The Orient was purchased in 1991 from a street merchant in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Yes, it runs counter-clockwise.
Quite the conversation piece.
Hi In Stitches,
My father has a limited edition JLC with the original style deployant that you like, and a Lange 1 with the same style deployant. He bought both watches in 2004, and the comfort level of the deployant has nothing to do with the leather (croc straps) they come on softening up. He got both on a short strap so the strap fits properly but they just do not fit a lot of people's wrists comfortably, unless removed and reversed to open in the other direction. That may not be the entire reason for changing the deployant, but it may be part of it.
Yes, IWC does make some of their own movements. However, many use an ETA or Valjoux 7750 as a base movement.
As for Il Destriero Scafusia, that is an watch that cost several hundred thousand dollars, and IWC so throughly revised the 7750 that was used that it is nothing like what one would find even in a 10,000-20,000 IWC Hell it was hardly a 7750 by that time. An IWC Double Chonograph has no where near the finishing or amount of modifications that make Il Destriero Scafusia a rather special watch. In terms of quality, workmanship, and modifications and improvements to a base movement IWC's Double Chrono is more closely related to any 3,000-10,000 watch from a different company powered by a 7750, than it is to II Destriero Scafusia.
The Valjoux 7750 is a good sturdy workhorse. There is nothing wrong with it, at least when found in a watch within a certain price range. Personally, for that kind of money Il Destriero Scafusia cost, I don't want a 7750 powering my watch. As nice as that watch was its value tanked after they were sold, unlike those of many Pateks that either stayed stable or increased in value.
As for Lemania, I'd much rather have a Lemania powering my watch than a Valjoux 7750. They tend to be less common, and found in better watches like Breget, Patek (their old chronos and perpetual calendar chronograph) and VCs. Although, I'd pass on a UN. A friend had one that spent 6-8 months of the first two years of ownership going back for warranty repairs. My friend was really sorry about making that purchase.
While the old style deployant isn't the most comfortable I've tried on, I agree completely with you about its looks. I can also say it felt very sturdy and as though its of much higher quality than the current thinner double butterfly styles I've tried more recently.
I also wonder if the change in clasps has anything to do with cutting costs. When making them out of gold or platinum, a thinner clasp using less gold or platinum costs them less to produce, and they can just call it a new design and not pass any savings onto the consumer, as they aren't going to reduce the price of the watch even though the clasp costs them less. Although, the cost savings idea is merely speculation on my part.