Orient Bambino: Your Best Affordable Dress Watch

May 06, 2020
Orient Bambino: Your Best Affordable Dress Watch

If you’re into mechanical watches — whether luxury or affordable — chances are, you are familiar with the Orient Bambino. Known as the best affordable dress watch in the market, the Orient Bambino has quite an elegant reputation. 


The Orient Bambino has a sophisticated and classic design with its clean dial and (often) leather strap. A mechanical movement powers the watch, giving it a reputation of sophistication and quality. Most of all, this dress watch is extremely affordable! At less than $300 — some even less than $150 if you get them from Amazon — you’ll have a dress watch that’s elegant and versatile. Because it comes in a variety of styles, you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion. 

A Brief Look into the History of Orient Watches

Founded in Japan in 1950 by Shogoro Yoshida, Orient Watch specialises in quality mechanical watches, both self-winding and hand-wound. Aside from mechanical watches, Orient also produced electronic components and quartz and solar-powered watches.


However, the company’s history with watches dates back to 1901. The Yoshida Watch Shop first started selling imported watches, then it moved on to manufacturing gold cases. In 1949, after World War II, however, the business suffered losses and had to close down. Eventually, in 1950, it reopened bearing a new company name — Orient Watch Company. 

process of assembling a watch
Photo from Orient

In 2009, the company was acquired by Seiko and has since been continuously creating affordable, mechanical watches, featuring Japanese in-house movements.


At the onset, Orient’s mission has always been to create high-quality watches with classic and enduring designs. And true enough, the brand has been doing just that. For almost 70 years, Orient’s legacy has been anchored in its craftsmanship and precision, as well as classic designs that withstand the test of time. 


Orient has a number of significant collections. Among them were the Orient Star introduced in 1951, followed by the Orient Fineness launched in 1967, and the Orient Multi-Year Calendar in 1976.

The Classic Orient Bambino

When the Orient Bambino was introduced, it quickly became a favourite among discerning and stylish watch lovers. If you look at the Bambino closely, you would understand why. 

front view of Orient Bambino Version 1 Second Generation watch
Photo from Orient

With so many versions that have come out over the years, the Orient Bambino collection is distinctly linked together by its two significant features: a domed crystal and a domed dial. Aside from a date window at 3 o’clock, polished hour markers, and slim hands, the sunburst dial of the Orient Bambino is relatively kept simple and clean — perfect for a dress watch. 


Paired with a neutral black or brown leather strap, or sometimes the occasional steel, the Orient Bambino is a definite classic. However, you can always play with its versatility. You can dress it down or even keep it trendy by pairing it with fabric straps.

Orient Bambino’s Two Generations  

The Bambino has two generations, and each one comes in different styles, called versions. The first generation has three versions, while the second generation has an additional two versions, making it five. In addition to these five versions, Orient also introduced the Small Seconds Bambino and the Open Heart Bambino versions.

side view of Orient Bambino First Generation vs. Second Generation watches

Design-wise, there were no obvious changes between the First Generation and Second Generation Bambinos, except for one. And it was said the change was done to correct a typographical error on the dial. The First Generation Bambinos had the words “Water Resist” on the dial at 6 o’clock. Orient modified it to “Water Resistance” in its Second Generation watches.  


However, the most important change between the two generations happened inside — Orient updated the movement in the new generation. The Orient Bambino First Generation was powered by the Orient automatic Calibre 48743 movement. They fitted the Second Generation Bambinos with the upgraded Orient Calibre F6724, which is a 22 jewel automatic movement with an added hand-winding and hacking functions.

The Many Versions of the Orient Bambino

Now that we’ve cleared the differences between the two generations, let’s move on to the different versions of the Orient Bambino. And for the sake of clarity, we will be featuring Second Generation Bambinos. 

front view of Orient Bambino Open Heart and Version 1 watches
Photo from Orient

Although the dials are distinctly different from each other, as mentioned above, the Orient Bambino watches are anchored by two significant features: a domed crystal and a domed dial. 


Another thing to note, even though each version features its own special design, the dials of each of these Bambino watches remain clean and simple.


Here are the seven different versions of the classic Bambino dress watches. 

1. Orient Bambino Version 1 

The original classic, the Bambino Version 1 has all the elegant features of a timeless dress watch. It has a clean dial of either white or black, a thin bezel, rhomboid indexes, and thin, dauphine hands. The case comes in either silver or gold (yellow and rose).  

front view of Orient Bambino Version 1 Second Generation watch

This Orient Bambino Version 1 FAC00005W0 comes in a 40.5mm stainless steel case with a white metallic sunburst dial and a brown leather strap. The hour markers are polished complemented by dauphine hands. A date window sits at 3 o’clock. And because it’s already part of the Second Generation series, you can see the words “Water Resistant” at 6 o’clock — as opposed to “Water Resist” wordings of the First Generation Bambinos. Running on the in-house automatic Calibre F6724 movement, it has hand-winding and hacking functions and a power reserve of 40 hours. What’s more, it is water-resistant up to 30 metres. 

2. Orient Bambino Version 2

While the case is just a bit thicker, the dial of Version 2 of the Bambino is distinctly different. Instead of rhomboid indexes, it now sports Roman numerals. It also has a different minute marker train featuring two lines around the edges of the dial, which makes the dial look a bit busy. However, the thin hands make up for it, giving the whole look a more streamlined vibe. Compared to Version 1, Version 2 also has a slightly bigger crown and this time shaped like an onion.

front view of Orient Bambino Version 2 Second Generation watch

The Orient Bambino Version 2 FAC00009N0 pays tribute to vintage dress watches with its beige dial and dark-brown leather strap. It features Roman numeral markers, blue thin hands, and a train track chapter ring. The 40.5mm stainless case is paired with an onion crown. It runs on the Orient Calibre F6724 automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking features. With this movement, the watch can be hand-wound if left unworn for a while. 

