Orient Bambino FER2400BW0 Review

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Almost exactly two years ago I had the opportunity to review the Orient Bambino FER24004B. The watch left me somewhat stunned. It was gorgeous, unique (especially in the price range) and remarkably affordable. Heck, it’s one of the few watches out there that is down right cheap (in a good way), coming in at less than your average quartz and offering a whole lot more. Every angle was attractive, the overall style was spot on retro-goodness and both the build and finishing were respectable. For a watch that after using a coupon comes to $182, it was unbeatable. The watch’s popularity and oft-sold out state confirmed this.

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2 years later, i am getting a second chance to review the Bambino… or re-review it if you will, and I’m quite excited about it. In the 2 years between, I’ve seen countless watches, some good, some great, some not so much. So the question in my head, before the watch arrived, was simply, will I still feel the same way about it 2 years later… The short answer is a strong yes. If anything, seeing tons of watches, many of which are only marginally different from each other, has made the unique qualities of the Bambino shine all the more.

That said, the model I’m looking at today, the FER2400BW0 isn’t identical to the one I looked at 2 years ago. It shares the same case, crystal, movement and price, but has a new dial and crown. While it is also vintage-styled, it goes for an even older aesthetic, one that feels early 20th century and a touch classical. While I’m not going to say one is better than the other, the new model does feel like an evolution on the theme, and looks even a bit higher end.

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$260

Orient Bambino FER2400BW0 Review

Case
Stainless Steel
Movement
Orient Cal 48743
Dial
White w/ Rose Gold
Lume
N/A
Lens
Domed Mineral
Strap
Leater
Water Resistance
30M
Dimensions
40.5 x 46mm
Thickness
12mm
Lug Width
21mm
Crown
6.45
Warranty
1 Year
Price
$260

Case

It my original review, I noted that when first taking the Bambino out of the box, the case and crystal steal the show. That is still true. I can’t name another watch near this price or other, with such dramatic proportions. It’s not that the case itself is so unique, the feels seems familiar, it’s that the domed mineral crystal is big enough to house an eco-system. And instead of balancing it out with a thick middle case, they did the opposite, making it exceptionally thin. Mix that with a case that is polished on the top and brushed on the side with accuracy, and you have a truly gorgeous piece.

Like the original, the case is larger than one might expect or desire for the aesthetic, coming in at 40.5 x 46 x 12mm (to the top of the dome). Perhaps the only controversial detail of the watch, I have to say, this time I liked it. The watch doesn’t look too big at all, as the dial has increased in complexity thus appearing smaller. Often, vintage-styled watches that have been “modernized” via increasing their size feel inflated, ruining the proportions that gave them charm in the first place. While the first Bambino I looked at didn’t quite feel that way, there was a sense that pulling it in a bit would have sharpened it up a bit. This time, I just don’t feel that way. Everything looks balanced.

The only new addition to the case this time is a gorgeous new crown. Onion/diamond styled, it tapers out to a textured ridge before finishing with a flat, unadorned surface. It’s fairly small, measuring 6.45 x 3mm, but the shape gives it impact. Working with the early 20th-century look of the dial, it adds a bit of a classical ornamentation that suits the case perfectly, pulling it towards a dress aesthetic.

Dial

The new dial is nothing short of stunning. The surface is a domed pearlescent white/silver with sunbursting. It’s dynamic, elegant and simply gorgeous, setting up a great backdrop for all of the other details. In different lighting, the surface can either come alive with glints of iridescent light, or seem like a soft, subtle cream color. Both of which work well. On top of this is the primary index, which consists of large roman numerals and lines in polished rose gold…

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I love rose gold, but only in small amounts, so this is just about perfect. It picks up the warmth from the pearlescent dial, yet subtly contrasts the steel of the case. It’s adds a luxurious flourish to the watch as a whole, but doesn’t make it pretentious or overly ornate. It’s the detail that takes this watch from something fun and well-styled to something genuinely dapper.

The previous model we reviewed had just applied markers, but this model has printed indexes as well. This is where the scale of the watch comes into play. The minute/seconds index is fairly dense, with markings per minute/second, numerals every 5 and sub-seconds down to 1/4th a second, all surrounded by a black outline. It has a technical feel to it, yet an aesthetic that works with its surroundings. Around that index is yet another outlined index with markings per minute/second. The outer index is redundant, not really serving a functional purpose, but together they provide a false stop to the dial, making it feel compact. This makes the proportions of the watch as a whole work, and not feel too big.

