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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Orient Mako was my first automatic, chosen largely based on reviews and discussion found here. Being watch-curious, over time I also spread some dollars between the popular Seiko models: the 007 (actually in my case it’s an SKX175) and the Monster. The Seikos are great, but they don’t completely supplant the Mako in terms of functionality. The Mako will always have a place in my watch case.

The Mako is a chameleon – it works with casual wear or a suit, with a variety of bands, and always seems to look appropriate for the occasion. Some have given the watch poor marks for what they consider vague design direction: numerals on a diver, a mysterious day pusher, a somewhat understated bezel. I believe that because the Mako doesn’t chase down a particular design avenue with reckless abandon, it leaves open other possibilities. The polished numerals, hands, day/date window, and 5-minute markers add a formal finish to the watch, which is enhanced by the elegant, cursive font used for the “Automatic” and “Water Resist” written on the dial. The bezel doesn’t surround and protect the crystal like the Monster but rather slopes down away from it, making the bezel ring appear more streamlined, almost like an extension of the chapter ring instead of a chunky nautical countdown device. The font used on the bezel is small and similarly understated.

So it is that the Mako is usually called a “dress diver”, which can be interpreted as a watch that is tough enough to use as an underwater timekeeper for working types but elegant enough to wear for more formal occasions. I agree.


Orient Yellow Mako by Locuscope, on Flickr

But a watch’s versatility is not completely defined by the design within the boundaries of its case. The bracelet plays an equally important role in determining how a watch can be used. Kind of like how you don’t wear running shoes with a suit, neither do you accessorize your suit with a watch on a goofy, sparkly jelly band. So by extension, a watch’s versatility is determined in large part by how well it goes with a variety of bands or bracelets. Here’s where I have found the Mako to be the best watch in my case.

A steel bracelet is arguably a watch’s most versatile mount, so let’s take a closer look at the stock offerings for the 007, the Monster, and the Mako.

The 007 comes on a Jubilee bracelet. This bracelet is functionally fine and it looks good too, but there’s something… 1980’s about it. Not early Metallica or B.J. Baracus throwing bad guys into lakes 1980’s, but more like 4-cylinder Mustang and videos on Betamax 1980’s. It has hollow, jangly center links and hollow end links; no push-button release for the deployment but rather a stiff interference fit; the clasp itself is bare basic stamped steel.


Stock Seiko Jubilee link details by Locuscope, on Flickr


Stock Seiko Jubilee clasp details by Locuscope, on Flickr


Wrist side of stock Seiko Jubilee by Locuscope, on Flickr

I’m somewhat surprised the “Seiko” is spelled correctly on it. But there are redeeming features: it does look decent with the watch, it has many micro-adjust holes, and it’s super light and comfortable. One thing that cannot be said of this bracelet however, is that it feels like it belongs on a more expensive watch. Or that it is engineered to take a beating. The 007 far outclasses the stock steel band it comes on. To be on par with the whole package of the Mako or the Monster, 007 buyers would need to plunk down $50-$75 to get a nice Super Jubilee or Super Oyster.

The Monster’s bracelet is great. It is the only one of the three watches considered here that has solid endlinks and a diver’s extension.


Seiko Monster endlinks by Locuscope, on Flickr


Seiko Monster dive extension by Locuscope, on Flickr

It has a smooth operating deployment button, solid links throughout, and uses those nice fat Seiko springbars. The best part of this bracelet isn’t even on the bracelet itself, it’s on the lugs: they’re drilled. Makes band changes a breeze, and considerably reduces scratched lugs (and the anger we feel at ourselves for making an inevitable clumsy slip with a sharp tool on a shiny piece of metal.) But all things considered, this bracelet still has two weaknesses: (1) the arms of the clasp are still just polished, stamped steel, and (2) like the rest of the watch, the link design is just far enough off the beaten path that it’s going to be more polarizing to peoples’ tastes than the standard Oyster, Jubilee, President, etc.


Seiko Monster clasp by Locuscope, on Flickr

The Mako’s stock steel bracelet is a secret treasure. I say “secret” because you generally don’t hear people singing its prasies, only bemoaning the fact that it has folded endlinks. Okay, yes it has hollow endlinks, let’s just come to terms with that now so we can move on to the “treasure” part. It’s a treasure because you pay the same for any Mako with a rubber band, so this steel bracelet is essentially free if you so choose. Like finding a casket of buried treasure; someone else did all the work, you just pick it up and enjoy. As an owner of a 007, I wish I had the choice to have the Mako bracelet for free. As it is, I have to pay $50 to get an equivalent “Oyster” from an aftermarket vendor. And yes, the Mako bracelet has everything a $50 aftermarket Oyster has: all solid links polished on the outboard edges, smooth operating clasp with signature, 3 micro-adjust holes, and best of all, deployment arms that have better finish than even the Monster’s band. And just to tie that all up, let’s remember that this $50 bracelet comes on a watch that usually retails for $90, about half of what the other watches mentioned here go for.


