Orient Neo 70, a classic panda watch with solar technology

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The Orient Neo 70 is an elegant and sporty chronograph with a clear retro-inspired design and solar charging technology, complemented by the excellent price-to-quality ratio that the brand typically offers in its products.

It is one of the so-called panda watches due to its design with sub-dials in a different color from the rest of the dial, although in this case it is an inverted panda, with the main dial in gray. There is also a model in white.

In this article, we will focus on analyzing the specific details of the Orient Neo 70 WV0011TX, taking into account its main features, functionality, and design.

‚úö Orient Neo 70 – Specifications

Crystal TypeMineral
MaterialsStainless Steel
Diameter42 mm
Thickness11.8 mm
Strap Width22 mm
Lug-to-Lug Length48 mm
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberOrient KBS00
Power Reserve6 months
Precision+/- 15 seconds per month
Water Resistance10 ATM (100 meters)
ComplicationsChronograph and Solar Charging

‚úö A Bit of History

Traditionally, the Orient watch brand has been most recognized for its popular collections like the Mako, Ray, Triton, and Kamasu.

However, there is a line of watches that is less known but equally noteworthy, the Orient Panda Neo 70S line.
Orient Neo 70

The Panda Neo 70 watches made their appearance in the 1970s, although the design dates back even further and was popularized by other brands in the 1950s.

Possibly, the first pure panda with a white dial and black sub-dials is the famous Rolex Cosmograph (the first Daytona) from 1963, but there were many similar designs that preceded it, such as the Breitling SuperOcean Chrono Diver from 1957.

While a panda dial is characterized by having a light-colored dial with much darker sub-dials, many chronograph watches from various brands fit this description.

In the particular case of Orient, you can find the Neo 70 models, available in the classic panda design and also the inverted panda model with a gray dial as shown in the images.

‚úö Design and Features of the Orient Neo 70

The Orient Neo 70 features a fairly classic style and does not have outstanding design features compared to other chronographs, which is part of the watch’s retro style.

Some styles never lose their appeal, and the classic look of panda chronographs is one of them, proving to be relevant throughout the years. Let’s break it down:

‚ě§ Case and Crown

The Neo 70 has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42 mm, a thickness of 11.8 mm, and a lug-to-lug length of 48 mm.
Case and Crown in the Orient Neo 70

This case size falls within the standard measurements of current chronographs, although it has a slightly more modern feel compared to the vintage trend it aims to reference with its design.

Generally, old chronograph watches have a smaller diameter, around 40 mm. However, this watch adapts to medium and large wrist sizes, giving a sportier touch with its 42 mm (including the crown).

In terms of details, the case features a polished fixed bezel and brushed lugs on the top, creating a pleasant contrast with the polished sides.

The combination of polished and brushed finishes is an expected feature in a quality watch, and the Orient Neo 70 delivers on that at a price that is usually quite affordable.

At the 3 o’clock position on the side, there is the crown with the Orient logo, accompanied by the chronograph pushers on each side, which are easy to operate without the need for crown guards, reducing their bulkiness.

This watch is water-resistant up to 100 m/10 ATM, making it suitable for swimming and showering, but not for diving. However, it is recommended not to operate the chronograph pushers while exposed to water.

‚ě§ Dial and Crystal

The panda dial on a chronograph is a classic and iconic element, and the Orient Panda Neo 70 is no exception with its light gray dial featuring a slightly matte finish, giving it a retro look.

The dial measures approximately 38.5 mm, while the case diameter is 42 mm, making the watch appear slightly smaller than it is.

Dial and Crystal in the Orient Neo 70

On the outer edge of the dial, there is a black angled ring that displays the seconds, and the center is slightly recessed, adding depth to the piece.

The black sub-dials in the chronograph are what give it the panda appearance. When you observe the three dials together, forming a triangular pattern, it’s easy to see why they are called pandas.

It can also be noted that the sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock are slightly larger than the sub-dial at 6 o’clock, which is an interesting design feature.

In addition, the dial features rectangular hour markers with stripes in the center for effective contrast, and they are applied for an added touch of quality.

This watch operates on solar power, and therefore, the dial is made of a material that allows sunlight to pass through. This way, the light can reach the solar panels to convert into energy for the mechanism.

As for the functions of each sub-dial, one displays the 24-hour time, another serves as a 60-minute chronograph, and the lower sub-dial shows the seconds.

The hands are polished rectangular metal with luminescent material on the tips, and they are very well finished.

The date window located between 4 and 5 o’clock has received criticism for affecting the symmetry of the dial and for its placement and contrast with the dial. However, this window can be useful in daily life.

All of this is protected by a mineral crystal that offers good visibility, although it is not as scratch-resistant as sapphire. In any case, it is easy and affordable to repair in case of any damage.

‚ě§ The Bracelet

The bracelet that comes with the watch is not the most remarkable aspect of the timepiece. It can be considered acceptable but not the best in its price range, nor does it provide a particularly pleasant or comfortable wearing experience.
Bracelet in the Orient Neo 70

The touch and feel of the bracelet give a sense of lightness and fragility, with a jingling and rattling that can be uncomfortable.

Regarding its finish, there is good workmanship on the surface, with brushing on the front and back and polishing on the edges.

The fold-over clasp, in the form of a deployant button, provides a satisfying and secure click, although its quality is inferior to fully machined mechanisms.

For a more precise fit, the Orient Neo 70 bracelet offers 3 micro-adjustment options, which may be insufficient for some users, but at least it provides this possibility.

In conclusion, the bracelet of the watch can be considered moderately satisfactory, without standing out for its quality or comfort.

‚ě§ The Movement

The movement used is an Orient KBS00 according to the specifications, which is somewhat puzzling since the brand does not produce solar quartz movements.

Additionally, the company has a respectable tradition of using in-house components, especially when it comes to movements, which makes it even more confusing.

After initial research, it has been concluded that the KBS00 could actually be the Seiko Solar V175, a solar chronograph movement found in models like the Seiko SSC031 and SSC017.

This hypothesis is based on the similarities in specifications, as the V175 has the same 6-month solar charging capacity and identical accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month.

The theory gains more strength when considering that Orient has been part of the Seiko Epson Corporation conglomerate since 2001.

In terms of performance, the movement demonstrates excellent functionality, with a smooth chronograph hand and precise resetting.

‚úö Price and Reviews

The Orient Neo 70 is an elegant and functional chronograph that can be obtained at a good price in the current market, although you’ll need to find the right deal.

Orient is a guarantee of quality and also tends to offer competitive prices, but the Neo 70 is not a watch that is easily found, and this may increase its cost.

In any case, it is an excellent acquisition as it is a precise chronograph that will always perform its function without the need to change the battery, thanks to its solar charging capability.

When you add the unique 70s Panda design to the mix, you undoubtedly have a watch that is not only useful but also a good collector’s piece.

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Last update of links and images on 2024-05-30.

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