Orient watches live in a strange shadow of bigger brother Seiko. They usually offer better specs for the price, but the designs are often not as well thought out. There are, however some bright spots in the lineup, The Triton/Neptune being one of them.
With Seiko's retirement of the SKX, it could be argued that the Neptune, (aka Triton), with its very similar case shape and superior water resistance is a better replacement than the "5KX."
Orient also offers its lesser-known Orient Star Diver, which, on paper is very similar to the Neptune. MSRP for the Neptune is $710, but it's not hard to find Orient watches at significant discounts from reputable sellers. They typically sell new for under $500, and used for under $300.
The Orient Star diver typically sells new and used for about $200 more than the Triton. Is it $200 better? Let's find out!
A note about the photos. Both watches are photographed on either the Triton bracelet, or a StrapHabit Rubber Quick Release Strap (my normal choice when wearing these watches). In the bracelet section, you'll read a comparison of the bracelets to find out why.
From first glance, the OS has a more upscale and mature look than the Triton. Even from a distance, it is clear that this is a more expensive watch.
The OS has brushed edges and tops of the lugs, whereas the Triton has polished sides. The OS also has sharper edges compared to the Triton. It's still a bit coarse, and not what I would call end, but it is enough to make the OS feel more premium.
The sizes of both watches are within tenths of a mm.
Triton: 43.4mm diameter, 13.6mm thick, and 51mm lug to lug
OS: 43.6mm wide, 14mm thick and 51mm lug to lug
The offset crown of the triton and thicker lugs add some visual heft, but the bezel of the OS has a smaller surround, plus it has no crown guards. In the end, they have similar wrist presence.
The wearing comfort is slightly better on the OS due to the lug shape, but the difference is minimal. Both models feature drilled lugs.
The OS also features a cleaner motif on the caseback.
I much prefer the coin-edge bezel, and cleaner markings on the insert of the OS. The triangle lume pip is also more unique on the OS.
The click feeling on the OS bezel is sharper and more precise than the triton, leading again to a higher quality feel. Again though, the OS is not quite premium, as every other click has a slightly different sound and feel.
The clean theme continues with the crowns.
The Triton features a larger crown, with a black ring around the center, and chunky grips.
The OS crown is more subtle, with a small OS logo, and coin edges to match the bezel.
Both crowns screw down, providing 200m of water resistance.
In my opinion, the logo is reason enough to pay the extra for the OS. I'm not sure why "regular" Orient still uses this busy and old-fashioned logo, but I much prefer the stylized "OS" of the big brother.
The date window on the OS is also in a better location, and I prefer the matte surrounds on the hour markers compared to the polished ones on the Triton. The splash of yellow text also looks nice against the blue.
The OS dial also has a slightly nicer sunburst pattern, whereas the Triton is more matte. The dial also looks slightly bigger due to its lack of chapter ring.
The Lume on the OS is a slightly whiter green at night, but both offer such impressive brightness and duration of glow that I can't name a winner. Note that the power reserve hand is only lumed on the Triton.
Both watches have a unique handset. The Triton hands have black centers, and a mix of arrow and sword hands.
The OS hands are more modern looking, with rounded edges and hollowed out portions. All hands have a matte finish, but for some reason the seconds hand is a slightly lighter shade of silver. The overhang of the hands looks strange in stock photos of the watch, but they come together better in person.
Not much to report here, as both watches have a flat sapphire with AR coating that is slightly recessed below the dial. I did not notice any differences between models.
The bracelet on the Triton is nothing special, but appropriate for a watch in its price range. The finishing and quality of the clasp (with dive extension) is on par with a similarly-priced Seiko.
Unfortunately the OS bracelet is minimally upgraded. The differences are so small that they can only be noticed when placed side by side. In fact the endlinks seem to be identical, and both bracelets fit both watches.
The logo and finishing on the clasp is slightly nicer on the OS. They also have different part numbers. Otherwise they seem to be the same.
The movements in both watches feature 22 jewels, and beat at 21,600 vph and are rated for +25/-15 sec/day accuracy.
If you've already looked carefully at the dials, you will have noticed that the Orient Star's F6N47 movement receives an additional 10 hours of power reserve over the 40 hours provided by the the Triton's 40N5A .
At the end of the day, I only need one blue dial 43(ish) mm Orient diver with a power reserve indicator in my collection. I had the budget available for the more expensive OS, so the Triton was the one that ended up getting sold.
Even though the Triton is a great watch, I didn't find myself reaching for it when pulling a watch from my watch box. The differences are all subtle, but all of the small improvements combined make the Orient Star more enjoyable to wear, and helped it to stand out against the other watches in my collection. There were also a few times that I ended up grabbing it because the extra 10 hours of power reserve meant that it was still running, thus I wouldn't need to set the time.
If you don't have the budget to the Orient Star, the Triton is still a winner, and a worthy upgrade over a 5KX, or other Seikos in the price range. My recommendation though is to spend the extra OS if you can.
Which Orient diver would you pick, and why? Let us know in the comments.