Orient Bambino vs Sea-Gull D2869s
If you have not already read my in depth run down of these watches individually you might want to give them a quick glance before continuing with this comparison. So why are we comparing the Bambino and the D2869s? Well… they’re both dress watches… they’re both around the £100 mark… they are both powered by automatic in house movements… they both come out of Asia, Japan and China respectively and I have owned them both for some time. They are however, very different watches.
Hand winding? Well no. Or yes? Maybe… I can confidently confirm that the Orient doesn’t hand wind which is truly a shame considering the beautifully shaped crown but what can you do? At this price point you really can’t complain.
The Sea-Gull is more of a grey area… being such an unknown model with little information translated from Chinese it’s hard to tell if this watch is meant to be hand wound. It works but really doesn’t feel great, almost gritty. I definitely wouldn’t recommend hand winding it but if you really really want to then I guess that’s your choice to make.
More generally, both movements seem to have held up well. Both hold decent time and run smoothly which is quite impressive considering that they are both made by their manufacturers in house and the Sea-Gull especially is a small production.
The Sea-Gull is also decorated which is always nice when the watch comes with a display back. Both movements have a quick set date function while the Sea-Gull has both day and date functions (displaying month also on the dial though this does not advance automatically).
In regards to how these watches wear, they’re both a really nice size, the Orient at 40.5mm and the Sea-Gull measuring in at 39mm. The Bambino wears so much thinner than its measurements would suggest thanks to the case back style and the domed crystal though in my opinion the Sea-Gull is slightly comfier to wear.
Both watches come on leather straps, the key downfall of the Bambino in my opinion as the stock leather strap seems wide, thick, stiff and does not taper. I wear mine on a NATO or Hadley Roma Cordora strap but that’s another story… In comparison, the black leather strap the comes on the D2869s is soft, thin and truly astonishing in quality!
Aesthetically these watches are entirely different and if we’re being honest this is probably going to be the deciding factor for almost everyone who’s considering buying one of these pieces. The Orient goes for the classic 3 hand dress watch look with slight vintage military influences whereas the Sea-Gull tries to replicate the complicated dress watch image with its three sub-dials and “moon phase” (its actually just a day/night indicator) indicator.
Both dials are done to a fantastic standard considering the price and I really cannot fault either, it just comes down to the look that you are trying to achieve.
Finishing and build quality is good on both though the Orient does boast some nice brushing on the sides, a more intricate crown and overall feels better put together. Orient also has a reputation or a very high standard of quality control, especially in comparison to Sea-Gull who seem to have had a few issues with the 1963 in recent months. That said, the all high polished Sea-Gull still feels and looks good so don’t be put off at all by this.
In conclusion, they’re both great watches and though both are in the same “budget dress watch” category they are essentially aimed at different markets as determined by their aesthetics. I enjoy them both and that’s why I own them both, however I must confess that I’ve been considering the sale of the Sea-Gull recently – purely because I’m falling out of love with the complicated sub-dial style of dress watches but yet I also don’t wear my Orient on a leather strap or as a dress watch at all… For these reasons, it’s almost impossible to choose a favourite.
What I can say however, is that in my opinion the Orient is a slightly “better watch” in terms of build quality but they are also very common… unlike the Sea-Gull. I’m afraid that is about all I can manage to conclude with this comparison so it all comes down to, “which one do I like the look of most”!