You are currently viewing Seiko 5 vs Orient Bambino

You are currently looking for an affordable watch with elegant styling. After a bit of research, you found the Seiko 5 and the Orient Bambino as your top contenders. 

These are two excellent timepieces, but they will appeal to a different type of people. This article will give you an in-depth analysis of both watches, and help you choose the best one for your profile.


Seiko 5 (SNK809)

Orient Bambino (v3)


Case Diameter



Lug Width



Case Thickness





Black Seiko 5 front

The size is the first ìmportant factor that will determine your choice between the Seiko 5 and the Orient Bambino.

The 37mm case diameter and 42,5mm lug-to-lug length of the Seiko 5 is perfect for men with modest wrist sizes.  To be more precise, this watch will look better on men with <6.5'' wrists.

On the other hand, the Bambino is a bit bulkier with its 40,5mm case and 46mm lug-to-lug width.  In consequence, it will look really good on wrists in the 6.5''  to 7'' range. 

There's also a large difference in lug size, with the Seiko being 3mm thinner than the Orient. It's also good to note that third-party bands are easier to find in even-numbered width, so the Seiko's 18mm will be more convenient than the Bambino's 21mm.


Seiko 5 (SNK809)

Orient Bambino (v3)

Flat Hardlex


Domed Mineral

30m / 100ft

Water Resistance

30m / 100ft

Plain Crown


Signed Crown


Case Back

Stainless Steel w/ Logo

In-House Application



The difference continues when looking at the crystal; both timepieces use a mineral glass, but the styling is quite different. As you can picture below, the Seiko 5 uses a conventional flat crystal, while the Bambino opts for a traditional domed crystal.

Seiko 5 Side View
Orient Bambino Side View

 The Seiko is equipped with a plain crown at the 4 o'clock position which operates the hands and the day-date display.

In contrast, Bambino uses a signed crown which is situated at the 3 o'clock position, and it also operates the hands and date display. 

The two watches offer a 30m water resistance, which is enough to wash your hands or take showers, but not to fully submerge it (no swimming).

This is to be expected from watches in this category. Of course, the crown is not screwed-in on any model, as these are not diving oriented.

As for the case back, the Seiko 5 is equipped with an exhibition mineral glass, which lets you peak through the automatic movement. Conversely, the Bambino V3 has a stainless steel case back, with the ''Orient Automatic'' logo.

Seiko 5 case back
Orient Bambino Case back

Last but not least, the Seiko 5's hands and indices are coated with a nice layer of green in-house Seiko lume, which is renowned for its brightness. The Bambino doesn't have any luminous phosphorescent, which is a bummer.


SEIKO 5 (SNK809)


In-house 7s26


In-house F6724




21,600 bph


21,600 bph

41 hours

Power Reserve

40 hours

-15 to +25 seconds/day






Diashock system, 60 Gauss magnetic resistance

Special Features

Hacking, Hand-winding

What makes these two watches so special is that they offer the possibility to own an in-house automatic watch for such an affordable price. As you can see above, these movements are really similar, with a few key differences.

For instance, the Orient F6724 is the most polyvalent of the two, as it offers automatic and hand-winding, as well as hacking (the possibility to stop the seconds hand).

On the other hand, the Seiko 7s26 can only be wound through movement, but it has a great anti-shock system and 60 Gauss magnetic resistance.

The other differences between these calibers are insignificant. For example, the Seiko's power reserve is 41 hours instead of Orient 40 hours. Also, the former uses 21 jewels while the latter uses 22 jewels.

The accuracy of the two timepieces is very similar as well. In this Reddit post, their precision is tested for 10 consecutive days. In the end, the 7s26 gained an average of 9,6 seconds per day, and the Bambino gained an average of 9,9 seconds per day.


SEIKO 5 (SNK809)


Business Casual


Dress Watch




Arabic Numerals

Hour marks

Steel indices




Once again, the Seiko 5 and the Orient Bambino differ significantly in their styling and design. Here, the Seiko 5 is the most versatile of the two. It can be dressed up to wear with a business attire, or you can also wear it with jeans and a t-shirt.

The key to adapt the Seiko for your daily needs is to buy a strap that suits your style. As you can see below, the 5 can be equipped with pretty much any type of strap and it will always look great.

Seiko 5 SNK809 nato strap on wrist

The Orient Bambino is more of a one-trick pony, in the sense that it's perfect as a dress watch, but it can be hard to pull off in a casual situation. The leather band suits the styling of the timepiece, so you don't need to replace it unless you want a more comfortable one.

The Seiko 5 is offered in hundreds of variations, so I decided to display the Seiko SNK line (SNK803/805/807/809) as it is the most popular model according to sales numbers. The Bambino is also offered in dozens of variants. 

Since there are way too many models to talk about in this article, I will redirect you to this article if you want more information on the rest of the Bambino lineup. 




$80 to $200


$110 to $200

3 years


1 year


Brand Recognition


The Seiko 5 is the most affordable of the two options, but prices are very variable depending on sales, vendors and seasons. The average Seiko 5 will cost between $80 to $200, although some limited editions or discontinued models, such as the SNXJ89, might have a marked-up price.

The entry-level Orient Bambino is priced a bit higher than the entry-level Seiko 5, but the price range is quite similar. One thing remains true for both these watches; you get incredible value for the price you pay.

Seiko is a bit more generous than Orient when it comes to the warranty, offering three years of coverage instead of one. This shouldn't play a role in your buying process, as both manufacturers are known to make high quality timepieces, with very few lemons getting by.

When it comes to brand recognition, Seiko and Orient are pretty much on par. They might not get attention from the general public, but watch collectors will certainly notice you are wearing a quality timepiece with any of these models.

Even though Orient used to be its own entity, the company is now owned and operated by Seiko Epson. Still, Orient has its own in-house movements and technologies, and the production is separated from Seiko.


Get the Seiko 5 if:

Get the Orient Bambino if:

  • You need polyvalent styling
  • You have small wrists (<6.5'')
  • You love display casebacks
  • You need a dress watch
  • You want a large dial 
  • You like hand-winding

The #1 factor that should determine your buying decision is the style of timepiece you're looking for. If you want a ''beater'' watch that you can wear all day every day, but which also fits in a business casual environment, the Seiko 5 is perfect for you.

If you want a dress watch that adds class and elegance to your formal outfits (suits, dress shirts, etc.), your best bet is the Bambino. Just be aware that it can be out of its element in a casual outfit.

The 2nd factor, which is as important as the first, is the size of your wrist. The Seiko 5 has a small case size and short, curved lugs. This gives the watch a very small presence if you have above-average wrists.

On the other hand, the Bambino has quite a big case size for its category. Additionally, the lug length to dial proportion makes it look very beefy on smaller wrists(<6.5'').

If you're still not decided, the decision will come down to personal preference.  You might fall in love with certain aspects of the watches, such as the display case back of the Seiko, or the domed crystal of the Bambino. Since buying a watch is an emotional affair, a small detail might tip the scale one way or the other. 

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