Almost exactly two years ago I had the opportunity to review the Orient Bambino FER24004B. The replica watch left me somewhat stunned. It was gorgeous, unique (especially in the price range) and remarkably affordable. Heck, it’s one of the few replica watches out there that is down right cheap (in a good way), coming in at less than your average quartz and offering a whole lot more. Every angle was attractive, the overall style was spot on retro-goodness and both the build and finishing were respectable. For a replica watch that after using a coupon comes to $182, it was unbeatable. The replica watch’s popularity and oft-sold out state confirmed this.
2 years later, i am getting a second chance to review the Bambino… or re-review it if you will, and I’m quite excited about it. In the 2 years between, I’ve seen countless replica watches, some good, some great, some not so much. So the question in my head, before the luxury replica watch arrived, was simply, will I still feel the same way about it 2 years later… The short answer is a strong yes. If anything, seeing tons of replica watches, many of which are only marginally different from each other, has made the unique qualities of the Bambino shine all the more.
That said, the model I’m looking at today, the FER2400BW0 isn’t identical to the one I looked at 2 years ago. It shares the same case, crystal, movement and price, but has a new dial and crown. While it is also vintage-styled, it goes for an even older aesthetic, one that feels early 20th century and a touch classical. While I’m not going to say one is better than the other, the new model does feel like an evolution on the theme, and looks even a bit higher end.
It my original review, I noted that when first taking the Bambino out of the box, the case and crystal steal the show. That is still true. I can’t name another replica watch near this price or other, with such dramatic proportions. It’s not that the case itself is so unique, the feels seems familiar, it’s that the domed mineral crystal is big enough to house an eco-system. And instead of balancing it out with a thick middle case, they did the opposite, making it exceptionally thin. Mix that with a case that is polished on the top and brushed on the side with accuracy, and you have a truly gorgeous piece.
Like the original, the case is larger than one might expect or desire for the aesthetic, coming in at 40.5 x 46 x 12mm (to the top of the dome). Perhaps the only controversial detail of the replica watch, I have to say, this time I liked it. The replica watch doesn’t look too big at all, as the dial has increased in complexity thus appearing smaller. Often, vintage-styled replica watches that have been “modernized” via increasing their size feel inflated, ruining the proportions that gave them charm in the first place. While the first Bambino I looked at didn’t quite feel that way, there was a sense that pulling it in a bit would have sharpened it up a bit. This time, I just don’t feel that way. Everything looks balanced.
The only new addition to the case this time is a gorgeous new crown. Onion/diamond styled, it tapers out to a textured ridge before finishing with a flat, unadorned surface. It’s fairly small, measuring 6.45 x 3mm, but the shape gives it impact. Working with the early 20th-century look of the dial, it adds a bit of a classical ornamentation that suits the case perfectly, pulling it towards a dress aesthetic.
The new dial is nothing short of stunning. The surface is a domed pearlescent white/silver with sunbursting. It’s dynamic, elegant and simply gorgeous, setting up a great backdrop for all of the other details. In different lighting, the surface can either come alive with glints of iridescent light, or seem like a soft, subtle cream color. Both of which work well. On top of this is the primary index, which consists of large roman numerals and lines in polished rose gold…
I love rose gold, but only in small amounts, so this is just about perfect. It picks up the warmth from the pearlescent dial, yet subtly contrasts the steel of the case. It’s adds a luxurious flourish to the replica watch as a whole, but doesn’t make it pretentious or overly ornate. It’s the detail that takes this replica watch from something fun and well-styled to something genuinely dapper.
The previous model we reviewed had just applied markers, but this model has printed indexes as well. This is where the scale of the replica watch comes into play. The minute/seconds index is fairly dense, with markings per minute/second, numerals every 5 and sub-seconds down to 1/4th a second, all surrounded by a black outline. It has a technical feel to it, yet an aesthetic that works with its surroundings. Around that index is yet another outlined index with markings per minute/second. The outer index is redundant, not really serving a functional purpose, but together they provide a false stop to the dial, making it feel compact. This makes the proportions of the replica watch as a whole work, and not feel too big.
