I’ve written about Nick Harris’s watches before. The first was the Traveler by Watches By Nick, a modified Seiko 5 with a traditional field watch dial. The second time, I reviewed the Orion Project, his first micro brand model. I really liked them both. Nick has since rechristened his company as Orion Watches and turned out some cool new variations on the original Orion 1 model. He lent me a new Field Standard in a limited edition PVD black case for this review.
The Orion Field Standard PVD is what would happen if the Traveler and the Orion did the nasty and popped out a pup. Maybe they really did, because the family resemblance is uncanny. It has the same 38mm wide, 49mm long case as the first Orion, complete with that model’s unique crown guards and broad, flat, 9mm screw-down crown. It also shares the high sapphire dome, anti-reflective coating, and 100m water resistance. Overall thickness, from casebook to dome, is 13.6mm. From the Traveler, it inherits a ruggedly handsome military face. C3 lume provides excellent nighttime visibility.
Of course, the best collaborations produce a product that is greater than the sum of its parts, and that is certainly the case here. The familiar field watch face gains a bit of flash in the form of polished darts and squellete hands. Altogether, it makes for a damn handsome watch, but then Nick cranked it up to eleven by making it black. The Orion case responds beautifully to the PVD treatment, in large part because its broad bezel and long lugs provide ample surface area to show the contrast between the brushed upper surface and the polished bezel and sides. The darkness highlights both textures making the watch look stealthy and chic at the same time. I love it.
Inside, you will find a Seiko NH35 movement. This is the familiar hacking, hand winding, 24 jewel automatic found in many a micro brand watch these days. It has a 21.4k bph vibration rate, a power reserve of more than 40 hours, and a reputation for reliability and easy servicing.
The Field Standard comes on a black leather, crocodile grain strap that is heavily padded and fitted to the case so that it completely fills the area between the lugs and matches its contour. It tapers from 20mm at the lug end to and 18mm buckle. White stitching ties in nicely with the white printing on the dial. It’s a great quality strap and it looks perfect on the watch, but if you really wanted to change it, drilled lugs would ease the operation, and I know from experience that the spring bar perches are positioned close enough to the case that a straight-ended two-piece strap won’t leave an unsightly gap. My only nit to pick is that it comes with a brushed silver colored buckle. Sorry, but a black case needs a black buckle. That’s a Time Bum rule. [Update: Nick tells me the watch will be shipped with a matching black buckle.]
Nick has done an excellent job on this watch, packing tremendous presence and character into a compact package. You can order a Field Standard now for $400, or $450 for one of just 25 PVD black case versions. Go to OrionWatches.org for more. ◆