Orient Mako bracelet by Locuscope, on Flickr

Now that all that wind has blown, let’s get to the heart of the matter. How do these watches do with other bands? Just how versatile are these watches?

I’ve tried the Monster on four different bands: stock steel bracelet, a custom leather Nato-style band, an orange Nato band, and a Maratac Elite with orange stitching. My particular tastes can only really tolerate this watch on either the orange Nato or the stock steel bracelet. Others will like other combinations, but regardless – this watch can only go so far with your wardrobe. There’s so much to like about this watch, but virtually all of it has to do with utility. ISO rating, tough as nails, best lume in the industry, hands that line up like a rocketship once an hour, drilled lugs, embossed bezel – all these things are wonderful but they don’t help how awkward this watch looks under the sleeve of a suit jacket. Yes, I still wear it with a suit every so often but this watch looks way more at home under a pair of coveralls in the bilges of a submarine.

The 007 is a bit better. Looks less like a porthole. The 007 can be at home on a *gasp* leather band, a Nato, a Zulu, or any number of nice aftermarket steel bracelets. But still, that bezel with its nice beefy grip screams “submerge me!”


Seiko SKX175 by Locuscope, on Flickr

The Mako is the undisputed king of looking good with any number of bands. One of my favorites is the Maratac Elite, which can go undercover looking like leather with a suit, or take a dive in the pool and be dry within minutes. The Mako looks great on nylon, leather, steel, composite, or anything in-between. Because even though it can be a diver, it doesn’t have to be all the time. Now combine this versatility with all the rest of the great stuff that comes with the Mako – the in-house design and manufacture, the accurate movement, the signed crown, the great lume, and a design that isn’t trying to be anything other than itself, this watch that costs about half of its nearest (in-house designed and manufactured automatic watch) competition clearly dominates the sub-$100 watch market. Which is why I own two.


Black Mako on Maratac Elite by Locuscope, on Flickr


Black Mako on Maratac Elite by Locuscope, on Flickr

A quick note about the Maratac Elite bands above: they have become smaller! I just got the white stiched one last week, and it's considerably shorter than the older style ones and have adjustment holes in regular human range. Also, they now come with some kind of laser etching on the clasp. Nice.

ABOUT ME

I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, veteran of the U.S. Navy, and father of two homo sapiens. My wife has thrown more suckas into lakes than B.A. Baracus. My hobbies include photography, music, mechanical engineering, weightlifting, swimming, cooking, loading ammunition, and auto detailing. I have no affiliation with the Maratac, Orient, or Seiko corporations. I took all the pictures in this post with my Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-200VR lens, and my $20 homemade lightbox.
 

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Nice writeup! I just got a black Mako as well and was considering the Maratac Elite band with red stitching, but read somewhere that the Elite seemed to retain water and cause rashes after a month or so.. How long have you had your Elite, and have you had any problems with it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I got my Maratac Elite with red stitching about a year ago. It was the sole band I used with the Black Mako for a long time, until I rediscovered the stock bracelet.

The Maratac is great. I swim regularly and my watches always go to the pool with me, so I've done quite a few wet/dry cycles with it. I've had no problems with the band retaining water. In my opinion, it dries off better than a nylon band like the Nato or Zulu.

I do recall it was a teensy bit irritating in the beginning, but either I got used to it or it got used to me.
 