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At 3 is a date window in lieu of an applied marker. It doesn’t feel out of place, but it doesn’t feel 100% right either. The lack of an applied marker makes the are seem empty, though they did maintain some symmetry. I’d love to see a date free version of this dial as well.

The hands on this version are thinner and more subtle than those of the older model, suiting the more complex design. The hour and minutes are thin, polished rose gold dauphine shapes with a slight 3-d effect. The seconds hand is a hair thin stick, also of polished rose gold. There’s not much to say about them other than they were well designed and sized for the watch.

Movement

From my last review: The Bambino is powered by the Japanese made Orient Caliber 48743, which is a 21-jewel automatic that is not hacking or hand winding, but does feature a date. The frequency of the movement is 21,600 bph, which translates to 6 beats per second. As such, there is a noticeable ticking to the second hand, though it is certainly still a sweep seconds. Setting the time and date is done as expected, and the sensation of setting the time, that is to say the resistance of the crown, the smoothness of the hands motion, is all very good. I only point this out, because of the low price of the watch and that sometimes low-end mechanicals can have a cheap “feel”. The movement feels good, is accurate and has a good 40hr power reserve. One thing to note is that rotor is a little noisy, though if you are like me, you might like that detail.

Straps and Wearability

The Bambino comes mounted on a 21mm leather strap with a faux croc finish. It’s straight cut, with slight padding and fine thread along the edges for an overall dress design. Before getting to what I like about it, what I don’t like is that it’s a 21mm (which I said in my original review as well), making finding straps inconvenient. The watch also would have looked just fine with 20mm lugs, so the logic here is hard to pin down. The other is that it’s straight cut rather than tapering. Dress straps typically taper as do “vintage” style straps. I think it would have been a bit more elegant had the strap gone from 21 > 18mm or so.

What do I like is the color. It’s a very dark and rich brown with flecks of black and highlights of crimson, which resonate with the rose gold on the dial. It’s much more interesting and dynamic than simple black or a flat brown would have been. The croc grain and slight gloss finish work well too, adding texture into the mix. Since it’s 21mm, you’re likely going to be using this strap quite a bit, and though it isn’t perfect it compliments the watch well.

I forgot what a pleasure it is to strap the Bambino on to your wrist. The case, the crystal, the domed dial…they all work together to make a watch that is endlessly enjoyable to look at. I was concerned that, in the 2 years between, I would find the watch seemed like a novelty, or like an inexpensive watch masquerading as something it isn’t. But it’s not like that at all. The Bambino is its own thing and it’s very well executed.

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The new dial design, particularly this model, has a level of style that is hard to equal at this price. It’s masculine and elegant, modest, yet full of personality. It definitely speaks to an earlier period of watch design, but doesn’t look antiquated or out of place… it’s got a classic design that isn’t going to go out of style. The rose gold then adds warmth, character and a touch of preciousness that you can play off of when paring with clothing. It’s definitely dressier than the previous model, and would look strange with shorts, but suits to business casual are easy to pull off. Blues, grays, and khakis will all play with the colors within.

As far as the size goes, the 46mm lug-to-lug makes it easy to wear for most wrist sizes, while the 41.5mm diameter makes it big enough to have presence. Despite the height of the crystal, it also wears and feels pretty flat, easily passing under a shirt sleeve. Though it looks and is larger than a vintage watch, like I said before, I think this model works at this size. You don’t feel like it’s large for the sake of being large.

Conclusion

It’s easy to forget that the Orient Bambino is $182 dollars. I certainly don’t feel like I am describing a watch that price. Even as I look at it now, I just don’t see such an inexpensive watch. If you handed it to me (and I didn’t know what it was) and said this was $1,200, I wouldn’t scoff at that. Design and execution are in harmony here. Throw in there the Japanese made automatic movement and, case-closed.

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The only issues I had with it are the perhaps-unnecessary date window, and the inconvenient 21mm lugs. Both slight issues that are easy to look past when compared where the watch excels… and that’s before considering how affordable it is. Simply put, if you are in the market for something dressier, this is a watch worth looking at. You’re definitely not finding something comparable under $200, and there are only a few watches under $1,000 I’d put it up against aesthetically. Don’t forget to enter “wornandwound” at checkout to get your 30% discount!

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw

29 responses to “Orient Bambino FER2400BW0 Review”

  1. Julian says:

    Very nice watch for the price, and great review! I do notice you love saying “really really” and “very very” 🙂

  2. I.RY says:

    DAT CRYSTAL! I love this watch. My one complaint (because I have to be that guy) is the inclusion of “water resist” on the dial. Just get rid of that one detail and it’s the perfect affordable modern dress watch.

