of this watch which is less than ideal: The bracelet. In fact it's really only one aspect of the bracelet that is a problem and that is the end pieces. This entire watch, bracelet included apart from the end pieces, is actually rather well made. The bracelet has solid links and the clasp has machined (rather than only stamped) parts. And yet the end pieces let it all down by being hollow bent metal rather than solid. And worst of all, they rattle! I had to put tiny pieces of foam rubber inside my end pieces to stop them rattling. It never ceases to surprise me that Orient made this watch with hollow end pieces. Oh well.

All in all, despite the drawbacks, I like this watch. Its quirkiness appeals to me. I might be on the lookout in a short while for a blue or yellow model to add to the collection so, if you have one, please do let me know.

Now for some pictures. Connoisseaurs of my photography will note that these are technically somewhat better than many of my previous attempts. I've been experimenting further with lighting, extended exposure and tripods. I could still do with more, brighter, diffuse lighting but these are a step in the right direction I hope.














Specs:
  • Model: Orient M-Force CEX04001H0 Red Beast.
  • Genre: Diver's watch.
  • Movement: Orient 46G41, automatic, non-hacking, non-handwinding.
  • Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve.
  • Screw down crown at 3, date advance pusher at 2.
  • Lume: Hour indices, bezel pip, hour, minute and second hands. Lots.
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Front: Flat mineral glass with cyclops.
  • Caseback: Flat mineral glass display back.
  • Stainless steel case and display back surround.
  • Bracelet: Orient stainless steel bracelet, clasp with safety flap, solid links, inexplicably hollow end links.
  • Diameter (excluding crown): 44.4mm
  • Diameter (including crown): 47.7mm
  • Height: 15.8mm
  • Lug tip-to-lug tip length: 49.2mm
  • Lug width: 20mm
  • Strap/bracelet attachment: Spring bars.
  • Weight (on bracelet): 170g

Updated 18th November 2012 at 05:49 by markrlondon (Fixed typos)

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MarkR's Blog , Today's Watch

Comments

  1. markrlondon's Avatar
    And a closeup of the crown. Posted here since the main post had the maximum number of pictures.

  2. markrlondon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon
    And a closeup of the crown. Posted here since the main post had the maximum number of pictures.
    Yes, posting a pic of a rather plain crown is a bit odd but a) I liked the shape of the case and the crown and the pusher, and b) I was pleased with the closeup without glare (well, without much glare).

    Still need more light and a lighter, whiter background, though.

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