Orient vs. Hamilton Watch Brands Comparison: Which One Should You Choose? Orient and Hamilton are two of the most popular watch brands in the world. They have been around for decades, both providing a wide selection of watches to choose from that cater to all types of people with varying budgets. But which one is better? Read on to find out!
Orient has been making mechanical watches for more than a century. This means they have an entirely different outlook on design and materials than their North American counterparts. A watch made by Orient is very artfully designed, showcasing classic beauty in all its glory.
Hamilton has been making watches since the late 1800s. They are a bit more ‘updated’ than Orient; however, they still do not compete with the Japanese watch manufacturer when it comes to design. Hamilton is better known for their use of stainless steel and other modern materials and innovative functions such as their recent addition — ETA Swiss movement. However, they have yet to incorporate automatic movements into any models (this may soon change).
The quality of Orient watches a cut above that of Hamilton. However, it isn’t by much. Orient has been making watches for over 100 years now, and the quality shows in their workmanship and materials used. Because of this experience, they have gotten so good at making timepieces; however, it doesn’t mean American brands aren’t just as good at producing quality watches.
Hamilton, in particular, is one brand that makes extremely high-quality watches today with great craftsmanship and technological innovations (once again due to Swiss movements). Both are fairly comparable in terms of manufacturing techniques and materials used and the overall quality of work. Some models are better from Hamilton, while others are better from Orient, but it’s mostly a toss-up. They may lack a bit when it comes to innovation but make up for it (slightly) with an emphasis on the quality you can see and feel when wearing a watch from them.
While we can’t say the best value for money buy between these two brands, we can confidently say that they both offer high-quality watches at an affordable price point (for pretty much anyone). Orient has some more expensive watches which give you more than just a timepiece; for example, diamond bezels or gold plating on case backs are included in specific models. However, there is no denying how affordable most Orient watches cost. Most average around $150-$300 for standard automatic models and go all the way up to $600 for more expensive models.
Hamilton watches are not as affordable as Orient watches, but they are generally of better quality. They tend to have higher prices due to their high-end movements, such as the Swiss automatic movement ETA 2824 (found in most North American brands). This allows you to compare the price point between two different factors — value and quality. Hamilton holds its own when it comes to offering good products at an affordable price but has no advantage over Orient because, if anything, their prices should be lower due to less quality compared to Orient’s offerings. Both manufacturers offer decent value for money, with Hamilton having a slight edge over Orient pricing. However, this by no means gives them an advantage overall. The quality and design of the Orient watch are simply better, with the price being comparable to Hamilton’s offering, which has the upper hand when it comes to movement.
Orient uses automatic movements in all their watches. Automatic movement means that you can’t wind the watch by hand or need a battery. This is done through kinetic energy from your wrist/arm moving at regular intervals throughout the day while wearing the watch (but also due to a weighted rotor in automatic watches). Both actions are done automatically — winding and setting the time, date, etc. It’s important to note that not all Orient models use this type of movement; however, most make it their ‘go-to’ standard for manufacturing timepieces.
Hamilton watches feature a movement called the ETA 2824-2 automatic. This is the second most popular Swiss movement in luxury watches, and it’s also found in other brands such as Seiko and Tissot (though Orient doesn’t use this particular model). While we can’t detail what makes it so great, we will say that Hamilton uses this type of movement due to its quality. It’s worth mentioning that both brands offer models with quartz movements, but these are generally cheaper than their automatic counterparts (as mentioned earlier). The common misconception is that Orient solely uses automatic/mechanical movements (which they do). However, there are some quartz models available from them as well. Much of their watch collection has a mix of mechanical and quartz movements.
Both brands offer decent quality in terms of watch dials (the face part) and case materials. Orient uses synthetic calfskin leather, compared to the material used for straps on most watches. However, the difference is that it is made onto the dial itself. Hamilton produces their strap and case material called ‘Veam,’ which has been developed specifically to match its vision of premium products and reduce its environmental impact by using PET plastics instead of petroleum-based plastics (such as PVD). We can only fault Orient for having notable issues with older models due to tarnishing if you don’t keep it clean and maintain it correctly. But this isn’t an issue for all models.
Orient is the only watch brand that we know of that specifically designs and manufactures its cases, dials, movements, and straps in-house. They own every aspect of production, which gives them creative freedom over every model they produce (however, this is also a downside as it means they can’t easily aim for one specific market or demographic).
Hamilton purchases their watches components from outside suppliers — not only do they use third-party providers to produce components like dials, but so does Orient! Hamilton has been around since 1892 with little change to its corporate ownership, while Orient has changed hands many times in comparison over the years.
The Orient vs. Hamilton watch brands comparison has given you a lot of information to help you decide which one is the best for your needs. If you’ve found that neither brand appeals to what you need, we recommend looking at other watches in this price range before making any decisions. But if either company seems like it would be perfect for what you want and need, read our post on how to use them properly, so they last as long as possible!