Orient watches are known to be beautiful, reliable timepieces that can be had for a very reasonable price. The problem when shopping for an Orient watch is choosing which one is a better fit for your needs. This article’s purpose is to help those torn between the Orient Bambino and the Orient Symphony by providing a technical comparison.
While both the Bambino and the Symphony are on the cheaper side, they still provide a lot of value for the money. The Bambino range can vary in price from 120$-200$ depending on model, variation, and ‘’price drops’’. The Symphony, on the other hand, is a bit cheaper, coming in at 100-150$ depending on the same variables.
The biggest difference between the two timepieces lies in the crystal. The Symphony has a flat crystal, while the Bambino has a domed crystal. This might not make a lot of difference on paper, but some users might prefer one to the other depending on their use.
For example, the domed crystal might get scratched a bit easier, as it sticks out more. If you are a bit clumsy with your watch as I am, you might prefer the flat crystal from the Symphony. Some people love the vintage look that comes with the dome of the Bambino, so it's really a matter of preference.
Additionally, the Symphony I and II are equipped with a sapphire crystal, while the Bambino has a hardened mineral crystal. Sapphire glass is a synthetic material that is second in hardness next to diamond. This means it will be very resistant and unlikely to be scratched by anything but diamond or sand. The hardened mineral glass is technically less resistant, but it will be plenty resistant for most uses.
Symphony's flat crystal
Bambino's domed crystal
Another difference is the variety of choice. The symphony is only sold in a couple variations, often only available in black or white. The Bambino, conversely, has a mind-boggling amount of generations and versions, of every kind of color. This article won't cover every different Bambino model, as it would take a considerable amount of time. If you are interested in learning more about the different versions, and which one might be best for you, I suggest reading this article from our friends at Basic Bands.
A much less obvious difference between those Orient dress watches is the back of the case. The Bambino versions 1 through 4 are equipped with a plain stainless steel case with the Orient logo engraved on the back. The symphony has a much prettier transparent case back that allows you to see part of the movement.
One of the disadvantages of the Bambino is that it's lug size is rather unusual, at 21mm. This means it can be harder to find a watch band, considering a lot of manufacturers only offer even-numbered lug sizes (18mm, 20mm, 22mm, etc..). On the other hand, the symphony's lug size is 22mm, which means it will be easier to find a replacement band.
The band that comes with both watches try to replicate the look of a crocodile band. It is a good starter band for men who like to keep their watches simple. More advanced watch collectors might want to change the band for a more classic looking leather.
Both watches are pretty similar when comparing case size. The Symphony's case measures 41mm, while the bambino's case measures 40.5mm (except for the V4, which is 42mm). They can be worn by pretty much any wrist size, except maybe men with wrists under 6.5 inches, who might prefer to look for a model in the 36-38mm range.
When looking at the thickness, the two pieces are pretty similar. The Bambino is the leanest, with an 11.8mm thickness, closely followed by the Symphony, at 12mm. It is surprising that the Bambino is leaner considering the domed crystal. The reason why it is thinner is that Orient decided to use the stainless steel case instead of the see-through back used on the Symphony, which takes a bit more space.
The Symphony II and the first generation Bambino share the same Orient in-house 48743 movement. It is a very affordable automatic japanese movement, and it does a great job, even though it is getting a bit dated.
The 48743 isn't the most precise movement, but it is a workhorse. It beats at 21,600 bph, using 21 jewels. Additionally, the power reserve on this caliber is good for about 42 hours. According to Orient's user manual, you can expect the time to vary from -10 to +25 seconds per day.
The 2nd gen Bambino and 3rd gen Symphony upgraded to a F6724 movement for most versions, and a very similar F6722 variant for a few models. Both of these are also durable automatic movements, but they add the possibility to hand-wind the caliber if you run out of power.
The F6724 caliber is equipped with 22 jewels, and beats at 21,600 bph. You get around 40 hours of power reserve, and you can expect it to gain about 8,4 seconds per day, according to anectodal evidence.
In conclusion, we think the choice really depends on your preference, and what occasions you plan on wearing this watch for. We consider the Symphony to be a good everyday watch, since it is more resistant and more versatile. The Bambino is best worn on occasions, and we consider it to be one of the best timepiece to begin a dress watch collection. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or if you simply want to share your opinion on which one is best in your opinion.
All pictures from this article came from Orient Watch USA.