Orient watches are pretty synonymous with affordable mechanicals. In their ever-changing line up, not only are there the typical three hand models, but also models with power reserves, GMT and calendar complications, almost all of which cost under $1,000 dollars. These aren’t budget watches, they are watches designed to be affordable and high quality, which is an important distinction. And just to confirm that, not only are these watches Japanese made, they exclusively feature in-house calibers. I actually reviewed an Orient watch before, the Masquerade, right when we started w&w. That watch, which I still wear, was one of the first pieces to open my eyes to affordable mechanical watches. Now, after seeing and handling a multitude of watches, I am extremely pleased to return to the brand with one of the most exciting affordable mechanical watches on the market, the Orient Bambino ER24004B.
There’s a lot to talk about on the Orient Bambino, as almost every component is unique and finessed to create a seamless retro aesthetic. From the case to the crystal to the dial, no component feels stock or contrived. And powering the watch is genuine in-house caliber automatic movement. Abstractly, thinking about tooling and manufacturing costs, one would expect a watch like this to cost a pretty penny. Well, it’s only $260 MSRP, but as anyone who has ever bought an Orient knows, there are always discount codes available for 30%, which brings the price to $182. As I go through the watch in the review, I think it will quickly become evident that the Bambino is a much more substantial watch than the price suggests. And frankly, it looks so good, no one will believe you paid that anyway.