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.
40mm is a very classic size… I would like 42 though… anyway it’s a beauty! it’s a gorgeous watch in fact and dresses up great, you made a great job choosing those C&B straps they are awesome too. thanks!
Great review! This is currently my daily. Very light, very accurate, and always looks good at work or just casually. Mine has the black dial with rose gold markers and hands. One of the more slim mechanical’s I have that slides under my dress shirt sleeves as well.
This piece is on my very short list of upcoming watch purchases.
Fantastic, love that domed crystal.
I like everything about this watch except its size… 40mm is really too big for this kind of classic dress watch style. 36-38mm would be a major improvement.
What are you a woman?
First, it’s pathetic to use “woman” as some kind of poor excuse for an insult. Some of the best people I know are women, and if I were a woman myself, it would hardly be something to be ashamed of, as you seem to want to imply. The only man insulted by comparison to a woman is a man who is insecure with his own gender identity. Please examine your insecurities next time before attempting to project them onto others.
Second, there is nothing inherently feminine or masculine about a particular watch size. Our fathers’, grandfathers’, and great-grandfathers’ generations wore classic watches smaller than 40mm, including in venues like Vietnam, Korea, Normandy, North Africa, Iwo Jima, and so on. Anyone who would describe such men as effeminate or un-masculine because of their watch size is a clown. On the other hand, I’ve seen a lot of physically inactive, underachieving men who wear comically oversized watches in a badly calculated attempt to appear more active, vital, and “macho” than they actually are.
Third, a disproportionately large watch will actually have the practical effect of making the wearer’s wrist look smaller and more delicate. As a result, a too-large watch can actually look rather feminine, as it is strongly suggestive of the oversized watches that are currently popular in women’s fashion.
In short, kindly go bugger off until you’re ready to participate in a normal, adult conversation.
The Seiko SARB029 is 36mm is very similar in style. I agree that the retro 50s-60s aesthetic is more suitable for a smaller size. The 40mm seems a little clunky.
Also, that comment left by Able seems rather insecure. Attacking someone else’s masculinity and size shaming tells me he’s overcompensating for something!!! HAHA
Lovely watch, would love to see a silver dial with blued hands version.
love everything about it. a question for everyone. there’s apparently a black case available on their website now which I’m thinking might help dress this watch down a little (i only wear casuals). what are your thoughts on this?
The black case version is actually a different, but similar, watch called the “Symphony”. It’s a bit less expensive, has no domed crystal and has some more modern details, like a chapter ring with markers. (there also a few different dials if you look at the different case styles). The black IP coating will certainly be less dressy, but I honestly felt that while the Bambino has dress elements, and can be worn as a dress watch, it looked right at home with non-dress clothes. Change the strap from the black one that it comes on to something more mellow, and the whole watch changes.
i’ve been trying to find these online to purchase but they seem to be out of stock everywhere. any idea where I could get it online? thank you.
Very elegant!! Want one!
Great review, guys. Thank you. Chanced the giveaway but didn’t win. I went ahead to purchase one (white dial) for myself and I’m enjoying every moment with it. Such a pleasure to look at it.
I just received my Bambino yesterday. Figured I just had to have one after reading this rave review. So, while it’s not bad watch by any means (especially for the price) I am less thrilled with it than I thought I would be. I don’t think the “pie pan” dial was a good idea as the raised center of it casts a greyish reflection on the crystal above which makes the crystal look hazy and dirty most of the time, depending on the lighting angle. IMO, a nice satin finished or matte FLAT black dial would have looked better. I also was expecting the domed crystal to be fully “domed” rather than just curved sides and a flat top. And my last comment is about the super glossy black imitation gator strap. I know Orient went for the dressy look but the quality of the strap looks more cheap-ish than dressy, IMO. At least that part can be corrected by changing to a nicer, better looking strap, as Zach did in his video review.
Sorry to hear you weren’t totally satisfied. I think it really comes down to taste. I legitimately loved the details you seem disappointed in, especially the crystal… The strap leaves something to be desired for sure. No matter how one looks at it though, for the price it offers a lot.
Yeah, you’re right, Zach. It is a matter of taste, and I must admit that after wearing the Bambino for a while, my impression of it has changed – in a positive way. Especially after changing the strap from the glossy black gator pattern to one made of super comfortable medium brown lambskin which totally transformed the character of the watch from dress to dress/casual and it feels now like one I could easily wear on a variety of occasions.
My all time favourite watch is the beautiful black 60’s Omega Seamaster, so when i first saw these i was ready to buy one in each colour. But at 40.5mm i am put of by the size for this type of dress watch.
