If you’re just getting into mechanical watches and appreciate quality, but don’t have deep pockets, then you’re likely turning to the Japanese. Of course, there’s Seiko, a company known for producing high quality, beautifully designed timepieces that don’t break the bank. But Seiko’s not alone. There’s also Orient, another Japanese firm that takes the notion of a value-packed timepiece very seriously. And within Orient’s catalog of watches, there is perhaps no watch more celebrated than the iconic Bambino.
The Bambino is the watch you recommend when someone asks, “Hey, I want a classic timepiece that won’t cost a month’s mortgage payment—what should I get?” And since its inception, the Bambino has has seen numerous iterations—several of which we’ve reviewed here on Worn & Wound—so there’s certainly something for everyone within the line. For 2018, Orient is unveiling a new version of the Bambino—this time dubbed the Bambino Small Seconds—and, in this writer’s opinion, it’s the best one yet.The Bambino SS retains many of the fundamental elements of the line: there are three hands, a domed dial and crystal, and a date. The most significant departure is indicated by the name: right over six, you’ll find a small-seconds sub-dial. Pair that with the 12, three, six, and nine configuration of the Arabic hour markers, and what you have here is a very classic looking watch. Below 12, you’ll find the branding and “Automatic.” To the left of the “3” marker is a small date window, unframed here so it’s not too obtrusive, though I can see people taking issue with its placement. Thankfully, there’s no “Water Resist” anywhere on the dial—kudos, design team! The faceted, tapering hands round out the look. The Bambino SS will be available in white, champagne, and black.
The dimensions of the Bambino SS are familiar with a case that measures 40.5mm wide (without the crown) and 12mm thick to the top of the domed mineral crystal. The water resistance is 30 meters. The case will be offered in stainless steel and plated gold and rose gold. An exhibition case back gives view of the new F6724 movement, which hacks, hand winds, beats at a rate of 21,600 bph, and is rated for a 40-hour power reserve.