Orient Introduces the Bambino 38 Small Seconds

Vintage-inspired and very affordable.

A budget-friendly dress watch, the Orient Bambino is robust and usually priced well below US$300, making it a good option for the entry-level or budget-minded watch enthusiast. Now, the Japanese watch brand added the Bambino 38 “Small Seconds” to the range. Offered in steel or a gold-plated finish, the new Bambino combines a compact case with a retro-style dial featuring a sub-seconds at six and Roman numerals. 

Initial thoughts

The Bambino in its many variants is a compelling value proposition, marrying good quality with an attractive design. It’s the Orient equivalent of the Seiko 5. The model’s past designs have been a mixed bag, while the new Small Seconds is a more cohesive design. 

The latest iterations, particularly the silver dial, evoke 1930s watches with the railroad minute track and alternating baton-and-Roman markers. However, as is sometimes the case with vintage-inspired designs, this would benefit from revamping of the date, which is practical but gets in the way of the design.

Aside from the cosmetic enhancements, the Bambino 38 Small Seconds retains the same in-house calibre as its predecessors, a no-frills movement that isn’t pretty but adequate given the model’s affordability. Retailing for US$344 for the steel models and a $24 hike for the gold-plated version, these remain commendable value propositions.

A vintage-inspired dress watch

The latest addition to the Bambino collection incorporates many elements from the existing models. It inherits the compact, 38.4 mm case of the time-only model but gains a small seconds previously found on the larger, 40 mm Bambino Small Seconds.

The small seconds is matched with double tracks on the periphery of the dial for minutes and seconds. The hour markers are stamped while the hands are dauphine-style.

The new Bambino is available with a steel case in three dial variants: black, silver, and ivory. Additionally, the line-up includes a gold-plated version with a white dial that has gilt hands and indices to match.

The case is a relatively thick 12 mm as a result of the in-house cal. F6222, which has a 40-hour power reserve. It’s rated to -15/+25 seconds per day – an admittedly wide range that is nonetheless acceptable for a mechanical movement in this price segment.

Key facts and price

Orient Bambino 38 “Small Seconds”
Ref. RA-AP0101B (steel and black dial)
Ref. RA-AP0104S (steel and silver dial)
Ref. RA-AP0105Y (steel and ivory dial)
Ref. RA-AP0106S (gold-plated steel and silver dial)

Diameter: 38.4 mm
Height: 12 mm
Material: Stainless steel or gold-plated steel
Crystal: Domed sapphire glass
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. F6222
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, and date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: Leather strap with pin buckle

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Orient retailers
Price: US$344 (steel); US$368 (gold-plated steel)

For more, visit Orient-watch.com.

Addition May 17, 2024: Prices added.

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