Monochrome Watches
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The Unbeatably Priced & Dressy Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds

Orient’s classic dress watch just got more classical with a more compact diameter, a small seconds sub-dial and Roman numerals.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 3 min read |

There is a vast swathe of the watch market awash with affordable watches, models that really deliver a lot of bang for the buck. But how many well-built, well-designed mechanical watches out there can you get for under 300 euros? Not many (the sporty Citizen Tsuyosa Automatic is a serious contender too). Producing watches that are even more affordable than Swiss counterparts like Tissot, Japanese watchmaking company Orient is a force to contend with when it comes to value for money. One of its best-selling dress watch models, the three-hand-and-date Bambino was recently presented in compact, unisex 38mm cases. Following the trend for smaller diameters, Orient launches the Bambino 38 Small Seconds, also with compact cases and a choice of four dial colours.

A member of Orient’s Classic Collection, the Bambino Small Seconds is classical through and through. A cross between an earlier Classic Bambino 40.5mm model without the small seconds sub-dial and a 40.5mm Bambino model with small seconds but Arabic numerals, the new Bambino incorporates the small seconds counter, comes in a more compact 38.4mm diameter and has Roman numerals. Available in stainless steel or gold-coated case, the thickness is 12mm, the surface areas are polished, and the sides of the case are brushed. A large winding crown with pronounced grooves facilitates time-setting and winding, but the star feature of the case is the pronounced domed mineral glass over the dial. Underscoring the watch’s retro, mid-century personality, the convex glass also accounts for some of the thickness because the brushed case middle is relatively thin.

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The four tones selected for the dials are classical colours, with black, silver and ivory options. Domed and inscribed with a precision railway minutes track (I’m not sure this level of precision is necessary on a watch with a separate seconds counter…), the dial reinforces the classical vibe with raised Roman hour numerals. While the gold-coated model has rose gold-toned numerals matching the dauphine-style hour and minute hands, the other dials feature silver-coloured Roman numerals (the ivory and white dials have blue hands, while the black dial has silver hands). Always a bone of contention, the date window replaces the III numeral and has a white background on all four dial colours. The small seconds counter with its peripheral railway track seconds is well-integrated on the dial at 6 o’clock with a railway track.

The Bambino 38 Small Seconds is powered by an in-house Orient automatic – calibre F6222 – with a frequency of 3Hz / 21,600vph. A relatively new calibre developed by Orient with hacking seconds and hand-winding of the mainspring, the accuracy ranges between +25 seconds ~ -15 seconds per day. Industrial but with a decorated openworked rotor, the movement can be seen through the exhibition caseback. Delivering hours, minutes, hacking seconds, and the date, the power reserve is 40 hours.

In keeping with its dressy personality, the brown or black leather strap has a faux-crocodile imprint and is secured to the wrist with a pin buckle. The price of the stainless steel Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds is EUR 265. The gold-coated model retails for slightly more at EUR 279. All are now available from retailers. For more information, please consult

5 responses

  1. Awfully busy with those two outer tracks. Not sure why that was necessary.

  2. I think they are a beautiful design but wish they had a more accurate engine as I’d pay more

  3. You would be hard pressed to find a better value IMHO. Orient watches are rock solid in my own personal experience. Thanks very much for posting.

  4. Everything is good until you get to the crest on the dial. Orient needs to finally drop it, it’s always been hideous.

  5. The Orients I own have always been more accurate than advertised. Really beautiful timepieces but I agree the crest is cheap looking and must go.

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