I was looking at some watches on my Instagram. And under hashtag vintage, I found this watch. It looks like a vintage watch, but it is new. And the company is Orlo, so I immediately contacted the Orlo watch company and got myself one to review.
So the company Orlo is based in Denmark, Copenhagen. The creative director and founding partner is Frederik Høltzel. And he has a long history in watches and watchmaking. Frederik’s great grandfather, Rasmus Jensen Jørgensen was a trained watchmaker who had a small workshop, which later grew into a watch store in Tåsinge where he had his own watch brand. He was born in Spain, learned gemmology in Germany and then moved to London. After several years abroad, Frederik decided to move back to his family roots and has now lived in Tåsinge for more than 15 years. Today, Frederik has more than 25 years of experience within the watch and jewellery business. Frederik has designed and produced watches for several Scandinavian and European watch brands. Frederik’s vision was to create an expression that honours the tradition of watchmaking and is modern at the same time. From there ORLO Watches began to take shape. ”ORLO was founded on the ambition to create a watch known for its quality and simplicity”. The inspiration comes from vintage designs, including his great grandfather’s old designs, combined with his own Scandinavian values of minimalism.
Watch we are looking on today is Orlo Watches Bowen Brown 39mm. So the watch came in this eco-looking box. Nothing special, but the gem is inside. You open the box and here sits the watch. First impressions were nice. I liked the curved vintage looking crystal and dial. Also, the case shape reminds me the Omegas and many others brands from the 70s. The strap was also nice. A thick, but soft leather with some holes. Looking kind of like rally strap. I think they need to do this racing look to this watch. Add some checkered patterns to the dial and some bright colours for hands and they are gonna sell like hot cakes I think. But these are my dream and never will happen 😀
The case is made from 316L stainless steel. The watch has cushion shape case that reminds me some Heuer Autavias. Really 70s inspired case shape and look. The top of the case is finished with this sunburst brushed finish, but it has a bezel and the rest of case finished in polished finishing. A very nice finish I would say. Almost competes with my Seiko Orange Monster in terms of quality and lines. I would more prefer it to be all brushed, but with polished edges, I think that would just look killer! The case back is snap on, of course keeping it in the theme of vintage here too. The are some specifications and logo etched on the case back, nothing spectacular there. The case size is 39mm, a pretty good sizing for a vintage looking watch. The length of the case is 45,5mm and the lug width is 20mm. The watch is quite slim, only 9,5mm. So it wears pretty slim. Perfect proportions I think. The crown is at 3 o’clock. It is quite small but easy to grab and set time. The crown is also signed. Water resistance is only 3ATM or 30m so I would take it off before going swimming or showering. Sure it can withstand small rain or washing hands, but nothing more.
This case comes actually in three different sizes: 36mm, 39mm and 42mm. I chose the 39mm as it keeps it in the perfect proportions of a vintage watch. 42mm for this would be too big. All the case sizes cost the same.
The dial is this vintage looking, kind of curved, it’s hard to see from the curved crystal. The dial is in this greyish white colour. The outside ring has black seconds indicators, the inside ring is this tropical brown colour with red and white hour indicators. On the dial, you have nice, “not right in the eye” logo and company name, I like when companies have nice logos and use good fonts, and not that cheap designer crap which most of the brand in this price range has. The hour, minute hands are stick shape polished with red accents on them to match with the hour indicators on the dial. The second’s hand is slim stick shaped with polished finishing. The dial is nice, but I think it lacks something, maybe adding a date window or putting seconds in sub dial would add something more, but yeah, to me it looks good but too sterile. On top of the dial sits the domed mineral crystal which has this blue AR coating on it.
The movement inside is some kind of Japanese quartz from what I can read on their website. I think it is one of Miyota quartz movements. Very commonly used movements in this price range. The strap is really nice cognac leather wth perforated holes. So the strap looks like rally strap. The stitching is really nice and the strap is very soft and curves the wrist nicely, despite its thickness. The strap has a 20mm width and has quick release spring bars, which are very useful when changing straps. Hope all watch companies put quick release spring bars in their watch straps, that would be a much faster process. The buckle is this vintage looking one, I think it doesn’t suit this watch, I think they should’ve used the commonly used buckle because this looks like from WW2 😀 it suits watches from the 30s or 40s more than this.
Overall I like the Bowen watch from Orlo. I like the case, finishing, the dial. I like that you can choose from three different case sizes, that is very useful and thoughtful, as there are different people with different wrist sizes. They truly made a vintage looking timepiece, but I better would buy the similar looking watch (Seiko, Omega or any other nice brand) but actually vintage from eBay.