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AFFORDABLE AND GOOD LOOKING, WHO IS THE ORIENT BAMBINO?
YOUR MUST-HAVE REVIEW [2020 UPDATE]

We love the Orient Bambino, you probably do too.

It’s easily one of the best dress watches on the market, and certainly turns heads with its great look. But are the watches worth it? 

Read ahead as we run through the lineup and so much more.

Orient Bambino – At A Glance

As you might have guessed, the Bambino line is owned by Orient. What you may not know is that Orient is owned by the Seiko group. It wasn’t always, however. Orient came into being in the mid-1900s and was bought over and integrated into the group in 2017. This is ironic as the two brands are rivals now. 

The Bambino is one of Orient’s best collections, no question about it. We’d even say it’s the most popular. It has beautiful dress watches, with a vast selection to choose from. 

Orient is constantly tweaking the line, which is why they redid their first generation of watches. They touched on areas where the bambinos were lacking. 

The Bambino collection is big, but not overwhelming. 

Generation 2 consists of five watch types, with 3-5 watches in them. The brand calls each type a ‘version’, which makes them seem cooler. 

Truth be told, the two generations aren’t that different. It’s just that Orient, being a perfectionist, edited a few things here and there. They’re treating the line with a lot of love. 

So, what makes the versions different? It’s the style they come in. Sometimes, they look different, but most of the time, it’s slightly stylized choices. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Orient Bambino Generation 2
A Run Through

Bambino Version 1

Version 1 is one of our favourites. 

It consists of watches that look chic, with a slight Bauhaus design

There are 5 watches in the lineup. All of them look strikingly similar, apart from a few details. They each have cases that match their hands and markers. It doesn’t look too matchy as they have dark leather straps. 

The main difference between them are their dials. Three have white dials, while the other two have black. If you ask me, the ones with the darker ones look the best. 

Let’s review one of them.

Orient Bambino V1 Gen 2 Review

It’s an automatic watch, which isn’t surprising. If you know anything about Orient, you’d know how much they love the movement. If you’re a fan of Swiss automatics, get ready to be disappointed as Orient doesn’t produce any. 

Japanese automatics aren’t bad, they’re pretty accurate – for an automatic watch that is. To be exact, the F6724 movement is present. It gives you a 40-hour power reserve, plus the ability to hack and self-wind. 

You don’t get a sapphire window. Instead, it’s a mineral one. Mineral isn’t as durable, but it does a good job. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you’re careful with handling it.

It comes with a domed window. This gives its face a fish-bowl like look. It certainly stands out next to other watches. That’s not all, its dial is domed too, so the effect is juiced up. 

There are thick rhomboid markers that are almost arrow-like. They’re nothing short of clean: who wouldn’t want that? In our opinion, they help with the appearance greatly. 

The Bambino is a perfect size. This is pretty subjective, but we believe that watches measuring 1.57 inches - 1.65 inches (40-42 mm) fit snuggly on most wrists. Well, the Bambino has a 1. 59 inches (40.5 mm) case. 

Like any good watch, it’s water-resistant. According to Citizen, the device is resistant up to 100 feet (30 m) underwater. Although this is useful, you shouldn’t test it out. Citizen warns you to not swim with it on. 

The Bambino is minimalistic, but when light hits it, it’s going to shine. The watch comes with a sunray dial so it has a metallic-like effect. 

If that wasn’t enough, you get a leather strap. The leather feels nice on your hand and makes the device look and feel more expensive than it is. Its minimalistic look and domed effect also help. 

Let’s not forget that it comes with a calendar. Most users will find this useful.

Version 2

Yes, we said that the version 1 looks classic, but the version 2 takes it up a notch. The line is reminiscent of vintage watches. The watches have large roman numerals. Overall, it screams grandfather clock, and we don’t know how to feel about it. 

There are five watches in the line, four with a silver bezel, and one with a gold one. Out of the four, three of them have white dials, with the other one being a beige. To be honest, the beige doesn’t look that great. It looks too dated for our liking. 

Let’s review one.

Orient Bambino V2 Gen 2 Review

The Bambino has 2 outer rings. They make the watch look intimidating, but on closer inspection, you will see that this makes it easier to read

Orient knows you might struggle with the Roman numerals, so the inner ring has indentations marking the 60 minutes in an hour. It has Arabic numerals throughout. The outermost ring also marks the minutes passed, but not as thoroughly. 

You get a domed mineral window, which we’re glad to see again. The domed effect is also on the dial, so the Bambino certainly stands out. 

