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Orient Star’s new M34 F7 Semi Skeleton and M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase models combine cosmic inspiration with in-house automatic movements.

Since 1951 Japanese watch brand Orient Star has been dedicated to creating mechanical watches with beauty and finesse. From the three-hand Orient Star Dynamic launched in 1957 to the highly accurate 46 series movement unveiled in 1971 to the introduction of an in-house developed silicon escape wheel for the brand’s 70th anniversary in 2021, Orient Star has worked tirelessly over many decades to refine and improve every aspect of its watchmaking capability.

Every Orient Star watch is intended to shine as brightly as the twinkling heavenly body in the brand’s name, but the new M Collections take this celestial inspiration to new heights with design elements inspired by the kaleidoscopic colors of the aurora, the glimmer of the constellation Pleiades, and the moon’s tranquil reflection on a famed Japanese lake. With finely detailed dials, elegantly finished components, and the latest in-house automatic movements, Orient Star’s new releases reflect the brand’s continued commitment to creating mechanical watches that are as technologically advanced as they are beautiful.

Orient Star's new M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase watch laying sideways on a crystalized rock

Orient Star’s new M Collections join the brand’s current lineup of Classic, Contemporary, and Sports models, adding a refined aesthetic drawn from diverse inspirations such as Greek mythology, outer space nebulae, and star clusters. Intended to appeal to watch enthusiasts as well as anyone looking to upgrade their daily timepiece, the new M34 F7 Semi Skeleton and the two new M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase models combine a classic-modern look with the assured performance of an Orient Star in-house mechanical movement. Featuring midsized cases and premium materials like 316L stainless steel, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and cordovan leather, they are suited to special occasions, but versatile enough for daily wear.

Two Orient Start M Collection watches on a blue metallic backdrop.

The new M34 collection is named for the star cluster Perseus (called M34 by astronomers) which is known for its annual summer meteor shower. The new M34 F7 Semi Skeleton, Orient Star’s most ambitious release of the season, is available with three dials whose sophisticated looks reflect the brand’s recent advances in dial manufacturing technology. This trio of stunning gradient mother-of-pearl dials are inspired by the colorful auroras found in high latitudes in the northern and southern hemispheres. Available in ethereal shades of blue and green (non-limited), and charcoal gray (limited to 500 pieces), each features a power reserve display at 12, a small seconds sub-dial at six, and an “open heart” window at nine.

A medium crop of the M34 F7 Semi Skeleton watch on a metallic backdrop of blues and purples
A close up view of the case and movement on an Orient Star M34  F7 Semi Skeleton watch.

The colorful dial of the M34 F7 Semi Skeleton shimmer all the more brightly thanks to a sapphire crystal with super anti-reflective (SAR) coating on both sides, and appear all the more striking against 316L stainless steel cases that have been enhanced by the contrasting hairline and mirror finishes of Sallaz polishing. Pictured here is the blue dial variation, but all three versions are delivered on polished stainless steel bracelets with tri-fold deployant buckles, and the limited gray dial version also comes with an exchangeable strap made from responsibly-sourced calf leather.

The M34 F7 Semi Skeleton is powered by Orient Star’s automatic in-house caliber F7F44, which offers daily accuracy of +15 / ?5 seconds and a power reserve of 50 hours. The movement, visible through both the cutaway dial and the sapphire case back, also boasts sophisticated finishing with chamfered surfaces and a rotor decorated with Geneva stripes. With a mid-sized 40 mm case that’s 13 mm thick and rated for 100m water resistance, the M34 F7 Semi Skeleton offers a best-of-both-worlds combination of everyday wearability and standout style.

The display caseback and movement of an Orient Star M34 F7 Semi Skeleton on a shimmering backdrop

The new M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase offers a similar blend of looks and performance thanks to a selection of two stunningly detailed dials and Orient Star’s in-house movement with power reserve, date, and moon phase complications. The positioning of the integrated moon phase disc and date indicator on this model, as well as the super anti-reflective coating on both sides of its sapphire crystal, are the result of Orient Star’s unique patent-backed design and technology.

Doubling down on the M34’s inspiration, the M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase is named after the Pleiades constellation (M45 to astronomers) which is one of the nearest star clusters to the Earth. Noted for its blue-tinged white glow, Pleiades has been used to mark the time for millennia, and its beauty is mentioned in the Pillow Book, a famous collection of essays written more than 1,000 years ago in Japan. To do justice to this lofty namesake, the 80-piece limited-edition F7 Mechanical Moon Phase features one of the most striking dials in Orient Star’s lineup with a dark blue gradient paired with blue hands, black Roman numerals, and gold accents.

An extreme close up crop of the blue dial M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase watch

To achieve this impactful look, the dial of the blue M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase model is first stamped with patterns to represent the night sky, which subtly change according to the angle of light as it hits the dial. Next, special paint is applied to the dial in a gentle gradient, transforming from blue at the center to black at the outer edges, and then coated with a thick clear wrapping to add the impression of depth. Paired with a tone-on-tone power reserve indicator, a gold-accented moon phase display, a black ion-plated case, and a somber black cordovan strap, this 80-piece limited edition is as dramatic as a sky full of stars.

A flat lay shot of the brown dial M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase watch on a mulicolored leather backdrop.

Orient Star comes back down to earth for another exclusive version of the M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase, which is limited to 180 pieces and features a brown gradient mother-of-pearl dial inspired by the reflection of the moon on Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan. The dial’s rippled surface, which required significant time and effort to perfect, is meant to evoke the lake’s rippling surface at night. It slowly fades to black at the edges, while the silvery moon on the moon phase disc appears to float above and reveal itself from behind the clouds. Other fine details like three-dimensional printed Roman numerals, a textured black ring that divides the dial, and a transparent Orient Star “OS mark” are clearly visible through the dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. A bronze-colored bezel, bronze-colored winding crown, and matching cordovan leather strap complete this study in complementary shades of brown. Both versions of the M45 are powered by the Orient Star in-house caliber F7M65, a Japanese automatic movement that’s accurate to +15/-5 seconds per day and features 50 hours of power reserve.

Like every watch made by Orient Star over the last seven decades, the new M Collections bring high-quality mechanical movements and elevated style to the fore. With their classically inspired looks augmented by leading-edge materials and techniques, however, Orient Star M34 F7 Semi Skeleton and M45 F7 Mechanical Moon Phase might shine brighter than any that have come before.

Fortunately for anyone in the United States or United Kingdom who likes the celestial look of the new M Collections it has never been easier to buy Orient Star watches thanks to the brand’s recently launched US and UK online stores.

*Reprinted from HODINKEE.COM Edition DEC.8.2023

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