Orient Triton: A Review of the Diver that Rules the Sea

Jun 25, 2020
Orient Triton: A Review of the Diver that Rules the Sea

If you’re into Greek mythology, then chances are you’ve heard about the trident-wielding god of the sea called Triton. According to the Greek, he is the ruler of the depths of the sea. Which is a good reason to name a dive watch after him. Take the case of the fairly new Orient Triton.

However, the question is this: does the Orient Triton live up to its name? How exactly does it fare against the waves of the ocean? Let’s find out by diving into this detailed review of this dive watch.

Diving Runs in the Blood

Orient has always been known for its affordable dive watches. In fact, a lot of watch enthusiasts would recommend that you start off with some of their models. Especially if you’re into dive watches. For instance, both the Mako and the Ray have earned the status of cult favourites in the world of horology.

Further strengthening its reputation, the Japanese brand released another dive watch. Truly, it matches or even surpasses the diving capabilities of the previous divers. So in 2018, people were crazy over the Orient Triton as soon as it was released.

Triton Greek God
Photo from 01 Greek Mythology

What’s in a Name?

When it first came out, the Orient Triton wasn’t really called after the Greek god of the sea. In fact, it was only introduced using its model numbers which are the RA-EL0002L (the blue model), RA-EL0001B (the black model), and the RA-EL0003B (the black and gold two-tone model). However, these numbers were too much of a mouthful so fans started calling it the Orient Triton. I have to say, its moniker suits it perfectly. The name is so genius I wonder why Orient didn’t think of it beforehand.

By the end of 2019, the dive watch became more and more popular. In addition, Orient even changed the name of the watch to Neptune, another Olympian of the sea. Retailers started changing the names on their catalogues and even Orient calls it Neptune on their website.

However, it was too late as the fans are already used to its nickname. Up to now, most people still call it the Orient Triton instead of Neptune. Besides, its new name causes a lot of confusion since Orient released a different Brazil-exclusive dive watch called Neptuno. So for the rest of this article, we’ll call it the Triton to avoid confusion.

Orient Triton Up Close

First things first. Let’s take a quick overview of the Orient Triton’s specifications below.

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 40 hours
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Diameter: 43.4mm
  • Thickness: 13.6mm

1. Case

One of the most important things in a dive watch is its case. Indeed, a lot of a watch’s resistance to water comes from this. With that said, I am happy to say that the protection that the Orient Triton gets is top-notch with its fully stainless steel material.

Judging by the numbers above, the Triton looks large. But don’t dismiss it so easily because it actually feels like it’s only 40mm when worn on the wrist. Orient achieved this with the help of the crown’s placement and the case’s shape. With that said, the watch will look best worn on wrists that are 6.5in or larger.

Meanwhile, the lug width comes in at 22mm, which is a very common size. This means that it would be easier for you to change straps as a lot of them come in the same size. To add, it also comes with drilled lugs so it would be more convenient for you to change the straps.

In terms of weight, the watch is considered to be on the heavier side which is 210g (7.4 oz). However, if you would analyse it, most of the weight comes from the steel bracelet. So if its extra heft bothers you so much, it can be easily remedied with a quick strap change. We recommend a NATO bracelet or a rubber one. On the other hand, there are other people who might love the weight as it is a sign of robustness and durability.

Orient Triton Dial

2. Dial

Aside from the colour schemes, there really is no difference between the different models. Indeed, they share the same eye-catching elements on the dial. At first look, the dial might look unusual at first, even for a tool watch. However, its beauty starts to shine after looking at it for some time.

Firstly, there is a power reserve indicator from the 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock positions. We’ll talk more about this feature in a different section later. And right below it is the date window that is positioned uniquely beside the 4 o’clock marker. In truth, very few watch brands have the courage to pull it off but alas, Orient executes it nicely on the Triton.

  • Crystal

A sapphire glass protects the whole dial of the Orient Triton. In fact, it is a standard feature in the brand’s lineup of watches. Evidently, this material is one of the most durable and most scratch-resistant glasses on earth.

Apart from that, it also has an anti-reflective coating. What that means is that the user will have a clear view of the dial. And as the name suggests, it limits the reflection to a very low level.

  • Hour markers

Meanwhile, Orient decided to play it safe with the hour markers. All except the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock come in the classic circular style. In fact, it is reminiscent of vintage dive watches like the Rolex Submariner or the Oris Divers 65.

To make the watch stand out, the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock come in tapered bars. On the other hand, the 12 o’clock marker comes in a trapezoid shape instead of the usual triangle. These details may be subtle, maybe even unnoticeable at first glance, but it’s a small way of setting the watch apart from the rest.

