I came across Orient watches by chance, when I was laid up in bed after an operation, looking at classic 1950’s and 1960’s watches from the likes of Omega, Seiko and Rolex. I saw some images and clicked into one of an Orient Star, which caught my eye, and from there navigated onto the Orient site and then to various sites retailing a range of their watches online.
I liked what I saw. Many of the watches seemed well-designed, in a visually arresting way, with a pleasing aesthetic, and I started to narrow my search for the sort of 1950’s retro-style watch that my father and other relatives had owned, many of them, sadly, now long gone.
It was during this research that I came across the Bambino, pictured above, and I knew immediately I wanted one. It had a simple, classic, white watch face, with dauphin hands and elegant branding font. When I found out it was automatic, that was the icing on the cake.
As I read about the history of Orient, the more I read, the more I realised what a great watch company this was, with fantastic products, making their own in-house movements, a rarity these days. So much emphasis is placed on automatic Swiss movements that others are often overlooked and these are some of the best, with Japanese precision and attention to detail. Founded in 1950, they are now a stand-alone subsidiary of Seiko.
The Bambino has become a cult classic, for those in the know, and rightly so. Considered an affordable dress watch by many, it sits equally well on a wrist next to black tie and a dinner jacket, as it does with a smart casual look. Available with black, dark blue and white faces, for me, the white face is the one that takes me right back to 50’s and 60’s, cleverly managing to combine a modern contemporary look with a retro appeal. The largest difference is the sizing, as watches back then were much smaller. Some might argue that the watches of today have become too big, especially for people with smaller wrists and I think that’s a valid argument. It’s nice to see some strap and a watch in proportion, not just a giant watch face.
One things for sure though; the Bambino’s a modern classic that transports you to a different era, highlighting the fact that classic designs are truly timeless. It’s an Orient best seller for a reason.