Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

The 36mm Bambino

When we received the Bambino Small Seconds for review earlier
this month, we also got the 36mm Bambino. This is a model that got us honestly
curious, as there are certainly many Bambino fans out there who insist the
original's 40.5mm width is too large for them, and argue that a truly classic
dress watch size is between 36 – 38mm.

The 36mm Bambino (36.4 to be precise) seems to be the perfect answer for
these claims. Retaining the classic Bambino DNA – domed crystal, lovely dial
and all – the smaller version lies right in the goldilocks zone for the more
conservative of watch buyers. Or is it…?

The 36mm watch was originally introduced by most retailers as a
"ladies version" of the Bambino. It's easy to see how its design
really does speak to female customers, or at least bears a lot of resemblance
to classic ladies watches: the smaller dial dictated by the case size has less
open space and a more compact arrangement of details, like the applied logo,
gold toned markers and hands, which against the sunburst effect of dial (more pearlescent
here than in most other current Bambinos, it seems) create more of a jewel-like

All this does not necessarily mean it cannot work as a unisex, or men's
watch, as well. It's all in the details – and more than that, in the eyes of
the beholder.

The version we received – ref. - RA-AC0010S – comes attached to a
leather strap – and it must be said right away that this almost instantly puts
it the wife's jewelry box. The strap is narrow (17mm at the lugs) and tapers to
around 13-14mm at the buckle. We let a couple of guys at the office take a look
at it and they immediately associated the strap as belonging on a woman's

On the wrist – particularly one larger than 7" – it really did feel
a little petite, although much of that came from the combined appearance of the
strap and jewel-like impression, and not so much the case size itself.

Now, keep in mind Orient more recently introduced the 36mm Bambino on a
bracelet. And that actually does make a difference in its appearance. Take for instance
this piece, ref. RA-AC0009S. A little less gold, a little more steel, and it
does look more like a unisex watch.

So, in conclusion, here's what we can say about the 36.4mm Bambino:

It is indeed a lovely watch
for women.

It will not work for men
with wrists over 6.5"

Even at under 6.5",
consider replacing the strap with a non-tapering one.

Or, at under 6.5",
consider the versions that come on bracelet – however that would render them a
little less classically dressy.

The blog would like to thank Orient – Epson Europe for providing
us this 36mm Bambino for review.