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I too enjoy auto detailing, and Orient divers

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1324680276.961298.jpg
 
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great review! :-!

it was the Mako that got me into the Orient brand!:-! but in an AD, i ended up getting the XL instead because of its size!:-!

there are of course other seikos that can compete with the Mako using your criteria:
- the Knights (though discontinued already)
Seiko Scuba Diver Automatic 200 m

- the Sammies (very hard to find new i think nowadays too)
Seiko Samuria Automatic Diver's Stainless Steel

BUT...

they all cost double (sometimes even more) than the Mako! but for good reason i think... so it wouldn't really be a fair to compare these! ;-)



for the price of the Mako, i think the Seiko 5s would be a better comparo... and one seiko 5 comes to mind -- the Seiko Sea Urchin.
Seiko SNZF17K1 "Sea Urchin" Is Your Ultimate Submariner Styled Value Watch

it's seiko's take on the venerable Rolex Submariner. and by virtue of the Sub being ultra versatile and used in any occasion (though of course purists frown on this:-d), i think this fits your criteria well! ;-) it should cost close to $100USD.

another seiko, but not a 5ver, is the SKX031 (though i think this has been discontinued too). -- it crossed my mind while typing up the Urchin :-d
Seiko SKX031K “Submariner” review
again, it banks on the Submariner design.

the Mako might break a sweat with these two... bracelet is now Oyster type. plus the lumes on these are great (you know how seiko is with their lumes!)

in the end though, it will boil down to personal preference. and you can't go wrong with ANY of these divers! :-!
 

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Excellent, one of the best watch reviews I've ever read on WUS!
 

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Thank you for such an excellent, and very helpful, review. It's certainly helped me decide on my new watch!

As student, my options for choosing an affordable, quality watch are limited. I felt that Vostoks are just too ugly, so the decision was between a Seiko 5 or a Mako.

Your review confirms what I've observed on this forum: the Mako is a handsome, masculine watch that, most importantly, can match a number of dress requirements. I plan on purchasing a black/grey NATO strap to compliment the Mako during less formal outings, as well as keeping the metal brace for the appropriate occasion.

That being said I'm a bit lost when it comes to choosing matching leather straps. Do you have any recommendations for leather straps to match a black Mako? I've seen a few photos here on WUS, but have yet to find a leather band that compliments Orient's design.
 

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I don't have pics yet, but I went with the sailcloth leather strap with steel stitching from bradystraps.com. The steel stitching really sets off the bezel and case. Good price also. Happy hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for such an excellent, and very helpful, review. It's certainly helped me decide on my new watch!

As student, my options for choosing an affordable, quality watch are limited. I felt that Vostoks are just too ugly, so the decision was between a Seiko 5 or a Mako.

Your review confirms what I've observed on this forum: the Mako is a handsome, masculine watch that, most importantly, can match a number of dress requirements. I plan on purchasing a black/grey NATO strap to compliment the Mako during less formal outings, as well as keeping the metal brace for the appropriate occasion.

That being said I'm a bit lost when it comes to choosing matching leather straps. Do you have any recommendations for leather straps to match a black Mako? I've seen a few photos here on WUS, but have yet to find a leather band that compliments Orient's design.
My apologies for such a late reply. I've always been a fan of the way the Hamilton Khaki band looks, but since I swim with my watches, leather isn't an option for me so I'm not sure how well or if it works with the Mako at all.
 

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Excellent review! You've helped me make the decision to go with the Mako as my first nicer-than-department-store watch. I'm still not convinced it'll be quite the size I'm looking for - something with a slightly wider face might be better - but it certainly seems to be the obvious choice for a first try.

In regards to the Maratac Elite straps you have pictured (excellent on the photos, by the way) - is that the original notched version, or the newer TrueSize type they're now selling? Which brings up another question - you mention they now come in more reasonable lengths (great news for my bony 7" inch wrists), were the recent Elites you received TrueSize or regular? I'm trying to determine if I need to get the TrueSize version to get the shorter length.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The straps pictured are the new true size style, 22mm from lug to buckle. I don't think there are any other styles being offered. If Maratac makes all their Elite bands same length as the white stitched one pictured, you should be good with a 7" wrist.

I have a 7.5" wrist and the older, longer strap (still the true size) just barely fits.
 

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The straps pictured are the new true size style, 22mm from lug to buckle. I don't think there are any other styles being offered. If Maratac makes all their Elite bands same length as the white stitched one pictured, you should be good with a 7" wrist.

I have a 7.5" wrist and the older, longer strap (still the true size) just barely fits.
Awesome.
 

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...That being said I'm a bit lost when it comes to choosing matching leather straps. Do you have any recommendations for leather straps to match a black Mako? I've seen a few photos here on WUS, but have yet to find a leather band that compliments Orient's design.

Here's a nice picture from user D85 showing his Mako on a black Hamilton Kahki from International Watchman. I think it looks very nice, and if I end up wanting leather I think I will try it.


