Just my first impressions with my new Orient Bambino. This isn't a TRUE review...I'm not experienced enough to lecture the merits of different movements, design features, etc. This is merely an encapsulation of my feelings on this watch.
Received my Orient Bambino Automatic watch in the mail 2 days ago. I haven't owned a mechanical watch since 8th grade (1977 - A Timex). I have many quartz watches ranging from a $10 WalMart generic to a $450 Citizen with Atomic sync and EcoDrive with 42 (I think) city WorldTime. I decided that I wanted to see what the other half of the watch world was into and took the plunge with the "Orient ER24001B Men's Bambino Automatic Black Dial Rose Gold Tone Leather Strap Mechanical Watch" after reading reviews about Orient watches on this site and others (chiefly WornAndWound). The criteria for my decision were : 1) Price must be reasonable - I'm not going to allow myself to get scalped financially for a watch for the sake of two little words, 2) Watch accuracy was unimportant on this purchase...I have accurate watches already (including 2 with PERFECT accuracy thanks to our friends at Fort Collins, Co.) 3) no metal bracelet, 4) the watch will be used as a dress watch so it has to be lovely and tasteful (and not look as brutal as my beloved G-Shock!).
I received the watch 3 days after placing the order (for $127.05) on Amazon.com. Shipping was free because I have Amazon Prime. The watch was shipped from a business called "Discount Watch Store". I had no difficulty whatsoever with placing the order or receiving the package (it was shipped in a timely manner). I opened the box and inside was a smaller box which contained the Orient Bambino (wrapped around a small decorative pillow), and some documentation. I pulled the Bambino from the box and noticed it was ticking and that the date window ALMOST had the right date. I think maybe somebody at the Discount Watch Store set the date/time and gave the watch a couple gentle shakes. Maybe it was simply coincidental that the date was almost set. Whatever the case I pulled the crown and set the time as close to that on my Citizen as possible (and also set the date). The stem of the watch felt solid, similar to the old Timex I referred to earlier. I was unable to set the seconds (non-hacking), but was content to find I was able to set it to ~15 seconds of the atomic clock. I don't know what type of accuracy the watch has...I don't really care if it's not super accurate (that isn't it's function in my collection), but I'll keep track of how accurate it is simply for curiosity's sake. Anything less than 1 minute a day and I'll be reasonably content. I've researched it in this forum and found that it should be -25/+15 SPD. But again, that isn't my chief concern/reason for buying this watch. I'm not going to be concerned with super accuracy at a dinner party.
The watch has a striking dial. I like the Rosegold case/black face contrast. The crystal is made of mineral glass. Finish it all off with a black leather strap. The strap is quite stiff, I hope it breaks in to be much softer and more pliable. I was a bit annoyed that the leather strap was wrapped in tight/clingy plastic with a notice that said "can't be returned if removed" on it. It was a minor hassle removing the plastic and I dropped the watch on my stone tile floor. Horrified I picked the watch up and studied it closely. I saw a couple very tiny "ding" marks on the face. Unnoticeable except at very close range. Still, I had marred my new toy. I'll have to learn which cloths are best for polishing out dings/scratches now.
Model: Orient Bambino Automatic ER24001B
Beat rate: 21,600
Case material/diameter: stainless steel/40mm
Case thickness: 11.8mm
lugs: 21 mm
Alligator Leather strap
Band Width: 20mm
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Movement: ORIENT caliber 48743, 21 jewels
The first thing I noticed after the beautiful face of the watch was the seconds hand. It wasn't sweeping as smoothly as the Wilton Precisionist that I bought last year (and later traded for my Citizen). I was a little disappointed that it wasn't a smooth sweep, so I took the time to learn about the beat rate of automatic watches. The beat of the Bambino is 21,600, which is about 6 beats per second. No wonder it wasn't as smooth as the Precisionist (16 "steps" per second). Still the seconds hand fascinated me. I tried to count the 'beats' per tick and it looked like 4 or 5 to me (though I know it is actually 6). The precision of some analog quartz models in lining up the seconds hand with the seconds markers was....nonexistent in the Bambino :D Didn't bother me at all, but found it interesting.
As I noted before the strap is very stiff. I had some difficulty putting it on my wrist, but once it was on there it was quite comfortable. I've read where some people said the strap looked "cheap". Well, looks pretty much the same as other leather straps in that price range to me.
I wore the watch to work and asked several people what they thought. All of them thought the watch was lovely. Some asked me how much it cost, sure I'd spent a ton of money on it.
I've included some pictures of this model watch. I didn't take ANY of these pictures but found them elsewhere on the internet. My apologies for not posting my own pictures but 1) I'm a rotten photographer and 2) I'm writing this essay at work and don't have access to my camera anyway. Thanks to WornandWound for the in-depth review which convinced me to buy this watch.
I'm not one of the "fit and finish" experts in this forum, so take my words with a grain of salt...but the Bambino seems well made to my inexperienced eyes. I didn't notice any obvious flaws in the watch, and it certainly is a pretty watch. I guess the right word for it is "elegant". The crystal is quite large and the watch is, well, very "shiny" for lack of a better word! Eye popping, actually. Faint praise I know, but the watch seems much better made than the generic watches at WalMart. Can't really say it compares favorably with my Citizen (but the Citizen DID cost about $300 more), but the Bambino is certainly the prettiest watch in my collection....and that is what I wanted, a pretty elegant watch to be used in formal occasions when my ugly G-Shock (but beautiful for it's comfort and utility!) and my spartan Citizen aren't "pretty enough". I think I succeeded. I hope that I can expect a long troublefree ownership of the Bambino.