  • Hands

Another thing that makes the Orient Triton unique is its set of hands. Indeed, the Japanese brand scrutinised every detail of the dial to make sure it has enough originality to it.

With that said, both the minute and hour hands have a broad, brushed base. Almost the entire minute hand sports lume. But on the minute hand, only the tip has it.

In conclusion, the size of both hands is ideal in terms of legibility. Paired with the lume, you’re sure to easily read the time even when you find yourself underwater.

  • Power Reserve Indicator

As mentioned above, the Orient Triton features a very useful complication — the power reserve indicator. While a lot of people would criticise this complication as just clutter on the dial, there’s no denying that it is very convenient and useful.

Basically, a power reserve indicator is a gauge that tells how much power is left in the movement. Say, for example, you’re about to leave your watch unworn for a few days. This can serve as a reminder for you to manually wind the watch so you can avoid adjusting the time when it runs out of power. And being functional is definitely one of Orient’s top priorities. Indeed, the power reserve indicator is also covered with lume. This allows the wearer to see how much power is remaining even in the dark.

Let’s get to another reason why a power reserve indicator on the Orient Triton is astonishing. A lot of watch brands only offer this feature in their high-end models. Case in point: the Nomos Metro with the power reserve indicator costs a few hundred dollars more than the Metro model without. Yet Orient here is offering a sub-$500 dive watch with it. It just goes to show how much value you’re getting for your money.

3. Movement

Orient strictly uses in-house movements so you can only expect the best. With that said, beneath its unique dial is a renowned workhorse. It is called the Orient Calibre 40N5A which is also the movement that powers the Orient Saturation Diver and other watches in the $1000 range.

When it comes to numbers, this automatic calibre is composed of 22 jewels and ticks at a frequency of 21,600bph. Additionally, it can power the watch up to 40 hours when it is fully wound.

For those who think that every second matters, you’ll be glad to hear about its accuracy. It is reported to have a rating of +25/-15 seconds per day. Meanwhile, some reports even suggest that it can reach a rating of +1 second per day which is very satisfactory.

But that’s not all. You would also be delighted to hear about its features. Firstly, it has a hacking feature so you can synchronise the time up to the last second. Lastly, it can be hand-wound for recharging your watch’s power reserve. Honestly, these features add a lot of convenience yet are often overlooked by other watch brands.

Orient Triton bracelet
Photo courtesy of skyboss_4evr from watchuseek

4. Bracelet

The Orient Triton models all come with a stainless steel bracelet. It comes in the same finish as the case and measures at 22mm. As mentioned above, it is a great thing since that size is very common, making it a breeze to change it according to your mood.

A few of the stock bracelet’s advantages is that it has a diver’s extension. According to science, your watch will naturally expand in heat and shrink in the cold. With that said, the extension will allow you to easily adjust the fit of the bracelet even when diving. And finally, it uses a push-button deployment clasp for closing.

To conclude, while it is not the best bracelet out there, it certainly isn’t the worst. Anyway, it is not a permanent part of the watch. I suggest keeping the metal bracelet if you want the watch to look more tooly. Meanwhile, a rubber strap is more casual and is usually preferred during a dive.

Diving Capabilities

In modern times, a lot of watchmakers use the term “dive watch” loosely. Some would even use the title to refer to a watch that simply has a Submariner-style dial. But now, let’s see how this dive watch fares when submerged underwater and if it really deserves to be called a dive watch.

Water Resistance

The Orient Triton has a water-resistance rating of Air Diver’s 200m. What this means is that it is suitable for various water sports. According to Orient specifications, the watch is fitted for the following conditions:

  • Exposure to rainwater
  • Activities like car washing, swimming, handwashing
  • Scuba diving (with air tanks)
  • Skin diving (without air tanks)

With that said, the watch is a capable tool for recreational diving.

Certification

One of the first things that divers look for in a watch is the ISO certification. Unfortunately, the Orient Triton does not have it. Be that as it may, it meets the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) certification for a class 1 dive watch.

Basically, the JIS is the Japanese domestic certification body which makes it equivalent to an ISO certification. So, don’t let the lack of it discourage you from getting this amazing dive watch.

Unidirectional Bezel

Like other dive watches, the Orient Triton features a 120-click diving bezel. Of course, it is smooth enough to operate underwater and robust enough to avoid accidental rotations. Meanwhile, the markers for every 10th minute up to 50 come in big Arabic numerals. This makes it very easy to read the timer underwater (where you will mostly use the function). To add, the bezel is also made with aluminium. This gives the bezel a solid build while keeping its price low.

Given these points, the Orient Triton deserves the “Diver’s” text printed on its dial. Also, consider the fact that it is more affordable than the other dive watches that can do the same things.