Link to post/thread: https://www.watchuseek.com/f71/make-seiko-skx007-orient-mako-adaptable-versatile-548777.html#post4018249
orient_black_mako_rev2.jpg
 

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thanks for a great review. I own a black Mako too, and agree that it is the most versatile budget diver available.

is it possible to change the folded end links with solid ones, without changing the entire bracelet?


The Orient Mako was my first automatic, chosen largely based on reviews and discussion found here. Being watch-curious, over time I also spread some dollars between the popular Seiko models: the 007 (actually in my case it’s an SKX175) and the Monster. The Seikos are great, but they don’t completely supplant the Mako in terms of functionality. The Mako will always have a place in my watch case.

The Mako is a chameleon – it works with casual wear or a suit, with a variety of bands, and always seems to look appropriate for the occasion. Some have given the watch poor marks for what they consider vague design direction: numerals on a diver, a mysterious day pusher, a somewhat understated bezel. I believe that because the Mako doesn’t chase down a particular design avenue with reckless abandon, it leaves open other possibilities. The polished numerals, hands, day/date window, and 5-minute markers add a formal finish to the watch, which is enhanced by the elegant, cursive font used for the “Automatic” and “Water Resist” written on the dial. The bezel doesn’t surround and protect the crystal like the Monster but rather slopes down away from it, making the bezel ring appear more streamlined, almost like an extension of the chapter ring instead of a chunky nautical countdown device. The font used on the bezel is small and similarly understated.

So it is that the Mako is usually called a “dress diver”, which can be interpreted as a watch that is tough enough to use as an underwater timekeeper for working types but elegant enough to wear for more formal occasions. I agree.


Orient Yellow Mako by Locuscope, on Flickr

But a watch’s versatility is not completely defined by the design within the boundaries of its case. The bracelet plays an equally important role in determining how a watch can be used. Kind of like how you don’t wear running shoes with a suit, neither do you accessorize your suit with a watch on a goofy, sparkly jelly band. So by extension, a watch’s versatility is determined in large part by how well it goes with a variety of bands or bracelets. Here’s where I have found the Mako to be the best watch in my case.

A steel bracelet is arguably a watch’s most versatile mount, so let’s take a closer look at the stock offerings for the 007, the Monster, and the Mako.

The 007 comes on a Jubilee bracelet. This bracelet is functionally fine and it looks good too, but there’s something… 1980’s about it. Not early Metallica or B.J. Baracus throwing bad guys into lakes 1980’s, but more like 4-cylinder Mustang and videos on Betamax 1980’s. It has hollow, jangly center links and hollow end links; no push-button release for the deployment but rather a stiff interference fit; the clasp itself is bare basic stamped steel.


Stock Seiko Jubilee link details by Locuscope, on Flickr


Stock Seiko Jubilee clasp details by Locuscope, on Flickr


Wrist side of stock Seiko Jubilee by Locuscope, on Flickr

I’m somewhat surprised the “Seiko” is spelled correctly on it. But there are redeeming features: it does look decent with the watch, it has many micro-adjust holes, and it’s super light and comfortable. One thing that cannot be said of this bracelet however, is that it feels like it belongs on a more expensive watch. Or that it is engineered to take a beating. The 007 far outclasses the stock steel band it comes on. To be on par with the whole package of the Mako or the Monster, 007 buyers would need to plunk down $50-$75 to get a nice Super Jubilee or Super Oyster.

The Monster’s bracelet is great. It is the only one of the three watches considered here that has solid endlinks and a diver’s extension.


Seiko Monster endlinks by Locuscope, on Flickr


Seiko Monster dive extension by Locuscope, on Flickr

It has a smooth operating deployment button, solid links throughout, and uses those nice fat Seiko springbars. The best part of this bracelet isn’t even on the bracelet itself, it’s on the lugs: they’re drilled. Makes band changes a breeze, and considerably reduces scratched lugs (and the anger we feel at ourselves for making an inevitable clumsy slip with a sharp tool on a shiny piece of metal.) But all things considered, this bracelet still has two weaknesses: (1) the arms of the clasp are still just polished, stamped steel, and (2) like the rest of the watch, the link design is just far enough off the beaten path that it’s going to be more polarizing to peoples’ tastes than the standard Oyster, Jubilee, President, etc.


