Cut or Carry: Orient Bambino Gen2 V2 Review
I have owned several Orients over the last year, and I am continually impressed with the quality for price point. In fact, at the time I write this, you can easily pick up a Bambino on the secondary market in great condition for under $100 shipped. That’s incredible! Orient seems to have found a great niche in the past few years – providing high quality – primarily dress – automatics as a gateway drug into the wide wide world of watches. Whereas other companies tend to struggle to find the balance between a looks and quality (hey, aren’t we all), Orient has it down.
The G2 V2 Bambino is no different – combining the vintage aesthetic that’s super popular right now with a great automatic movement, a beautiful domed crystal and all at a phenomenal price point. I’ve always found Orient very versatile – they look great on leather as a dress watch, but also tend to dress down fairly well on a NATO.
My first Bambino was a Gen 1, and I have to say that I prefer the Gen 2. The Gen 1 was very nice, and had many of the same great features as the Gen 2. However, it was a lot dressier and not quite as versatile, and I much prefer the range of dial options that comes with the Gen 2. Here’s a great overview of the differences and various configurations of the Bambino.
I think it’s unfair to critique this watch too much aesthetically given the range of dial options and layouts available. Overall, it’s great and you can find something that appeals to you. For me, this specific configuration with the Roman numerals and tachymeter chapter ring looks really great. I am not a huge fan of the faux-blued hands, and I could do without the faux-patina dial. Overall, it looks nice but a bit like it’s trying too hard to nail the vintage vibe. Apart from that, it’s a handsome piece.
My main issue with the Bambino – both Gen 1 and 2, and many other dress watches for that matter – is the size. The specs show this as a 40.5, but it feels bigger. It’s not obnoxious, but for my wrists at least, it is 1-2mm outside what I consider the ideal dress watch diameter. Again – not terrible, but enough to regularly keep it off-wrist.
Overall, the Bambino is a great watch and all-around winner. For me personally – and only because I’ve bought and sold multiple at this point – it’s going to be a cut. If it was a few mm’s smaller, one of these would be in regular rotation. That said, it’s a great watch at an amazing price and I highly recommend them.