Orient Triton Watch
Photo courtesy of Kempa from watchuseek

Pros and cons of the Orient Triton

Pros

1. Great value for money

As if this fact couldn’t get any more obvious, the Orient Triton offers great bang for your buck! Indeed, this timepiece has a good movement, more-than-enough diving capabilities, and features that you will see in higher-end watches. You’ll get all these features for around $500. Yes, you read that right. This watch will give you jam-packed value for every penny you spend.

2. Extremely reliable

One of the most important qualities of a dive watch is reliability. When underwater, it is extremely important to get every second right. That’s why it’s good news that the Orient Triton has a favourable accuracy rating.

Cons

1. The size

Even for a dive watch, the Orient Triton is big. Which is why I recommend this watch for those with a wrist size of 6.5 inches and above. However, it doesn’t hurt to personally try it on. If you’re into oversized watches, then you do you!

2. Sub-par bracelet

A lot of people would say that the bracelet is the Triton’s weakness. It does not feel as solidly-built as the bracelets from other dive watches. But the good news is that it is very easy to replace. Its 22mm bracelet size is common so you won’t have a hard time finding a replacement for it.

Who Should Get the Orient Triton?

As the saying goes, “you can’t please everyone”. This is especially true for watches that focus on a certain niche like divers. With that said, here are the groups of people that should put the Orient Triton on the top of their “to-watch” list.

1. Recreational divers

Orient makes exceptional dive watches. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a no-brainer that recreational divers should get the Orient Triton. It meets the standards of the JIS which means it is more than enough for your diving needs.

Apart from that, it features a few upgrades that dive watch fans have been praying for so long! And the good news is that those upgrades do not come with a very steep price hike.

2. Orient fans and dive watch collectors

Who says only divers can enjoy the Triton? With its relatively affordable price point, this watch can be enjoyed by any fan regardless of diving experience. It is also a great choice if you’re already a proud owner of the Orient Mako or Ray and you want an upgrade.

It may be true that it is not as popular as the other Orient models like the Mako and the Ray. However, there is no denying that the Triton is a great addition to any dive watch collection.

A list of Orient Triton Models

The Orient Triton consists of three different models. All of them have the same specifications and advantages that were mentioned above. However, they can be distinguished with their own colour schemes. Here are a few things to note about each variant.

Blue Orient Triton

1. Blue Triton: RA-EL0002L

Why is it good?

The Blue Triton or the RA-EL0002L is the most popular among the Orient Triton colourways. Its blue finish is just so nice to look at. In fact, the Japanese brand is known for creating stunning blue dials. Some reviewers even call it “the famous Orient Blue”.

If you want to experience the brand’s aesthetics in its entirety, this is it. Even from afar, watch enthusiasts will recognise its attractive hue. Nothing says “Orient Watch” as much as their blue dials. Apart from that, the colour blue is known for standing out while keeping a neutral design.

Black Orient Triton

2. Black Triton: RA-EL0001B

Why is it good?

The Black Orient Triton is as classic as classic can get. Its black-and-white colour scheme is perfect for those who want something more versatile. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s boring. In fact, it comes in a matte finish. Coupled with the crystal clear glass of the dial, it definitely shows off its richness and beauty.

Love the Orient blue dial but worried it won’t go with some of your outfits? Take the safe road and go for the classic black. It can be elegant and casual at the same time. This has been said before, but it must be said again. You can never go wrong with a black-dial watch.

Black-and-Gold Orient Triton

3. Black-and-Gold (Two-Tone) Triton: RA-EL0003B

Why is it good?

Are you a black watch type of person in need of something more flashy? If yes, then you’ll adore the Black-and-Gold Orient Triton. In fact, even if you’re not a fan of loud watches, there are a lot of things to love about this model.

Firstly, its matte black dial features a gilt. In fact, it draws inspiration from one of the brand’s high-end Saturation Divers. Apart from that, the gold accents are properly executed. You will appreciate it more when you look closer. As you can see, the hands, power reserve, and bezel have just the right amount of colour.

If you’ve been thinking of getting into two-tone watches, then this is a great entry point. It stands out without trying so hard.

Final Notes

All things considered, the Orient Triton (or officially the Orient Neptune) lives up to the names of not just one but two gods of the sea. Which warrants very big expectations from dive enthusiasts, if I may add.

It has a lot of features that high-end dive watches envy without the hefty price tag. Apart from that, its accuracy and precision are top-notch. Making it a very reliable timekeeper that you can wear every day.

Despite being in the world of horology for less than five years, the Triton has earned a lot of fans. It deserves all the credit and I’m pretty sure that this line will age well like fine wine.

 

We got more stories about dive watches. Check out our article on the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms while you’re here!

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