A Japanese automatic is in place. Once again, this isn’t a surprise. Expect to see it in all the Bambinos on our list. To be exact, the F6724 movement is in version 2. We’ve seen it in version 1, so we know it has a 40-hour power reserve, and comes with self-winding and hacking. 

If you have a habit of dropping your watch in the tub, no need to worry. The Bambino is water-resistant. However, it’s not the best. It can only withstand a 100 feet (30 m) underwater. 

Orient says its water-resistance shouldn’t be abused, and that the watch can only withstand water when accidentally dunked in.
The bezels look chunky. There’s a silver ring in the outer corner of the dial that helps with this. It brings the whole grand-father clock aesthetic to life. 

We have to say, its leather strap rounds off the vintage look. The roman numerals go hand-in-hand with it, making the device look regal.

Bambino Version 3

Version 3 looks a bit like version 1 but is new and improved. You might not be able to put your finger on the difference at a glance, but you’ll realise that it’s much more minimalistic. Citizen amped up the Bauhaus design. 

No, there aren’t five watches in the lineup. You only get four. All of them have silver cases, which differ in dial colour. There’s blue, grey, black and white. We love a good navy blue so it was our favourite.

Orient Bambino V3 Gen 2 Review

It has rectangular, rhomboid markings instead of Arabic ones. The thing is, its markers are really thin. If you have less than great eyesight, the watch may not be the easiest to use, depending on its dial colour. However, the sleek markings elevate its ultra-chic design. 

There’s an outer ring which makes the watch easier to read as it marks the minutes passed. The watch comes with a slight sunray effect. Thankfully, it doesn’t eat up the outer ring. 

You get the same leather strap as in the other two versions. However, there’s a difference in its texture. Version 3 doesn’t have embossing, so it feels less premium. Although this is disappointing, there is a reason for it. The embossing would have clashed with the minimalistic feel.

As it’s a watch fit for modern lifestyles, it’s only natural that it comes with a calendar feature. It looks similar to the watches in version 1 and 2. 

The sun ray effect is especially stunning with the dark blue dial. 

We mentioned that you’ll be seeing Japanese Automatic throughout our list. No surprise, version 3 watches also comes with the movement. It’s the same F6724 mechanism seen in its brothers. We’re not tired of seeing it as it’s reliable, and works well. Also, the 40-hour power reserve is really handy. 

Similar to the others, it has the same domed effect. Citizen seems to like the effect and we don’t blame them. 

The watch is water-resistant, which is a must-have. If you guessed it, the Bambino is resistant up to a 100 feet (30 m). This isn’t a bad depth for a dress watch, so you won’t see us complaining. 

What’s different is its hands. The watch doesn’t have dauphine ones, but chunky cylinders. It makes the watch easier to read in my opinion.

Version 4

Version 4’s watches look like version 3’s, but have a totally different dial. It’s like the older brother, so in a way, it’s somewhat similar to version 1. There are three watches in the line, which means you have a smaller selection to choose from. This is fine as they look pretty different. 

Two of the three come with a silver case, the other being gold. The strap on one is different. It’s not leather, but a camel coloured suede. 

In my opinion, the best orient bambino is version 4’s watches. They’re not overly modern or classic but still grab your attention. 

You know the drill, it’s time to review one of them.

Orient Bambino V4 Gen 2 Review

Unlike the version 3 watch, you get a leather strap that’s embossed. We’re glad that it’s back. 

The watch is bigger than the rest. It has a 1.65 inches (42 mm) case, so it’s bigger just by 0.059 inches (1.5 mm). 

It’s eye-catching and there’s an intense gradient effect. The green variant, in particular, looked great.

Speaking of the green, it’s emerald-like. Its rhomboid markers are thick, which gives its gold paint a thorough canvas. The gold and emerald combination just screams luxury and we’re here for it. 

As the markers are thick, you won’t have any issues reading them, especially at night. It’s clear that the Bambino collection does not like luminous paint, so this is good. You also get an outer ring that marks the minutes passed. 

Although the markers are on the thicker side, its hands aren’t. They’re like needles, which is an aesthetic choice we appreciate. It isn’t anything new though; many of the other versions have hands like this. 

Yes, the watch is a Japanese automatic. We’d be surprised if it wasn’t. It rocks our beloved F6724 movement, which I’m sure you’re a fan of at this point. 

And yes: 

Citizen’s signature domed crystal is used. You shouldn’t be surprised by this either. The crystal is mineral. We’re not too mad as mineral dials can take a beating. 

