Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Orient Bambino Version 4 Blue Dial Reference FAC08004D0 (Options: FAC08002F0 & FAC08003A0), A Must Have For Watch Lovers – A Review (plus Video)

I have been fascinated with the Orient Bambino for some time. It was just the last year that the interest started to bloom more vigorously. The launch of version 4 of the Bambino series was the trigger that made me decide to get one.

Orient launched the version 4 in the first half of 2016 herald the fourth iteration of the classic Bambino collection by Orient. It is the first Bambino model to use the new automatic in-house Orient Caliber F67 type movement. It also has a number of changes from previous models.

The signature domed crystal is still there. However, unlike the previous models, the hour markers are rounded and diamond shaped. The hands are a lot thinner and the seconds hand has its tip painted red. It is also slightly larger, from the previous standard of 40.5 mm width on earlier versions to becoming 41.5 mm wide in this latest iteration. Concurrently, the lugs have also shifted wider to a more generic 22 mm from the previous 21 mm. Meanwhile, thickness is at 11.8 mm.

The version 4 is also the first Bambino to use the new automatic in-house Orient Caliber F67 movement. This is a new movement that has upgraded features, such as hacking and hand-winding. More about this later in the review.



There are three options to choose from. I was rather smitten by the midnight blue sunburst dial so I chose the model reference FAC08004D0. It was not hard to find in Kuala Lumpur and my supplier from Solar Time was able to source one almost immediately.

This is the FAC08002F0 with the gold plated casing and green dial
This is the FAC08003A0 with the polished stainless steel casing and grey dial

Before I start the in-depth review, I would like to mention a peculiar aspect of the Bambino series. If you were to look for reference in Orient’s main website, www.orient-watch.com, you won’t find any information on this particular watch (as at 16 December 2016). However, if you were to look at the regional orient website from USA, www.orientwatchusa.com, you will find reference to the version 4. This peculiarity has been noted and discussed in a number of watch forums but no satisfactory answers were put forth. I guess this is a particular quirk of Orient which gives that lure of mystery to the brand. Similar to the issue of Seiko of not having a dedicated website for the complete Seiko 5 offering (Orient is owned by Seiko….I suppose following the same mysterious strategy).



This latest version of the Bambino retains all the charm that makes it a classical timepiece. Positioned as a formal dress watch, it has the wrist presence that belies its price point and attains cult status that even more established and more expensive brands find hard to muster.



The jewel in the crown has to be the dial. The dial is a blue sunburst with a black edge. The texture of the blue dial is very versatile; it shifts from fairly dark to metallic blue in the right light and angle.

As this is my first Bambino, it would not be fair for me to pass judgment on it when compared with previous models. Suffice to say I will only describe the watch as I see it.

There are five lines of texts and logo on the dial. The main logo as well as the brand and the words “Automatic” are located on the top half of the dial. The other two lines of text, “Water Resistant” (in readable font) and a series of manufacturing coding (in very small font - near the peripheral of the dial) are located on the bottom half of the dial. There is a date aperture with a white border line located at 3 o’clock. The date wheel chosen by Orient has black numbers over a white background. I am quite happy that Orient decided against replacing completely the 3 o’clock marker with the date aperture. Although the marker had to be reduced in length slightly, it still provides the necessary balance and symmetry.




Protecting the dial surface is a domed mineral glass crystal. I am fine with this material though a number of people have wished that sapphire crystal was used instead. From an aesthetic point of view, sapphire crystal would be cool but it can cause a key essence of the Bambino, a value-for-money watch, to disappear. Affordability has always been the watch’s call to fame.

The crown is a simple push/pull mechanism with polished surface. It has three positions; safe (flush with the case) – allows manual winding; first position (one notch out) – adjust the quickset date, and; second position (two notches out) – adjust the time with hacking function.

The watch is paired with a leather strap with a similar blue colour scheme, on the sides and back. A simple signed buckle is used. If given the option, a nice deployment clasp would make it look even more regal. With the new 22 mm wide lug width, owners can now freely choose to accessorise the watch with countless other types of straps available in the market. I personally am not into the habit of changing straps often but I can see the opportunity that presents itself to owners that do love to change straps.



The F67 caliber is a 22 jewel automatic movement with a date complication. It has a seconds hand halt mechanism and capable of hand winding. Operating at 21,600 BPH or 3 Hertz, the main springs is capable of retaining more than 40 hours of power reserve. The manufacturer warranty states the caliber has an error rate of a maximum of +25 seconds to -15 seconds per day. Unfortunately, there is no display case-back to see the movement in action.

On the solid case-back, apart from some etching on the centre, some basic information is also made available. The case-back uses a screw-down system. The watch has a water resistance rating of 3 ATM or 30 meters.


The Wearing Experience

The watch feels rich and sophisticated. It feels like how a middle age James Bond 007 can get the best of men half his age when it comes to skills, agility and endurance (yes, I know, it is just a movie but don’t you ever wish to be 007?). The blue dial is mesmerizing and the way it reflect light is very attractive.



The leather is rather stiff right from the box. It takes a few days of wearing to soften up nicely. Below is a video of the watch on my wrist.



The listed price in Malaysia is RM930 but I was able to get it for RM650. From a value point of view, this pricing is just ridiculously low. It is hard to imagine Orient able to make something as beautiful as the Bambino and priced it at this level (inclusive of profit margin!). They did and we should be thankful to them for it.



Overall, a must have for anyone that loves watches.



Photo Gallery




1 comment:

  1. Nice review. Exactly the same for me, had interest in Bambino for some time but saw the grey with rose gold markers on V4 and plunged in! Waiting for it to arrive (ordered online)

    ReplyDelete

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