When the passion for watch collecting begins for a person, there is a quick realization that watches can be a very expensive commodity and the pricing can be slightly intimidating for a new collector. However, there are many fantastic and affordable timepieces that feel exceptional on wrist, have a great automatic movement and look absolutely extravagant from an aesthetics perspective. Today's timepiece has an amazing on wrist feel, a fantastic in-house built automatic movement and has an elegant simplicity that would imply a much higher cost to own it. Today we look at the Orient Bambino II.
Movement: ORIENT Cal. F6724 Automatic, Hand-winding, Hacking Movement
Power Reserve: Approximately 40 hours
Crystal: Domed Mineral
Water Resistance: 30m
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40.5mm without crown
Case Thickness: 11.8mm
Dial Colour: Black
Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
Band Material: Leather (Black)
Lug Width: 21mm
Inside the Bambino II is the in-house Orient Caliber F6724 movement. This is a 22-jewel self-winding automatic movement with a 40 hour power reserve as well as hacking (second hand stops when crown is pulled out) and hand winding capabilities. This movement is something special due to the fact that it is an in-house built movement at such an affordable price point. However, Orient is a Seiko owned brand and all of Seiko's movements are built in-house as well, so Orient doing the same is no surprise.
The Orient Bambino II is one of the best bang for your budget timepieces available today. This piece retails for around $150 and for that price you get an absolutely amazing timepiece that will not disappoint. The Bambino II has a very satisfying feel on the wrist due to its 40.5mm case size as well as its thin case thickness at 11.8mm. The leather strap that comes with the watch also adds a sense of comfort and wearability with the timepiece.
The Orient Caliber F6724 movement powering the watch is an entire reason in itself that this watch is an absolutely fantastic buying option at its price point. The F6724 is a completely automatic movement with hacking and hand-winding capabilities which is built in-house. An in-house movement brings a whole new level of quality control and overall reliability with the internal mechanism of the timepiece. In-house movements are only brought to the table through higher end luxury brands which makes the movement inside the Bambino II something special.
The overall aesthetics of the Bambino II resemble simplistic elegance and a return to vintage or classic stylings which creates an amazing looking timepiece. This watch is more suited as a dress watch to go with a suit or a formal outfit as opposed to a casual everyday watch, but it can be worn anyway you choose.
There are very little cons with this timepiece, but the ones that exist are definitely worth pointing out. Firstly, the indices or hour markers. The Roman numeral hour markers are very highly polished which makes the watch difficult to read in certain lighting. The hour, minute and second hands also have the high polish issue that cause them to be difficult to see in certain lighting as well.
The date window on this timepiece is something that could have been left out and made the aesthetics of the watch even better (from our point of view). The date window is very small and the piece would benefit from the removal of the date complication all together.
Last on this list is the noise of the movement. The Caliber F6724 in the Bambino II is a very reliable and rugged movement. However, when the watch is being wound the rotor creates quite a bit of noise when winding and can sound concerning at times with how loud and crunchy the rotor sounds.
The Orient Bambino II is definitely at the top of the list as one of the best affordable watches in the market today. The Bambino is a truly stunning timepiece and would be a great fit for a collector at any price range and would be a great starter watch for someone who is migrating into the mechanical side of the hobby. Affordable, reliable, automatic and looks fantastic. This is a definite "should buy" in our books.