3. Orient Bambino Version 3 

Orient’s take on Bauhaus design, the Bambino Version 3 has a very clean style. From rhomboid hour markers of Version 1 to the Roman numerals of Version 2, comes the very thin index hour markers of Version 3. The dial looks very clean and uncluttered with only the thin hands, the date window at 3 o’clock, and the logo adorning it. Unlike the first two versions, the Bambino Version 3 watches are all in stainless steel, offering no gold or rose gold options. This time, however, patrons have more colour options for the dial — from white to black and blue and grey.

front view of Orient Bambino Version 3 Second Generation watch

This gorgeous Bambino Version 3 FAC0000DD0 looks trendy with its Bauhaus-style blue dial. The thin hands complement the thin index hour markers very well, and they pop against the blue sunburst dial. This model is also powered by a new in-house automatic movement called the Calibre F67, which also features hacking and hand-winding functions. An elegant black leather strap finishes the clean look.

4. Orient Bambino Version 4

Perhaps the closest in look and style to the original Bambino Version 1, the Bambino Version 4 has slimmer and more rounded hour markers and hands, but with the same date window with a border. The seconds hand, however, features a red tip that is more visible against the coloured dial options — which is another new thing for this version. In terms of size, Version 4 is bigger than the first three versions with as big as 42mm cases.

front view of Orient Bambino Version 4 watch

The FAC08002F0 model from the Version 4 Bambino series features a vibrant green sunburst dial enclosed within a 42mm yellow gold-tone stainless steel case. The thin hands and hour markers are in the same matching yellow gold-tone. The only other features adorning the clean dial are the date window at 3 o’clock and the logos at 12 and 6 o’clock. The whole look is complemented by a brownish-black leather strap. Inside the watch runs the Orient automatic Calibre F6724 movement, the same movement that powers the Bambino Version 2 watches.

5. Orient Bambino Version 5

With this fifth version, Orient decided to change up the dial a little bit. This time, the hour markers come in elaborate Arabic numerals, but the collection retains its domed crystal and domed dial, as well as the customary 40.5mm case size. The hands are likewise different in Version 5. They are curved and leaf-shaped as opposed to the dauphine hands of the previous versions. For the record, this is the latest version among the Bambino line — launched in 2018.

front view of Orient Bambino Version 5 watch

For our featured watch, we have the Orient Bambino Version 5 RA-AC0003S10A. The 40.5mm stainless steel case features a white, sunburst dial, displaying Arabic numerals and leaf-shaped hands. Despite a small date window at 3 o’clock, the dial is still kept minimalist. The in-house automatic Calibre F6724 movement features a hand-winding function and has a power reserve of 40 hours. With this new version, you can also admire the whole mechanism of the watch through its exhibition caseback. Meanwhile, a black leather strap finishes its elegant design. 

6. Orient Bambino Small Seconds  

Putting a spin on its classic models, Orient launched the Bambino Small Seconds Version. This time, it removes the second hand and puts in its place a small sub-dial at 6 o’clock to show the seconds. The words “water resistance” on the dial are also removed, keeping the look as clean as possible even with the additional sub-dial. The same indexes in Version 4 are mixed with Roman numerals (at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock) to keep the dial more interesting. Meanwhile, you’ll see dauphine hands telling the time.  

front view of Orient Bambino Small Seconds watch

The Orient Bambino Small Seconds RA-AP0002S10A featured here is as classy as a dress watch gets. It has a standard 40.5mm stainless steel case, a white sunburst dial, and a rich brown leather strap. At 6 o’clock, you’ll find the seconds sub-dial instead of the usual “water-resistant” text in the previous versions. The mixed Arabic numeral and index hour markers work well with the sub-dial and date window, keeping the look simple and minimalist. And at its heart beats the new Calibre F6222 mechanical movement, which is an upgraded version of the Calibre F6724. 

7. Orient Bambino Open Heart 

Last but not least — another significant addition to the Bambino series is Orient’s special take on the Bambino Version 4. The brand keeps the dial clean and simple with rounded hour markers and slim hands. But it removes the date window at 3 o’clock and then replaces it with a skeleton sub-dial at 9 o’clock. This allows the wearer a peek into the watch’s mechanism. Just like the rest of the other versions, the Bambino Open Heart features a domed crystal, a domed case, and a minimalist dial. 

front view of Orient Bambino Open Heart Version watch

The Orient Bambino Open Heart RA-AG0003S10Bstays true to its dress watch heritage with a clean dial and an elegant leather strap. Its 40.5mm stainless steel case in rose gold-tone displays a white, minimalist dial. Only the skeleton ‘open heart’ window at 9 o’clock adorns the dial, besides the indexes and hands. The bezel, indexes, hands, and onion-shaped crown are all in rose gold-tone, giving it a luxurious appeal. Powering the watch is the new Orient Caliber F6T22 — a movement developed by the brand specifically for the Open Heart Version. 

Affordable Luxury at Its Finest

There you have it! The seven different versions of the elegant Orient Bambino dress watches. Although, as mentioned, these watches are distinct from each other, especially in terms of the dial design, their similarities are also apparent, making each of the watches distinctly Bambino.


Elegant and sophisticated in aesthetics, as well as durable and functional in design, it’s hard to believe that you can get any of these watches for less than $300! It’s no wonder the Orient Bambino always comes up in the best affordable dress watch lists. 


In the market for luxury dress watches instead? Check out our feature on one of the most iconic dress watches of all time, the Patek Philippe Calatrava

Leave A Reply
To Top