If you're starting a watch collection, someone will undoubtedly recommend the Orient Mako at one point or another. A lot of people tend to get a Mako as their first dive watch because it's incredibly affordable and it packs a lot of punch for the money.
Indeed, a Mako gets you 200m of water resistance, a great mechanical movement, gorgeous styling, etc.. The problem is, the Orient Mako lineup might be a bit confusing to the untrained collector.
With three generations of Mako + XL and USA editions, it's quite easy to get lost in the lineup. The objective of this article is to answer common Orient Mako related questions to help you make a better choice for your next diver purchase.
What's the difference between the Orient Mako I and Mako II?
Here's the biggest difference between the Orient Mako I and Mako II: the former has a crown for time-setting and a pusher button for the day change. Conversely, the Mako 2 only uses one crown and has a hacking and hand-winding movement (two lacking features of the Mako 1).
There are also a few technical differences. For instance, the Mako II's sub bezel has a nicer gripping feel, and it uses a 120-click mechanism instead of 60-click like the Mako 1.
Also, numerals and indices are slightly thinner on the Mako II. Additionally, the dial's color is a bit more matte than the first edition.
Apart from what's stated above, everything is pretty much the same: they both have a 41.5mm case, flat mineral crystal, 200m water resistance, lume, etc..
Does the Orient Mako III exist?
A lot of people seem to think that the Orient Mako III isn't a real watch. The main reason is that orientwatchusa.com doesn't mention the Mako III anywhere. Actually, orientwatchusa.com is not the official Orient website, so it's not the best source of information.
If you head over to Orient's official website, you will see that the Mako III exists indeed, but it is called the "RA-AA0008B". This is partly why so many people are confused about the existence of the Mako III: it's not clearly called as such on Orient's website.
For unknown reasons, the real Orient Mako III seems to be very rare in the U.S. From my experience, the only reputable retailer that sells it is Jomashop.com.
What's the difference between the Orient Mako III and Kamasu?
The Orient Mako III is a bit larger than the Kamasu (43.6mm vs 41.8mm case). Also, the Mako III has a coin-edge bezel whereas the Kamasu has a Sub bezel.
The Kamasu gets an arrow hours hand while the Mako 3 has a sword hours hand. Another major difference between the two is the crystal: sapphire for Kamasu and mineral for Mako III. This is the main reason why the Kamasu is more expensive than the Mako.
The rest of the specs are pretty similar: 200m water resistance, F6922 movement, 120-click bezel, etc..
What's the difference between the Orient Mako II and Mako III?
Whereas the Mako I and Mako II varied greatly components wise, the Mako II and Mako III are mostly separated by size and styling. The most noticeable change is the case size, which is increased from 41.5mm on the Mako 2 to 43.6mm on the Mako 3.
A major change on the Mako III is the bezel, which has been completely revamped. You now get a coin-edge bezel (instead of sub-edge) without individual minute marks. Also, the font and finish of the bezel are noticeably different.
The dial also underwent a huge makeover. There are no more numerals, which I think is a bummer because it was a great distinguishing feature. The hands are also a bit different (no more red-tipped seconds hand), andthe day-date display is now unframed.
Finally, the "Water Resist 200m" script of the Mako II is replaced for a "Water Resist 20 Bar" script. Apart from that, the core of the watch is the same: F6922 hand-wound caliber, mineral crystal, etc..
What's the difference between the Mako II and Mako USA II?
Even though the Orient Mako II and Mako USA II look very similar, the latter costs a lot more than the former. If you don't look into it, it can be quite hard to understand why the USA would cost so much more than the regular Mako II.
Here are the two reasons why the Mako USA II is worth more than the Mako II:
1-The Mako USA II is equipped with a sapphire crystal, which is much more scratch-resistant and expensive than the Mako II's mineral crystal.
2- The Mako USA II has a higher quality bracelet with improvements such as solid end links (compared to the Mako II's hollow end-links).
The other differences between the two models are only aesthetic. The easiest to notice is the hours hand (sword vs arrow) and the indices (numerals vs rectangles only). Also, the Mako USA II is offered in a panda (black bezel, white dial) layout, which is not available for the normal Mako II.
What about the Orient Mako XL?
As if the Mako collection wasn't hard enough to follow, Orient decided to release a Mako XL between the first and second generations. As the name implies, this model is an upsized Mako 1 that's 3mm wider (44.5mm) and 0.3mm thicker (13.3mm).
This means that the Mako XL gets the old Cal. 4943 automatic movement that's non-hacking, non-winding, and requires a 2 o'clock pusher button for day changes.
What's confusing is that Orient says that the Mako XL is a response to the community's request for a larger Mako watch. I don't think Orient fulfilled their mandate, as they completely changed the styling of the watch (no more numerals, unframed day-date display, arrow hands, etc.).
I think what the community was looking for was the exact Mako 1 model with larger specs, and the XL just isn't that. While we're at it, I think that Orient is also long overdue for a smaller 38-39mm Mako model to compete with the SKX013.
Is the Mako Orient's best-selling dive watch?
It's hard to know exactly how many watches are sold every year for a certain model. Watchmakers are usually pretty secretive about this kind of information as it would be an open invitation to copy the highest-selling model.
A good way to estimate this information is by looking at the number of reviews a product has.
These are the first three watches that come up on Amazon when you type "Orient dive watch". As you can see, the first watch to appear is the Orient Ray II. From the number of reviews, we can extrapolate that the Orient Ray II sells almost 40% more units than the Mako II, making it the most popular Orient Dive watch.
Of course, this is not a surefire way to estimate sales numbers, so we need more sources to make our sample bigger.
Our second example is Orientwatchusa.com, where the Orient Mako II averages 2,67 reviews and the Ray II averages 3,67 reviews. This is a 37,45% difference, adding more proof that the Ray II sells about 40% more than the Mako II.
The final example is Jomashop, where the Orient Mako II has 35 reviews (11,67 avg), whereas the Ray II has 51 reviews (17 avg). This time, the Ray II gets 45.67% more reviews, confirming our theory that it sells about 40% more than the Mako II.
In my opinion, the Orient Mako (in any of its forms) should be a part of every watch collections as it is super cheap for the quality components it offers.
I hope I answered most of your questions about the Orient Mako in this article. If not, please leave a comment below so I can keep adding on to the list.