  3. Rockhound says:

    I have to chime in as I recently purchased the cream w/ roman numeral version – I’ve admired the Bambino for some time and decided I had to take the plunge. I’m torn as to which version (the cream or white) I prefer, as the cream dial seems even more vintage (and I really enjoy the blue hands) but the rose gold markers on this version are a nice touch.

    I’ve held other watches up to the Bambino before, and once you’ve held and worn one, it’s tough not to – it is simply an amazingly well crafted timepiece even at nearly 10x the cost.

    • momini says:

      I agree. I bought the watch based on this review and I must say it is a terrific value. I don’t usually go for rose gold, but the hands and markers are very nice – I’ve received a number of compliments on the watch from people who usually don’t notice my watches. And the domed crystal is just great. I thought about a Bambino for a long time and I am glad I finally bought one. Orient even threw in a free women’s watch and my wife is wearing it now.

  4. Adolfo says:

    Where to buy it in Europe??

    • Albert says:

      You can order it from US retailers,as i did. Just have to wait longer due to

      customs duty of your country.

  5. Bruce says:

    Solid review– I may have to add this one to the list

  6. wkfink says:

    Really wish this was smaller, as a dress watch should be. 38mm should be the absolute maximum, preferably 36mm.

    • Orro says:

      I completely agree! I’ve been drooling over this watch since it came out and then again with the roman numerals, but personally can’t get past the size. Hopefully the people of Orient will read a few of these comments and make a midsize version (personally I like 34-36mm! hint, hint). Hell, even a ladies version could do the trick.

  7. BenR says:

    Arrrrgh I really want so much to like this watch. I can almost forgive the oversized 41mm case, but the 21mm lugs kill me. 21mm lugs force you to use 22mm non-OEM straps, and at that point you’ve mostly lost the proportions of the understated, vintage dress watches this is trying to evoke.

    38mm with a 20mm strap would have been a “modern” size update compared to 34-35mm vintage watches, but still understated enough to successfully capture their spirit. (See: Hamilton Intramatic 38mm.)

  8. psbero says:

    Beautiful watch, especially at the price, but I just can’t look past the ‘III’ numerals where ‘IV” should be…

  9. Beng says:

    Great review, Zach. That’s what I like about your reviews as you so aptly phrase it – ” affordability is not enough to make a watch great, uniqueness and execution….” You sure know how to pick ’em. I own the pink gold version of the Bambino and its gorgeous. The gold exudes a uncanny warmth about it as if alive glowing like embers of a fire coupled with the iridescent silver like dial and the warm fuzzy domed mineral crystal – almost like fine jewelry. One has to see it to appreciate it as photos do not capture the quality in its entirety

  10. how hard is it to make a smaller dress vintage looking watch this days, wish it was 36mm

  11. Paul Zografos says:

    anyone else a little bothered by the IIII instead of IV for 4?

  12. Paul Miller says:

    Are you sure those markers are applied? They look like they’re pressed up out of the metal of the dial – which would be even better than applied, at this price level.

  13. itewk says:

    This review both simultaneously introduced me to Orient, the Bambino, and ultimately convinced me to purchase. Just got it in the mail. You did not steer me wrong sir. Thank you much for helping me add to my collection with this wonderful piece!

  14. Mark Goodson says:

    I think that the watch looks great and is fantastic value but agree with other comments about the size. It’s just too big for this “Mad Men” retro style. I bought an Orient Star EL05004W which is a great alternative. It has a smaller dial, a power reserve indicator and hacking movement. It’s more expensive but I got mine from Serious Watches for €349, which I think is still great value.

  15. d_b says:

    Order placed at creation :p Can anyone recommend another strap that will go with this? Will 22mm straps fit even though it is a 21mm width?

  16. silkhead says:

    there is a bunch of 21mm straps on Amazon so stop your whining…the bubble dome makes this watch shine

  17. Nelson Tan says:

    Would buy one in an instant if it’s 36mm handwound without calendar… that would be real sweet for me.

  18. Michael Padilla says:

    Flip flopped around several entry-level mechanical watch options for a couple of months before finally settling on this one. No regrets. A nice first dress watch for a budding watch enthusiast. Thanks for the review (and solid photo samples)!

  19. silkhead says:

    put a Hirsch DUKE Alligator Embossed Leather 21mm Watch Strap in BROWN….look out for thieves