The Orient Bambino has been reviewed hundreds of times. However, it's been on my buy list for so long, I simply NEED to review it.
I'll try to approach the subject from a different angle. First, I will explain why I think the Bambino v3 is the perfect demonstration of what a Bauhaus watch should be (although it's not German).
Secondly, I will try to see if the Bambino is still the best affordable dress watch as of 2021. Let's get into it!
Orient Bambino v3
As you can see above, the Bambino v3 is quite big for the "Dress Watch" category. Not only, is the 40.5mm case pretty big, but this size mostly comes from the dial.
As you can see above, the Bambino v3 is only 3mm bigger than my SNK807, but the dial looks almost 50% larger! However, I think it looks good even on my small 6.25'' wrist, so it's all a matter of preference.
Orient Bambino v3
30m / 3 Bar
The Bambino v3 is powered by Orient's in-house F6724 caliber. This is a trustworthy movement that's very similar to the Seiko NH35. Indeed, it can be hand-wound, hacked, and of course, wound automatically.
The specs are pretty basic; 40-hour power reserve, 22 jewels, 21,600 bph. However, its simple configuration is what allows the F6724 to be so reliable. It's not unheard of to see these movements go 10 years plus without needing a service.
Also, the accuracy is pretty good for such a cheap watch (+- 10 seconds/day in my experience).
I can't lie, the main reason why I bought the Orient Bambino is for its heavily domed crystal. This one sits extremely high on the wrist and is reminiscent of old school dress watches.
At this price point, you have a few concessions to make. For the Bambino, this translates to a mineral crystal that will be relatively easy to scratch, especially with its towering height.
At the 3 o'clock position, you'll find a signed push-pull crown that's used to set the time and date. With its unguarded crown and 30m water resistance rating, the Bambino v3 will resist a few splashes, but it isn't adequate for swimming.
This leads me to my next point: the "Water Resistant" script beneath the hands. I don't get why Orient would want to showcase this fact since water resistance is never a priority for a dress watch. If I could change something about the Bambino, it would be this script.
I would either remove it completely to have an uncluttered dial, or write something different such as "Bambino".
I usually never keep the OEM strap on a sub-$150 watch, but the Bambino is the exception to this rule. Indeed, the bracelet is quite comfortable and secure on the wrist. The only downside I can see is that it seems to crack up pretty fast, but this shouldn't be a problem if you condition it every once in a while.
Orient Bambino v3
316l Stainless Steel
As I said earlier, I think the Orient Bambino v3 is a perfect representation of the Bauhaus school of design.
For instance, the rectangle hands are very basic but super functional. Also, there are a few tweaks to make them more stylish, such as the highly-polished finish and the slightly bent tip of the minute hand.
The same thing can be said about the indices, which are also simple but highly legible. Most of them are straightforward painted-on baton indices. However, the 3,6,9, and 12 o'clock indices are applied to the dial instead.
It's good to note that there's a mark for every single minute. This isn't the case for every dress watch as some of them involve a guessing game to tell the time accurately.
Other features of the dial are also Bauhaus, in the sense that they're mostly functional with a bit of stylishness. The best example is the 3 o'clock date display; there's no fancy frame, just a slight beveling down.
Another detail that's easy to miss is the 12 o'clock Orient logo. As you can see below, it is applied to add a bit of relief to the dial.
The Orient Bambino v3 is available in four color schemes as pictured below. The first three colors (black, blue, and white) are typical for dress watches. These are safe bets that will be easy to pair with most clothes and almost any leather band.
However, there's no doubt in my mind that the anthracite gray version (FAC0000CA0) is the best looking of the bunch. Also, it goes perfectly with the Bauhaus styling of the Bambino v3.
Indeed, it's an inconspicuous color that gets way more complex when you put it under the right lighting. As you can see below, there's a heavy sunburst finish that's shaped in a peculiar way thanks to the domed crystal.
The finish of the case is the same you would expect from any other Seiko or Orient watch; very good. The lugs and the bezel are polished with a highly-reflective finish, while the sides are brushed in a horizontal pattern.
As you flip the watch over, you discover the screw-down case back which is also polished and extremely reflective. In the middle, you get an engraved Orient logo.
In conclusion, I think the Orient Bambino is still the king of affordable dress watches, even as of 2021. This is especially true if you can get a good deal on it. For instance, I was able to get it for only $82 USD on Amazon Prime Day 2020.
The only competitor I can think of in terms of aesthetics is the Timex Marlin. However, it has a more rudimentary movement and it's sold for almost twice the price.