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Orient Bambino 38mm champagne – $229.50 w/ DAD24

Note: Link above goes to the champagne dial/blue hands. All colors are currently getting 15% off direct through Orient with that DAD24 code, which should apply to the rest of their models. Prices can sometimes drop lower over at Amazon (depending on the color you’re after), but at post time Orient’s US shop has them beat with the 15% off sitewide (or thereabouts) code DAD24

  • model: Bambino Version 7
  • size: 38.4mm width x 12.5mm thickness x 44mm lug-to-lug x 20mm lug width
  • movement: in-house Orient Caliber F6724 Automatic, Hand-Winding, Hacking
  • water resistance: 30m
  • crystal: Domed Mineral
  • etc: Exhibition caseback. Leather strap feels better than some previous Orient watches.
Orient Bambino 38mm three colors

Smaller, better, and more refined than it’s 41.5mm big Bambino brothers, the Orient Bambino 38mm could be the best bang-for-the-buck automatic/mechanical dress watch on the market.

That said, the champagne dial with blue hands looks a little less luxurious in person compared to the stock images online.

Lots of class for a reasonable price. 

Don’t overreact to that above opinion. It’s still a mighty fine, vintage looking dress watch. The champagne dial is a nice switch from the standard silver or black (yes they have those too), and the blue hands are a nice choice for sure. Those hands just don’t stand out as much as you’d think, and the champagne dial leans a little more butter-cream yellow than then pinkish/rosé-bubbly seen in the stock photos.

38.4mm diameter. 44mm lug-t0-lug. 
Shown here on a 7.5″ wrist.

But watches are notoriously difficult to photograph accurately. Especially when said dial is encased under a (very smart looking) domed crystal. The material for the crystal is mineral, which helps keep the price affordable, but with that dome elevates off the wrist maybe a bit more than expected.

Slimmed down to 38.4mm in diameter, but the domed case puts it at 12.5mm thick…
which oddly enough is thicker than the 41.5mm diameter OG. (11.8mm thick)

And at 12.5mm thick, the first time you accidentally smack it into a door frame you may wish the crystal was sapphire. I mean, the new and just reviewed Nodus GMT is more svelte at 11.8mm thick. So while this Bambino is still very much a dress watch and should wear fine with dress shirts and suit jackets/sportcoats… it’s not razor thin either.

Depending on the light, the hands will go from clearly blue to… 

Movement is an in-house automatic which hacks and hand winds. Case-back has an exhibition window so you can see those mechanical guts at work, as well as the pleasantly decorated rotor. Water resistance is just 30m, but that’s not unexpected for a dress watch. Especially one that purposefully looks like it harkens back to early last century. Crown is a subtle onion style, and feels good and secure and stable when you pop it out to set the time/date.

…”where’s the blue?”

One minor improvement that’s not so minor: The leather band seems to have been upgraded over older 41.5mm Bambinos. For a while there a few years back, Orient’s straps were stiff and sort of cheap feeling (depending on the model). This croc embossed calf leather strap doesn’t look overly shiny on the topside, and the underside is nice and soft. It’s pliable and wears well.

Exhibition caseback shows off the in-house hacking/hand-windable automatic movement.

Fashion is cyclical, and we’re currently in the thick (wocka) of a slim-down trend for watch sizes. (Oddly enough trouser, shirt, and jacket fits are expanding away from the hyper-trimness Thom Browne helped usher in during the aughts & early teens.) And while the Bambino 38mm rides that wave of more “classically” sized wristwatches, short of being worn by a centaur, it shouldn’t get drowned. It’s a just-right size for many, at a just-right price now that they’ve finally started to see some action on the sales and promo-codes front, as well as finally proliferating thoroughly into the gray market.

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