I know the current fashion is for larger watches, but as a purist i wish there was also a more discreet, ‘true vintage’ style 36mm version available too.
I think a watch that looks this beautiful deserves it.
Beautiful review of this watch zach, I think the bambino looks greatly with the honey brown strap.
I just ordered the black case orient symphony with black ip coating And wanted to change the strap to Crown & Buckle honey brown. Do you think the black case will go well with it?
Yeah, I think that might look very cool. The honey strap has a bright orange-ish color that will contrast well with the black case.
Thanks Zach for the quick reply.
Great. I just ordered it!
Zach your review was very helpful in making me click on buy this orient , and am now hoping that it will reach me in Brazil from wherever it is coming from ! Already in anticipation of its arrival I would like to ask you a question and offer a tip. In that order , you sound a bit doubtful about it’s capacity to keeo out water down to 30 metres , as orient claims it to be capable. How alarmed should I be by your skepticism ? And my tip regarding your gripe with odd lug widths is to go one size up , 22 in this case , and compress a band of supple enough material. It worked with two oddballs I have – ’97 19 mm Seiko 5m42 kinetic , and 23mm victorinox mach6 airboss.
Yep, count me as one more vote for a 38 mm version. This is a handsome watch, but too big for dress if you’re over 21.
As for water resistance: if it doesn’t have a screw-in crown, don’t swim with it and don’t take it in the shower. You might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later, you’ll buy yourself a big repair bill for being lazy.
If it comes with a leather strap, I take that as a hint that it’s not meant for swimming.
Typically great review by the way.
Would also prefer a slightly smaller , 38mm version. Just seems too big and shouty on the wrist, for a classy discreet dress watch.
Love the look with the brown leather.
Great review, Zach. Thanks for the very interesting info. No doubt it is a classic and very nice looking watch at an affordable price range. However i must say the look of the quartz version the “Capital” even if it doesn’t have the nice automatic machine is a bit more classic in a sense and better looking for me. Any thoughts on that?
have you had the chance to try it on? Best, Sebastian
Hi. Been so close to pulling the trigger on the Bambino. I have also thought about the Orient Capital because I am a professional drummer and I am always taking my watch off every set but I wouldn’t have to with quartz. I used to wear a simple quartz watch until I discovered the world of watches. From time to time I miss those days.
Is the Capital the same watch as the Bambino? I like the simplicity of the logo on the Capital as well. It’s always great when the experts think for you. Also, thoughts on the rose gold version?
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Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
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a good read. Thanks for sharing!
Is getting strap 21mm the entire length or does it taper? Considering a deployant clasp with it and wonder what size to order.
Your review was EXCELLENT ! I just bought one after seeing your review. I cannot wait until it arrives. I have acquired several dozen straps that are 20 and 22mm ,so it will be fun to see how they look when I change them out.I really enjoy your reviews and I find them to be informative and thorough. Thank you
Decided to buy the watch after reading your review.
Thanks a lot for your help and explanations keep up the good work.
Excellent review and I just purchased an Orient ER24003W Men’s Bambino Automatic White Dial Gold Tone Leather Strap. Got it rather inexpensively from Discountwatch.com for $107 + free shipping.
I would jump at the chance if a 36mm version of it.
I owned a Bambino and was gave it away. Now I have two Orient Capitals. The Bambino is a fat pig compared to the Capital which is much thinner, and better looking. The Capital is just 7.9mm thick. It has the simple word “Orient” at the top instead of the Cheesy crest. The Capital has day AND date, and it doesn’t block the 3 -oclock marker. On the Rose Gold version, the dial marker colors matched the case much better than my Bambino. I do agree that, at 40.5mm both the Bambino and Capital look big. Not bad, but they would be more elegant at 37-38mm. Right now you can get a silver-case Capital for $99.00 on Amazon. Honestly, unless you are a self-winder snob, you’ll be happier with the Capital. It’s just a sleeker, more comfortable, and more stylish watch in every respect. I just wished they offered it in 38mm.
You missed it completely. This is an article that champions one of the most popular and affordable mechanical/automatic watches. Entirely. That’s it. Your watch is a quartz: plastic and circuits. (They can be reduced down to 3mm thick, check Citizen)
And I was about to look for this “Capital”. Quartz?! Pfff…
21mm lugs? no problem, just get a 22mm leather strap of your choice and shave off a lil’ bit on the lug side Just a wee bit will do and you wont have that distorted strap look.