Just a few years ago, the Seiko SKX was the undoubted king of all affordable dive watches. With a reliable 200m water resistance rating and an affordable price tag, there wasn’t much competition. Heading into 2020, Orient changed the game by releasing the Orient Kamasu just as the Seiko SKX was being discontinued, the perfect storm for Orient to take over the affordable diver market.
In late 2021 Orient released a new, improved dive watch that took all of the specifications loved about the Kamasu and repackaged it with a new gradient dial aesthetic, and a few key upgrades. Although this model doesn’t have a specific nickname just yet, I’ve heard it called it a few things, such as the Orient Ronin, Kamasu 2, and even the Ray 2. Heck, you might even prefer to refer to it as its reference number; RA-AA0810N19B.
Ultimately, the new Orient RA-AA0810N19B maintains many of the upgrades of the Orient Kamasu while offering a slightly less traditional design with its unique gradient dial for those looking for a bit of unique flair.
Orient RA-AA0810N19B Specifications
- Movement: Caliber F6922
- Power reserve: Approximately 40 hours
- Features: Day, Date, Luminous Hour Markers and Hands.
- crystal: Sapphire.
- Dial color: Gradient black.
- Case material: Stainless Steel.
- Diameter: 41.8mm.
- Lug to lug length: 46.8mm.
- Thickness: 12.8mm
- Lug-width: 22mm
- Water resistance: 200m
- Crown: Screwed-Down
- Bezel insert: Aluminm
- Bezel function: 120-click, unidirectional
- Bracelet: Stainless steel oyster bracelet with fold-over double push-button safety clasp
- Check price on Amazon
Dial and Design – Faux Patina
The Orient RA-AA0810N19B has a design that nearly mimics the Orient Kamasu with just a few distinctions. What immediately struck me was the gradient dial. In stock photos on Orient’s website, the gradient looks a bit matte, dull, and boring. In-person, the dial is anything but boring.
The gradient color of the dial starts in the middle like a warm sunburst gold, transitioning to silver, grey, and black toward the outer edge of the dial. Combine this with the faux patina on the hands and hour markers, and the muted grey accent on the bezel insert, and you have yourself a watch that looks like it’s been faded from being out in the sun too long. Of course, the distinct separation between the grey and black parts of the bezel, and the uniformity of the dial gradient, make it obvious this is a design choice that happens to loosely look like a faded and patina watch, even if not intentional.
Although Orient tends to be rather conservative with their design choices, I would have loved to see them take this opportunity to attempt a slightly more daring style with a heavier emphasis on the patina look, but I digress…
The handset on the watch is proportioned well, although the short and stubby hour hand might be just a bit shorter than I would have liked. Regardless, I believe the geometric design of this handset compliments the varied (round and rectangular) hour markers, and the faux patina on the hands matches the patina on the hour markers well, without being overly done.
Case & Bezel
The Orient Kamasu II case is made of 316L stainless steel. The watch has a mixture of brushed and polished finishes that is nothing to write home about, as they’re not done any better than other watches in this price range.
The mixture of brushed and polished surfaces, however, is executed quite tastefully. Brushed surfaces on top of the lugs, and the sides of the case sandwich a thin polished bevel which adds some much-needed contrast and a bit of dynamic interest when the light hits the case at different angles. Further adding to this contrast is the all polished bezel insert which does help to add a pop to an otherwise very muted case.
Speaking of the bezel; the bezel is a 120-click unidirectional bezel that is a great improvement over the original Orient Kamasu. Here, the edges of the bezel are much more pronounced, and thus much easier to operate. I assume this would be even accentuated when attempting to operate the bezel with wet hands, like when driving, for instance, as is the intention of a dive watch.
The bezel insert is aluminum (I hope we can expect ceramic inserts soon) in black, with silver markings, and a grey accent on the top-right 1/4 of the bezel, accenting the gold-silver-black gradient dial and adding to the faded look of the watch. A more faded and muted-looking bezel insert would do an even better job of adding to the distressed look of the watch, although it’s clear Orient wasn’t committed to that visual direction.
All in all, this is a pretty typical dive watch case design. At this price, very few manufacturers put much effort or R&D into the case design or level of finish, so I can’t fault it here, but I do appreciate how Orient will still attempt to go even slightly above and beyond with the design itself.
Dimensions, Comfort, Wearability
- Diameter: 41.8mm
- Lug to lug: 46.8mm
- Lug width: 22mm
- Case thickness: 12.8mm
The Orient RA-AA0810N19B wears much like the Orient Kamasu on the wrist. Coming in at 41.8mm in diameter, the watch will have a very familiar fit to many considering 42mm tends to be the most common size for popular dive watches, such as the Seiko SKX. The conservative 46.8mm lug to lug helps keep the watch from looking too large on my 7″ wrist, filling the length of the wrist without overhanging. Wrists smaller than mine may find this watch wears a tad on the larger side, but not comically big that it would become unwearable.
The RA-AA0810N19B features a 22mm lug width, of which, there are many third-party straps widely available. At 12.8mm thick, including the dive bezel, it’s not an overly thick watch and doesn’t protrude too tall on the wrist, especially for a dive watch, which tend to be rather chunky.
