Baselworld 2019: First Look at the New 36mm Classic Date “Bambino” From Orient

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I like things that can be repurposed from their intended use. For example, on my desk is a coffee mug that I use to hold pens. I once lived in an apartment whose previous tenant had left behind a coffee table fashioned from an old door (and not in a college squalor way, but in a well finished artisanal way). There’s an appeal in discovering a hidden use for something, and we may have found one in this new, smaller, Orient Bambino (officially, the Orient Classic Date). Conceived as a ladies piece, this new dressy watch from the budget-focused Japanese brand is actually a perfect classic sized gent’s watch. It also might be a useful gateway for modern watch lovers to explore vintage inspired sizes.


Orient Classic Date “Bambino”

Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial: White sunburst
Dimensions: 36.4mm
Crystal: Mineral crystal
Water resistance: 30 meters
Crown: Push/pull
Movement: Caliber F6222
Strap/bracelet: stainless steel bracelet
Price: $324; $352 (two-tone Rose Gold plated version)


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These new Bambinos come in two flavors, differentiated by the handset and bracelet. First we have a version with a basic white dial, black hands, and applied silver toned hour markers. The steel bracelet has a combination of brushed and polished finishes.

There’s also a two-tone model with the same dial, but this one has rose gold colored accents on the bracelet and dial furniture to match. On both watches, the dial has a very subtle sunburst pattern. Because of the color and finishing, the two-tone version is perhaps more feminine, but in terms of size, most men could easily pull these off, and if you’re a fan of the Bambino aesthetic and like a watch with a smaller footprint, it’s worth checking out.

This is a nice looking watch that could easily serve as an inexpensive or everyday watch in an office setting or as a “dress beater,” which may or may not be a product category that I just invented. I could easily see this piece working with the bracelet removed and a nice pebbled leather strap.

It’s worth remembering that 36mm is not only a classic size for dress watches still used today by many brands, but through the 50s, 60s, and 70s it would be completely normal to see these dimensions in more rugged sports watches designed to be worn much more casually. If you’re a younger gentleman who has always been curious about how a more classically sized watch would wear, this new Bambino might be a great low stakes way to test drive a smaller size.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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