At 3 is a date window in lieu of an applied marker. It doesn’t feel out of place, but it doesn’t feel 100% right either. The lack of an applied marker makes the are seem empty, though they did maintain some symmetry. I’d love to see a date free version of this dial as well.
The hands on this version are thinner and more subtle than those of the older model, suiting the more complex design. The hour and minutes are thin, polished rose gold dauphine shapes with a slight 3-d effect. The seconds hand is a hair thin stick, also of polished rose gold. There’s not much to say about them other than they were well designed and sized for the replica watch.
From my last review: The Bambino is powered by the Japanese made Orient Caliber 48743, which is a 21-jewel automatic that is not hacking or hand winding, but does feature a date. The frequency of the movement is 21,600 bph, which translates to 6 beats per second. As such, there is a noticeable ticking to the second hand, though it is certainly still a sweep seconds. Setting the time and date is done as expected, and the sensation of setting the time, that is to say the resistance of the crown, the smoothness of the hands motion, is all very good. I only point this out, because of the low price of the replica watch and that sometimes low-end mechanicals can have a cheap “feel”. The movement feels good, is accurate and has a good 40hr power reserve. One thing to note is that rotor is a little noisy, though if you are like me, you might like that detail.
Straps and Wearability
The Bambino comes mounted on a 21mm leather strap with a faux croc finish. It’s straight cut, with slight padding and fine thread along the edges for an overall dress design. Before getting to what I like about it, what I don’t like is that it’s a 21mm (which I said in my original review as well), making finding straps inconvenient. The replica watch also would have looked just fine with 20mm lugs, so the logic here is hard to pin down. The other is that it’s straight cut rather than tapering. Dress straps typically taper as do “vintage” style straps. I think it would have been a bit more elegant had the strap gone from 21 > 18mm or so.
What do I like is the color. It’s a very dark and rich brown with flecks of black and highlights of crimson, which resonate with the rose gold on the dial. It’s much more interesting and dynamic than simple black or a flat brown would have been. The croc grain and slight gloss finish work well too, adding texture into the mix. Since it’s 21mm, you’re likely going to be using this strap quite a bit, and though it isn’t perfect it compliments the replica watch well.
I forgot what a pleasure it is to strap the Bambino on to your wrist. The case, the crystal, the domed dial…they all work together to make a replica watch that is endlessly enjoyable to look at. I was concerned that, in the 2 years between, I would find the replica watch seemed like a novelty, or like an inexpensive replica watch masquerading as something it isn’t. But it’s not like that at all. The Bambino is its own thing and it’s very well executed.
The new dial design, particularly this model, has a level of style that is hard to equal at this price. It’s masculine and elegant, modest, yet full of personality. It definitely speaks to an earlier period of replica watch design, but doesn’t look antiquated or out of place… it’s got a classic design that isn’t going to go out of style. The rose gold then adds warmth, character and a touch of preciousness that you can play off of when paring with clothing. It’s definitely dressier than the previous model, and would look strange with shorts, but suits to business casual are easy to pull off. Blues, grays, and khakis will all play with the colors within.
As far as the size goes, the 46mm lug-to-lug makes it easy to wear for most wrist sizes, while the 41.5mm diameter makes it big enough to have presence. Despite the height of the crystal, it also wears and feels pretty flat, easily passing under a shirt sleeve. Though it looks and is larger than a vintage replica watch, like I said before, I think this model works at this size. You don’t feel like it’s large for the sake of being large.
It’s easy to forget that the Orient Bambino is $182 dollars. I certainly don’t feel like I am describing a replica watch that price. Even as I look at it now, I just don’t see such an inexpensive replica watch. If you handed it to me (and I didn’t know what it was) and said this was $1,200, I wouldn’t scoff at that. Design and execution are in harmony here. Throw in there the Japanese made automatic movement and, case-closed.
The only issues I had with it are the perhaps-unnecessary date window, and the inconvenient 21mm lugs. Both slight issues that are easy to look past when compared where the replica watch excels… and that’s before considering how affordable it is. Simply put, if you are in the market for something dressier, this is a replica watch worth looking at. You’re definitely not finding something comparable under $200, and there are only a few replica watches under $1,000 I’d put it up against aesthetically. Don’t forget to enter “wornandwound” at checkout to get your 30% discount!