When it comes to comfort, the RA-AA0810N19B is comfortable enough, although the rather lightweight stainless steel oyster bracelet weighed against the denser and heavier case can make the watch feel a bit top-heavy. I find it tends to want to slip around on the wrist from time to time as the watch head attempts to weigh down the lighter bracelet.
Caliber F6922 Movement
Housed inside of the Orient RA-AA0810N19B is the in-house caliber F6922 movement. The Orient F6922 is an automatic movement manufactured in-house by Orient in Japan. Featuring a 40-hour power reserve, accuracy within -15/+25 per day, and hacking and hand-winding, it is certainly a welcome addition over Seiko’s lesser 7S26 featured in dive watches like the SKX.
For such an affordable automatic watch, an in-house movement is quite impressive, as usually, manufacturers will outsource movements for watches in this price range. Further, hacking and hand-winding complications are very welcome additions. Hacking allows you to pause the second hand completely when pulling out the crown to set the time; allowing for pin-point accuracy. Hand-winding will allow you to wind the watch manually by rotating the crown clockwise, preparing it to continue running even during a day off the wrist.
Stock Oyster Bracelet
The included oyster bracelet is brushed throughout with hollow end links. While it’s not the heaviest or most substantial feeling bracelet, it is a big step up compared to many other watch bracelets in this price range which often have the feeling of being completely disposable. This feels like a bracelet that at least matches the quality of the watch in both fit and finish, and one you won’t feel the need to immediately replace. Kudos to Orient for taking the manufacturing effort (and cost) to design a bracelet that actually completes the package, as often manufacturers will put all of their research & design into the watch itself, rather than the strap or bracelet it comes on.
The bracelet is brushed and has friction-based pushpins and was simple enough to size. The deployment clasp is stamped rather than machined, with micro adjustment holes to help you get the perfect fit. In practical usage, I find the clasp small and unobtrusive, conforming to the wrist, without digging into the skin.
Given the obvious vintage diver aesthetic, this watch would look fantastic on any vintage-style tropic or waffle rubber strap. A solid black strap will ensure you don’t distract from the already interesting watch dial.
Although leather straps on divers can often be a little sacrilegious, a chocolate-style nato will distress over time and further play into the vintage aesthetic.
For a simple and clean look, you can’t go wrong with a jubilee bracelet. Strapcode’s Kamasu bracelets fit the ‘Kamasu II’ perfectly.
Alternatives to the RA-AA0810N19B
Orient ‘Kamasu II’ / RA-AA08 Models
Currently, there are four variations of the Orient Kamasu II / RA-AA08 lineup.
The Orient RA-AA0810N19B (Amazon) featured in this review is the most monochromatic of the bunch with its black/grey color scheme.
The RA-AA0811E19B (Amazon) features a blue/green dial with a green accented bezel.
The RA-AA0812L19B (Amazon) features a traditional red/blue Pepsi colorway.
The RA-AA013R19B (Amazon) is a limited edition, and arguably the most unique of the bunch, featuring a distinct rose gold case and red/burgundy/brown color scheme. This watch has a distinct “root-beer” theme and is the only watch in the lineup that comes on a leather strap instead of a metal bracelet.
Ah, my beloved Orient Kamasu (full review). Featuring more unique rectangular hour markers and vibrant sunburst dials that set it apart from other dive watches on the market, the Orient Kamasu is as solid as one can get for an entry-level automatic diver.
While the specs and price of the Kamasu and ‘Kamasu II’ in this review are near identical, design differences may sway you to one or the other.
Orient Mako II
The Orient Mako II is an older generation Orient diver. It’s not as full-featured as these newer models, as it lacks a sapphire crystal, but also comes at a rather substantial discount. These can often be found readily available for under $200. The Mako has unique-looking indices with Arabic numerals for hour markers at 12, 6, and 9. Orient hasn’t yet released another dive watch with this type of hour markers, so if that’s your preference, you’re stuck with it.
Orient Ray II
The Orient Ray, like the Mako, doesn’t feature a sapphire crystal but is a more affordable alternative to the RA-AA0 series featured in this review, and Orient Kamasu. The round hour markers are simple and straightforward, perfect for someone looking for a dive watch that flies under the radar. Although the RA-AA0 series featured in this review is undoubtedly a step up in specifications over the Ray II, the Ray II has an heir of simplicity with its typical rounded hour markers and plain dials, while the RA-AA0 is a bit wilder and out there.
Coming in close to $300, the Orient RA-AA0810N19B/Kamasu II is one of the most expensive of the entry-level Orient divers on the market, making it arguably the worst value proposition of the bunch. With that said, it offers one of the most unique looking styles with its gradient dials and accented bezel inserts, while retaining all of the upgrades that made the Orient Kamasu so amazing.
All-in-all, it’s not the best bang-for-your-buck automatic dive watch out there when comparing it against some of Orient’s other offerings, but it’s certainly still an amazing value proposition when considering the broader landscape of entry-level dive watches. It has a unique style and demonstrates that Orient isn’t afraid to break the mold a bit while still offering a very solid dive watch with all of the specs one would expect.