The watch which has been the watchmaking brand’s signature design, loyal ambassador for several decades now, adorns its case in bronze and invites its russet glints to illuminate the creamy-coffee-colored lacquered dial.
Every watchmaking firm has its ambassador, the one which has been conveying a brand’s aesthetic values and technical prowess for more than one generation and is perfectly capable of renewing, evolving over time, without ever losing its identity. For Oris, the watchmaker based in Hölstein, in the north of Switzerland, this icon is the Big Crown Pointer Date, a timepiece created back in 1938 and designed for aviators’ wrists. After the quartz crisis, the firm which wished to focus on producing mechanical timepieces ennobled this model intended for the skies to embrace it as its flagship piece. Today it adorns bronze, an ancestral alloy consisting of copper, an exquisite, ultra-resistant material, which forms a natural patina over time and becomes an incredibly one-of-a-kind object.
On the dial, which is also in bronze and coated with creamy-coffee-colored lacquer, the hour chapter adorned with large Arabic numerals and markers is covered with white Super-LumiNova® and delicately brushed over by a pair of golden, phosphorescent cathedral-style hands. The date scale running along the flange is pointed out by a red cross-tipped hand.
The watch wraps round the wrist with a distressed-brown-colored chamois leather strap and a clasp made of… bronze, of course!
By Sharmila Bertin
PRACTICAL EVERY DAY
Be on time for your appointment with style thanks to a useful feature that can be set quicker than the alarm on your smartphone.
Since 1938, Oris has been supplying pilots with watches featuring an oversized crown, making it easy to use even when wearing gloves. Over time, this element has become a design signature that can now be found on the watches in two of the brand’s collections. One of them, the Big Crown ProPilot, is noticeable for the presence of some practical instruments. The new Alarm Limited Edition, launched at the last Baselworld, continues this tradition by including an alarm, as its name suggests. The alarm can be set in 10-minute increments using a second crown between 3 and 4 o’clock. By turning the crown, you can move the central hand with an arrow tip to the time of your choice in a central disc with a circular counter. In this sub-dial, a yellow marker also indicates the date. The rest of the time information is displayed in the traditional way with the help of two hands making their way around Arabic numerals coated in Super-LumiNova®. The contrast set up against the black dial makes for excellent readability in all lighting conditions.
The watch’s 44mm-wide steel case comes with a brown leather strap. And to highlight the exclusive aspect of this limited edition of 250 pieces, it comes in a superb wooden gift box.
Price: 4,600 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
A VERY URBAN PILOT
While it has all the makings of a vintage pilot’s watch, the Big Crown Pointer Date by Oris brilliantly combines a retro aspect with the look of a contemporary watch that can be worn on a daily basis.
Who said that the retro wave that has been washing over watchmaking for the past few years would be short-lived? Quite the reverse – the vintage inspiration is as popular as ever, for the pleasure of a range of brands, including Oris. Of course, when you have been in business since 1904 and have been making time-measuring instruments specially designed for pilots for over 100 years (a first pocket watch in the 1910s and a first wrist watch in 1917), you have all the legitimacy you need to make this kind of watch. Launched in 1938, the Big Crown has been given a new lease of life this year, particularly with the Big Crown Pointer Date model that is both wonderfully retro and wonderfully fashionable.
This watch designed by Oris and powered by a self-winding movement comes in two different sizes: 36mm for the more slender wrist and 40mm for a perfectly unisex width. On the steel case two of the main features of older pilot’s watches can be seen: a fluted bezel and a large crown. The other aesthetic elements inspired by the archives are the large Arabic numerals coated in Super-LumiNova® and the cathedral hour and minute hands, which are also luminescent.
The dial disc, protected by a curved sapphire glass, features a chemin de fer minute track with pale yellow, triangular markers. The date scale stretches all around the chapter ring, and the current date is shown by a hand tipped with a red crescent moon (or white, depending on the version).
The Big Crown Pointer Date comes with a blue-grey (40mm), almond green (36mm) or black dial for both models, and either a steel-link strap or a black or brown leather strap.