Seiko Monster clasp by Locuscope, on Flickr

The Mako’s stock steel bracelet is a secret treasure. I say “secret” because you generally don’t hear people singing its prasies, only bemoaning the fact that it has folded endlinks. Okay, yes it has hollow endlinks, let’s just come to terms with that now so we can move on to the “treasure” part. It’s a treasure because you pay the same for any Mako with a rubber band, so this steel bracelet is essentially free if you so choose. Like finding a casket of buried treasure; someone else did all the work, you just pick it up and enjoy. As an owner of a 007, I wish I had the choice to have the Mako bracelet for free. As it is, I have to pay $50 to get an equivalent “Oyster” from an aftermarket vendor. And yes, the Mako bracelet has everything a $50 aftermarket Oyster has: all solid links polished on the outboard edges, smooth operating clasp with signature, 3 micro-adjust holes, and best of all, deployment arms that have better finish than even the Monster’s band. And just to tie that all up, let’s remember that this $50 bracelet comes on a watch that usually retails for $90, about half of what the other watches mentioned here go for.


Orient Mako bracelet by Locuscope, on Flickr

Now that all that wind has blown, let’s get to the heart of the matter. How do these watches do with other bands? Just how versatile are these watches?

I’ve tried the Monster on four different bands: stock steel bracelet, a custom leather Nato-style band, an orange Nato band, and a Maratac Elite with orange stitching. My particular tastes can only really tolerate this watch on either the orange Nato or the stock steel bracelet. Others will like other combinations, but regardless – this watch can only go so far with your wardrobe. There’s so much to like about this watch, but virtually all of it has to do with utility. ISO rating, tough as nails, best lume in the industry, hands that line up like a rocketship once an hour, drilled lugs, embossed bezel – all these things are wonderful but they don’t help how awkward this watch looks under the sleeve of a suit jacket. Yes, I still wear it with a suit every so often but this watch looks way more at home under a pair of coveralls in the bilges of a submarine.

The 007 is a bit better. Looks less like a porthole. The 007 can be at home on a *gasp* leather band, a Nato, a Zulu, or any number of nice aftermarket steel bracelets. But still, that bezel with its nice beefy grip screams “submerge me!”


Seiko SKX175 by Locuscope, on Flickr

The Mako is the undisputed king of looking good with any number of bands. One of my favorites is the Maratac Elite, which can go undercover looking like leather with a suit, or take a dive in the pool and be dry within minutes. The Mako looks great on nylon, leather, steel, composite, or anything in-between. Because even though it can be a diver, it doesn’t have to be all the time. Now combine this versatility with all the rest of the great stuff that comes with the Mako – the in-house design and manufacture, the accurate movement, the signed crown, the great lume, and a design that isn’t trying to be anything other than itself, this watch that costs about half of its nearest (in-house designed and manufactured automatic watch) competition clearly dominates the sub-$100 watch market. Which is why I own two.


Black Mako on Maratac Elite by Locuscope, on Flickr


Black Mako on Maratac Elite by Locuscope, on Flickr

A quick note about the Maratac Elite bands above: they have become smaller! I just got the white stiched one last week, and it's considerably shorter than the older style ones and have adjustment holes in regular human range. Also, they now come with some kind of laser etching on the clasp. Nice.

ABOUT ME

I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, veteran of the U.S. Navy, and father of two homo sapiens. My wife has thrown more suckas into lakes than B.A. Baracus. My hobbies include photography, music, mechanical engineering, weightlifting, swimming, cooking, loading ammunition, and auto detailing. I have no affiliation with the Maratac, Orient, or Seiko corporations. I took all the pictures in this post with my Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-200VR lens, and my $20 homemade lightbox.
 

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Old thread but great write up, recently got an SKX009 as my first automatic and have a Mako on the way, looking forward to comparing the two, but this thread has put some things to look out for in my mind, also I may pick up a super jubilee at some point for my 009 as I like the look and comfort of the bracelet but would like something sturdier.
 

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Always wanted a Mako and almost bought a second-hand one a few weeks back ... but instead I saw a different watch that I became obsessed with (which is getting shipped today), so the Mako will have to wait.
 

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The Mako is a great watch but it is not nearly as good in terms of quality as the Monster. I happen to have both and the only thing that the Mako is better is the bracelet clasp.

DSC05346.JPG
 

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The Mako is a great watch but it is not nearly as good in terms of quality as the Monster. I happen to have both and the only thing that the Mako is better is the bracelet clasp.

View attachment 7028121
Hmm, I never think that the Mako was that big.

I'm a professional [desk] diver.
 

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6555919225_bc55a26673_z.jpg

The yellow mako is a beautiful watch. I can't understand why Orient only did a limited run of them, but then I do have a thing for yellow watches (have an skxa35 on its way to me as we speak).
 
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