At the end of last year, I went hands-on with the colorful new versions of the Orient Bambino 38. I was surprised by how much value these watches packed for their very affordable price. The Fratelli in the comments were also impressed. Now the Japanese brand is introducing a more formal Bambino 38. Its four different versions feature elevated Roman numerals, a black, silver, or ivory dial, and a standard stainless steel or gold-tone case. Let’s take a quick look.

If you’re looking for your first affordable mechanical dress watch, the Orient Bambino 38 should be on your shortlist. I found the limited editions that came out at the end of last year super impressive. Their soft-colored dials made them look much more expensive than they were. Let’s see if the same goes for the new Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds.

The Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds

Just like those more colorful versions, the Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds has a 38.4mm case. It’s made out of stainless steel and has a brushed and polished finish. You can choose between four versions. For the “natural” stainless steel ones, you can choose between a black, silver, or ivory dial. The slim, dauphine-like hands of those versions come in either a silver or blue color. In addition, there’s also a gold-tone model, which features a silver dial with gold-tone hands and hour markers.

Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds ivory dial

The name of the Bambino 38 Small Seconds already tells you about the dial’s layout. In contrast to the colorful versions, these more formal ones have a small seconds register at 6 o’clock. The dial also features elevated Roman numerals in combination with regular baton indexes. At the edge of it, you’ll find the classically styled minute track, and the Orient logo sits at 12 o’clock. Finally, there’s a small and simple date window at 3 o’clock.

A thinner case

On the same side of the case, you’ll find the fairly big crown with which you can set and wind the automatic movement inside. It’s the F6222 caliber, which beats at a 21,600vph frequency and should run between +25 and -15 seconds a day. It also features 24 jewels and holds a power reserve of 40 hours. You can take a look at it through the Bambino’s exhibition case back. Just so you know, the water resistance of this watch is rated at 3 ATM, so you shouldn’t take it swimming.

Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds on wrist

The sub-seconds architecture of the movement makes it a bit thinner than the central-seconds movement inside the colorful Orient Bambino 38s. That’s why this Bambino 38 Small Seconds has a slightly thinner case at 12mm thick instead of 12.5. This new thickness very much suits the more formal character of the watch. It should easily slide under your cuff and shouldn’t be in the way during meetings.

Final thoughts

The new Bambino 38 Small Seconds is another impressive release from Orient, especially considering its price tag. The regular stainless steel models will sell for €315, and the gold-colored one has a price of €340. Those are very modest sums for watches that look this good and feature automatic movements inside. I’m almost certain that people will think you’re wearing a much more expensive watch when the Bambino 38 Small Seconds is on your wrist.

My favorite is the gold-tone one because it allows you to see if you’re a gold-watch person without having to spend a fortune first. For more information on the new Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds, check out the official Orient website.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of the new Orient Bambino 38 Small Seconds.

Watch specifications

Bambino 38
RA-AP0101B (Black/Steel) / RA-AP0104S (Silver/Steel) / RA-AP0105Y (Ivory/Steel) / RA-AP0106S (Silver/Gold)
Black, silver, or ivory with Roman numerals and a sub-seconds dial
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
38.4mm (diameter) × 12mm (thickness) × 44mm (lug to lug)
Domed mineral
Case Back
Stainless steel with mineral crystal, snap-on
Orient F6222: automatic with manual winding, 21,600vph frequency, 40-hour power reserve, 24 jewels, hacking seconds, accurate to +25/-15 seconds per day
Water Resistance
3 ATM (30 meters)
Black or brown calf leather with stamped alligator-skin pattern
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds) and date
€315 (steel) / €340 (gold-tone)