Your search for an affordable diver watch inevitably led you to consider the Orient Mako II as the next addition to your collection. This timepiece is a really good option, but you might need help choosing which version is the right one for you.
This article will help you decide if you should buy the Orient Mako II and guide you through the different versions.
The Mako II
We will look at the specs of the normal Mako II first, before comparing it to the most recent Mako USA II model.
Since the early 2000's the Mako has been Orient's best-selling watch line, and there is a reason for that. It is very affordable, and offers everything a casual diver needs.
With its 41.5mm case diameter, it is medium-sized, and will fit most men. The 13mm thickness is considered bulky, but you will certainly enjoy the feel of this watch on your wrist. The sizing is comparable to the Seiko SKX or the Ray II, Orient's best-selling dive watch.
Every Mako 2 model is equipped with a brushed stainless steel bracelet, which also adds to the weight of the timepiece, but not in a bad way. As should any proper diving watch, the Mako II offers a 200m water resistance, thanks to its screw down crown.
The Mako II's beautiful screw-down crown
The crystal on the Orient Mako 2 is a simple mineral glass. You might think this is disappointing, but every watch in this price range needs to make concessions. The mineral glass will stand most scratches, but it might pick up some if you wear it for years.
The F6922 automatic caliber is probably the best selling point of this Orient timepiece. This particular movement offers the best of both world for watch enthusiasts; a quality automatic movement that can also be hand-wound. This is a very rare combination for watches in this price range.
The F6922 caliber is an in-house movement manufactured by Orient directly in japan. You probably know the japanese make very high quality movement, and have perfected the craft for hundreds of years.
The 22 jewels movement beats at 21 600 bph, and its power reserve is good for approximately 40 hours. You can wind it either through your body's natural motions, or you can hand-wind it if it hasn't run in the last 40 hours. Its accuracy will range between -15 seconds to +25 seconds per day.
The F6922 caliber succeeds to the famous 46943 movement, which has been used by Orient for 40+ years. This same caliber is used across Orient's collection, including the Bambino, Ray II, Symphony III etc..
The unidirectional bezel on the Mako II will rotate for 120 clicks. It is also made of stainless steel, and features a nice dented pattern all around. As most diving bezel, it will measure your dive time up to 60 minutes. The last 10 minutes have a mark for every minute.
The color of the bezel matches the dial's color.
The dial of the Orient Mako 2 is simple but elegant. The outer ring have a mark for every minute. The 5 minute mark is a plain grey bullet-shaped imprint. At 3 o'clock, there is a day-date display that can show the day in red or black.
The 9, 6 and 12 marks are very clear, large arabic numerals. The 200m water resistance is exhibited in a beautiful hand-written font. The Orient logo is also displayed, in the same grey tone as the rest.
The hands are plain but nice to the sight, the red second hands tip adds a bit to the visual appeal of the timepiece.
There are 3 different versions of the Mako II currently available in the United States.
The 1B9 is the watch that was displayed in the pictures above. It has a black on black dial and bezel set-up. It is the most understated of the three, but it gives off a really elegant vibe. It is the most affordable model of the range, at about 130$ after discounts.
The 2D9 adds a bit more color to the Mako recipe. This time, the dial is deep blue, with the bezel using an even darker blue. It does a really good job at being colorful without losing its class. I recommend this model for collectors that already have to much black or white pieces in their collection. It is the most expensive of the three, at around 135$ after discounts.
The 9D9 is a model that pays great homage to watchmaking traditions. It uses a deep blue dial, like the 2D9, but this time, the blue has more of a matte finish, instead of a glossy one. The real showstopper is the Pepsi bezel. Over the years, the Pepsi layout became a real classic, particularly for diver watches. This model is my favorite of the three.
The Mako USA II
The Mako USA II builds upon the Mako II platform to make it even better. The USA models keep the same physical aspect of the previously reviewed model ; 41.5mm case diameter, 13mm thickness.
The real differences are not easily noticable by the naked eye. First of all, the USA model switches the mineral glass for a more sophisticated sapphire crystal. This is good news for collectors that plan on using this watch in harsh conditions, and want to keep it clean for years to come.
Another improvement that you can't see in all situations is the improved lume. This model offers a luminous phosphorescent coating of higher quality, which means it will glow brighter, for a long duration. This comes in handy during long, deep dives.
The last, but not least, difference is the presence of solid end links on the USA bracelets. The bracelet is kind of the weak point on the normal Mako II. This is to be expected from a 130$ watch, but some people are still disappointed in the quality of the bracelet.
The USA answers this problem by using solid end links on the bracelet, which will be more durable and produce less rattle.
Mako USA II Variations
Like the normal Mako II range, there is three models to choose from in the USA line. The AB9 is the black version of the USA. You can see the small distinctions, such as the larger minute marks, that gives a better readability in conjunction with the improved lume. These models also lose the arabic numerals.
Apart from this, there are very few modifications from the original model. The Pepsi design is left out in the USA range, leaving the place for a white dial paired to a black bezel. This range is understandably more expensive at around 240$ after discounts.
The Orient Mako II is for you if:
- You like the heritage of watchmaking
- You don't mind if your watch is off by a few minutes
- You plan on diving with your watch
- Your wrist is 6 inches and up
You should avoid the Orient Mako II if:
- You need a very precise timepiece
- You don't like hand-winding your watch
- You like large watches
Go for the USA model if:
- You need brighter lume
- You scratch your watches a lot
- You need a robust bracelet
- You have a bigger budget
If you're interested in other variations of the Orient Mako (I, II, III, USA, etc..), head over to this article.
All images for this article came from orientwatchusa.com