Would it be a Bambino watch if it wasn’t water-resistant? No, which is why it can withstand a 100 feet (30 m) underwater.

Version 5

This version is relatively new. It came out at the end of 2018, so it’s the bambino of the Bambino line. The line is different from the other four. For starters, there are two styles in it. To make them easier to review, let’s call them set ‘A’ and set’ B’. 

If you want to be transported back to the 90s, set ‘A’ is your best bet. It has Arabic numerals that are in a font reminiscent of analog watches from back in the day. The dial is huge too, so it’s 90s-like. 

Set ‘A’ has 3 watches in it, and they’re identical apart from their cases. You can get them in silver, gold and rose gold. Unlike watches in versions 4, 3 and 1, they don’t stand out. 

Let’s talk about its brother. 

Set ‘B’ looks pretty masculine. You get a bulky stainless-steel strap that does not exude the same daintiness as the other versions. 

Other than that, its dial looks a lot like version 1. 

Let’s run through watches from both sets.

Orient Bambino V5 – Set ‘A’

The watch’s hands are noticeably slender. They still compliment the numeral’s font, which we love. There’s an outer ring that marks the minutes passed. The thing is, it’s not easy to read. The ring consists of tiny dots that don’t stand out. 

A calendar is seen in the 3 o’clock position. The watches in Bambino’s other versions came with it too. Sadly, it’s just the day’s date. However, this has become the norm. 

It follows the same dimensions as its counterparts. There’s a 1.59 inches (40.5 mm) case with a 0.82 inches (21 mm) thick strap. Speaking of the strap, it’s our favourite: leather. 

It boasts the same domed dial and 100 feet (30 m) water resistance. The domed effect makes the watch look better as it curves the already fish bowl-like font.

Orient Bambino V5 – Set ‘B’

The sunray effect compliments the metal bands. Although stainless steel is used, the watch isn’t that heavy. 

The watch is easier to put on and take off compared to the others on our list. It has a butterfly clasp that takes little-to-no effort to maneuver. 

Now, it’s slightly thicker than watches from other versions. You may not like this, but it’s only thicker by 0.2 mm. However, it’s still noticeable. 

There aren’t any Arabic numerals, unlike set A’s watches. The lines aren’t too thin and are similar to the ones in version 4. 

Overall, the watch is resistant up to 100 feet (30 m) underwater and rocks the same dimensions as its counterparts. 

Yes, it’s a Japanese automatic with an F6724 mechanism: surprised?

Open Heart & Small Seconds

Apart from the two generations, the Open Heart and the Small Second lines are present. Their names give you a hint at what they do. 

There are 4 watches in the Small Seconds line up. They have a sub dial as their distinguishing feature. They’re the only Bambinos to come with it, so this is neat. In terms of the Open-heart line up, it’s full of skeleton watches. A skeleton dial and Bauhaus design don’t seem to go together, but the collection makes it work. 

Let’s look at watches from the two lines before we wrap things up.

A Bambino Open Heart Review

Like the many Bambinos we already looked at, the watch is 1.59 inches (40.5 mm) across. It’s also water-resistant up to 100 feet (30 m). 

It comes with a different mechanism. It has a F6T22, which is F6724’s sister. They both come with 22 jewels in their gears, and the ability to hand and self-wind. You’re probably wondering what these 22 jewels do. The more jewels an automatic watch has the less friction its gear face. 

Yes, the Open Heart is Japanese automatic. Orient is a Japanese company, so this isn’t a shocker. 

The ‘open heart’ is a small, circular opening into the watch’s interior. It has a glimpse of a gear that has a jewel on it. We have to say, it’s very captivating. Before you get worried, it’s not real. It’s just a piece of glass that has been cut and dyed. 

Since it’s a Bambino watch, it comes with the signature leather strap and domed mineral dial. We’re glad to see the embossing on the strap as we believe it elevates any look. 

Two of the five variants come with dark dials. The skeleton hole pops in them, without a doubt.

Bambino Small Seconds Review

The F6T22 mechanism is seen in the Small seconds too. For further clarification, Bambino says it’s the newer version of the F7642. But the difference isn’t that game-changing. 

There’s a sub-dial towards the 6-o’clock marker. No, it isn’t a chronograph. It’s a tiny clock face that can be used to track the time in another time zone. However, the sub-dial can be hard to notice in a variant of the watch that has a lighter dial. 

