In Orient's dress watch lineup, the Bambino steals the show and is almost the only subject of conversation. However, it's a big mistake to brush over other Orient dress watches as if they're not enough.
After a bit of research, you will quickly realize that the Orient Symphony III can easily go toe-to-toe with the Bambino. However, it's a bit more unique and less ubiquitous.
In this article, we will dig deeper to find out if the Orient Symphony III is a decent watch, and if it's a viable option for collectors who like to stand out.
Orient Symphony 3
The Orient Symphony has a pretty big case for a dress watch. This can also be said for the Orient Bambino, which I find a bit unfortunate. I would love to see a smaller non-Bambino 36-39mm dress watch in Orient's lineup, but the Symphony 3 isn't the answer to my question.
However, I must admit that the 48.25mm L2L length of the Symphony makes it a good fit for most men, except for those with small (<6.25'') wrists.
It's also important to note that the Symphony III sports a flat crystal (unlike the Bambino), which gives it a slim 12.10mm profile. This gives a more contemporary look to the watch as well as making it easy to slide under shirt cuffs.
Orient Symphony 3
50m / 5 bar
Leather or Jubilee Bracelet
Given the affordable price of the Symphony III, its in-house F6722 mechanical caliber provides unbelievable bang-for-the-buck. Not only is this caliber very accurate and reliable, but it also comes with highly sought-after functions like hand-winding and hacking.
This automatic movement uses 22 jewels, has a 42 hours power reserve, and beats at a low frequency of 21,600 bph. Thanks to Orient's association with Seiko, you get the amazing "Diashock" system which ensures that your watch will keep working fine even after a few drops.
There's been a pretty decent price cut between the Orient Symphony 2 and 3, but it obviously comes with a few downsides. For instance, the Symphony 2 had a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal which set it apart from the Bambino.
Conversely, Orient went back to a mineral crystal for the Symphony 3 to keep the costs down. However, the new F6722 caliber is a big increase from the Symphony 2's 48743 caliber, which didn't hack nor hand-wind.
The Orient Symphony 3's definitely not intended to be used as a swimming watch. However, its 50m water resistance means it would probably do just fine underwater. I must warn you that swimming with an unguarded push-pull crown is always at your own risk.
This timepiece is available with a leather strap or Jubilee (kinda) bracelet. In my opinion, the leather band is always the best option for these affordable watches because bracelet quality is often sub-par at this price point (hollow end-links, stamped clasp, etc..).
Orient Symphony 3
316L Stainless Steel
The Orient Symphony III is undoubtedly a dress watch, but I think it can be dressed down easier compared to the Bambino. This is especially true for steel bracelet versions; they'll look good with a suit, but won't be out of place with jeans & a t-shirt.
The simple dial of the Symphony features a sunburst finish that'll be barely visible on black & white versions, but will really pop out on the blue dial.
For this generation, Orient decided to flatten out the minute-track chapter ring (which was inclined on the first two versions). This isn't a change I'm particularly fond of as I think it removes a bit of depth to a very basic dial.
One change I do like a lot is the rounding of the date display. It's almost unnoticeable at first, but it definitely gives the dial a smoother look that's easier on the eye. Speaking of this date display, I think it's just the perfect size (most dress watches tend to use minuscule displays).
For the Symphony 3, Orient swapped the dauphine hands for a pair of what they call "spear-tipped hands" (I call them "alpha hands"). I think these look good and give a more casual look to the 3rd-gen Symphony, but I must say that dauphine hands are my favorite for dress watches.
Although very simple, the indices are probably the best-looking part of the Symphony 3's dial. At first, they don't look like much. However, their splendor shows when looking closely; slight trapezoid shape, variable thickness, and high-quality finish.
Another great feature of the Symphony III is the exhibition case back. This is pretty rare for Orient watches, so it's a welcomed addition. Although the F6722 caliber isn't particularly gorgeous, it's still brag-worthy to have an in-house movement in such a cheap watch.
As you can see above, Orient engraves the rotor in a cool fashion.
As you can see above, most Orient Symphony 3 models come equipped with an alligator-style leather band. Depending on which model you choose, the following elements will vary: dial color (black, white, blue), leather color (black, brown, blue), and case/trims color (silver, gold, rose gold).
There's really a model for everyone's taste, but some will be more versatile than others. For instance, the black or white dial versions will be easy to match with any clothes. Conversely, the rose gold version might look more distinctive, but it can be harder to pair with certain outfits.
As you can tell, the bracelet-equipped Symphony 3 offering is much smaller. You can only get the white or black dial versions with silver trims. As I mentioned earlier, I recommend getting the leather band variations if you're looking for the best bang-for-the-buck since Orient's bracelet quality is so-so.
Orient Symphony 2 vs Symphony 3
A lot of people wonder what changed between the last and new generation of the Orient Symphony. Here are the biggest differences:
1- The Symphony 2 uses a 48743 caliber (non-hacking, no hand-winding), whereas the Symphony 3 uses an F6722 caliber (hacking and hand-winding)
2- The Symphony 2 has dauphine hands, the Symphony 3 has alpha hands
3- The Symphony 3's date display is rounder
4- The Symphony 3's case is 0.6mm larger
5- The Symphony 3 has a mineral crystal, instead of sapphire
In conclusion, I think the Orient Symphony 3 is a great watch that's clearly an improvement over the last 2 generations. Also, it is a true competitor to the Bambino, and it is perfect for collectors who want to stand out from the lot.
All pictures in this article (unless otherwise indicated) come from orientwatchusa.com