The domed mineral window that we love so much is used. After all, it’s a signature part of the Bambino brand. It also wouldn’t be a Bambino if it didn’t have a leather strap or water resistance up to 100 feet (30 m), which it does. 

Yes, it has a leather strap that’s embossed, but we noticed that it isn’t as embossed as the other Bambinos. This won’t affect its performance, however.

Things You Should Know

So, what do you think? Orient knows what they’re doing. You may be thrilled by the Bambino line up, but before you head to the store, the below section is a must-read. We’ve run through some hot topics and questions.

Does The Bambino Line Only Have Automatic Watches?

Orient produces a range of watches. However, the Bambino line only has automatic ones. This shouldn’t be a surprise as all the watches on our list were Japanese Automatics. Outside the Bambino collection, Orient has some killer Quartz and solar-powered devices at their helm, so give them a look too.

What Changed Between Generation 1 and 2?

We answered this question in our introduction, but let’s look at it in-depth: 

It’s the mechanism that changed. The first-generation Bambinos had the Orient 48743 movement. By no means was it bad, it had a 21-jewel movement that let the gears run smoothly. The thing is, the F7T42 has 22 jewels, so it’s superior. 

Although this is a plus, it’s not enough to change a whole line up. A major reason why Orient ditched the mechanism is because the 48743 did not allow hacking, or self-winding. Currently, such features are sought after, so Orient Bambino was limiting sales with the 48743. 

Other than that, both come with a 40-hour power reserve, which users would appreciate. 

You probably remember that this wasn’t the only thing they changed. The watch’s appearance was different as well. However, this only consisted of the lettering on the dials.

Believe it or not, generation 1’s watches had a typo on their dials. It used to read ‘water resist’ instead of ‘water resistance’. This could be pretty off-putting, especially since Orient is known for its quality.

How Similar Are Generation 1 and 2?

They’re identical except for the points that we mentioned. Even watch experts find it hard to differentiate between the two. 

The versions in both generations are 1.59 inches (40.5 mm) in diameter, with a 0.82 inch (21 mm) strap. This is true except for version 4’s watches. If you remember, they’re slightly larger, but not by much. 

The domed window was on all the devices we reviewed. It was in the first-generation line up as well. If it isn’t broken, why fix it? Orient took this to heart as the effect makes their watches look stunning. 

We loved the leather straps on them and luckily Orient kept this in both generations. You’ll see it in all versions except for ‘Set B’ of the newest version, version 5.

Why Should You Buy An Orient Watch?

Buying a watch from Orient, whether it’s a Bambino or not is a good move. If you didn’t realize how great they are, see below:

They Have History

When it comes to watches, buying from unknown brands isn’t the best. Although watches are merely functional, they’re widely used to showcase prestige. That’s why anyone who knows a thing about watches buys from brands that have a name attached.

Orient has been around since the 1950s and is known for its exquisite devices, so you’ll be more than proud to wear one of their pieces.

They’re Affordable

The Bambino line looks great, no question about it. You can’t deny how cheap its watches are either. Orient is known to put out some affordable products. They don’t stray from this with the Bambinos. Although affordable, they aren’t dirt cheap. 

This would negate the craftsmanship in them, so they’re just the right price. A lot of people would agree as Orient, especially the Orient Bambino line, is a staple in any watch enthusiast’s closet.

They’re Respected

If you know anything about watches, you’d know how snobby the watch community can be. We enthusiasts aren’t fond of brands that don’t use in-house parts. Luckily, Orient has our pass. They’re known to build their parts, so a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into making their devices.

They Can Be Premium

Their entry and mid-range line up are great, don’t get me wrong. However, you may want something higher end. Orient has your back. They have collections like the Royal Orient. This exudes luxury and has a price tag that costs an arm and a leg.

They’re Reliable

In the world of watches, Japanese devices are built to last. Although they don’t have much craftmanship in them, they have a lot of standards to live up to. Orient is a Japanese brand, so its watches are extremely reliable.

Conclusion

Let’s recap our Orient Bambino review:

The Orient Bambino line is full of great watches. They’re divided into versions, which have multiple watches, adding up to quite a selection in the end. However, the versions have very similar watches. A lot of the time, they only differ in design. 

These versions can be found in the first or second generation. You’re better off getting something from the second generation. They’re the same as the ones as the first, but with beefed-up specs and minor changes here and there. 

Whichever generation you choose, you’re going to get a dress watch that looks stunning and performs just as well. 

What more could you want?
Let us know. We’d love to know what you think. And don’t forget to share our article.
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