Price: 1,550 CHF (leather strap) – 1,750 CHF (steel strap)
By Sharmila Bertin
NEVER GIVE UP
For the second time in two years, Oris has used bronze to dress a timepiece dedicated to the memory of Carl Brashear, the famous African American US Navy diver
In January 2016, we told you the story of Carl Brashear (1931-2006), the courageous African American deep-sea diver and diving instructor who continued working despite having his leg amputated. We even met his son, Philip, on the Oris stand at Baselworld for the presentation of the Carl Brashear Limited Edition. The watch marked the introduction of bronze into the brand’s collections, while paying homage to an exceptional man, who, during his 30-year career, never once threw in the towel. This year, Oris has again turned to this unique metal for a new watch, again dedicated to the brave diver: the Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition, available in 2,000 pieces.
The colour of the curved dial echoes the oceanic tint of the deep-sea depths, with a slight misty effect in the centre. A golden minute track runs around the rim of the blue disc, while the hour track is made up of geometric pink-gold-plated indices coated in beige Super-LumiNova®. Two stick-shaped luminescent hands at the centre of the dial show the hours and minutes, with the running seconds consigned to a counter at 9 o’clock. For the chronograph function, which is activated and disactivated with monopushers on the side of the case, the seconds are displayed in the centre and the minutes in a totaliser at 3 o’clock.
Price: 4,700 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
PUT PEDAL TO THE METAL!
The new limited edition timepiece from Oris celebrates three anniversaries: 40 years of Williams Racing, 14 years of its partnership with the British team and 47 years of the Chronoris model.
There are three milestone dates to remember about Oris and its involvement in the world of motor racing: 1970, 1977 and 2003. The first is when the first Chronoris model launched. The second is when Frank Williams (born in 1942) co-founded the British motor racing team Williams Racing that’s celebrating its 40th anniversary. The third and final date is when Williams formed a partnership with Oris. Put them all together and these three anniversaries give you a new limited edition watch (1000 available): Williams 40th Anniversary Chronoris Limited Edition.
The new timepiece has the same quirky Chronoris case dating from 1970 with a round 40mm case whose shafts and lugs fuse together to blend into the strap making the watch look oval. Unlike its big brother though, the Williams 40th Anniversary Chronoris Limited Edition is fuelled by a self-winding movement: the Oris 673 calibre on an ETA 7750 base.
To epitomise its partnership with Williams Racing, Oris has drawn on the team’s signature blue to adorn the Williams 40th Anniversary Chronoris Limited Edition’s black dial. The vibrant hue coats the white-tipped chronograph seconds hand and three quarters of the tachymeter scale on the chapter ring. The hours and minutes are tracked by a pair of luminescent baton-shape hands in the centre that glide over the applied markers. The chronograph counters lie vertically with the minutes at 12 and hours at 6 whilst the date stands at 3.
Price: 3,500 CHF (leather or rubber) – 3,800 CHF (steel)
By Sharmila Bertin
LONG LIVE THE SEVENTIES!
Bring back to life flagship models from the past – this was partly the mission of the watchmaker Oris in presenting two re-releases of older watches, one dating from the 1970s.
Like fashion (but in a less striking way), watchmaking goes through cycles. What is fashionable today will no longer be tomorrow, but will return to centre stage the day after that, if we summarise these cycles in just a few words. Typically, the XXL-sized, 45mm watch cases that were all the rage in the early 2000s have gradually given way to 40mm models, which are much easier to wear and above all unisex (yes, indeed!). Perhaps they’ll be back in fashion in 10, 20 or 30 years… Who knows? The same goes for models such as the Chronoris, created by Oris in 1970, and which has been reissued in 2017, almost 50 years later.
The original watch was the first chronograph designed by the brand from Hölstein, in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, in the north of Switzerland, and is also the watch that set up the first link – that is now very strong – between Oris and car racing. The new Chronoris Date not only takes up the highly graphic dial of its ancestor, but also the shape of its case and the strap with its many metal links.
With a round silhouette that almost looks oval when the lugs are added, the Chronoris Date case is made of steel and measures 39mm in diameter. Along with a screwed case back, it is equipped with two crowns, one at 2 o’clock and the other at 4 o’clock. The first is used to set the time and wind the watch up by hand, while the second serves to adjust the internal revolving bezel. The bezel, which replaces the chapter ring, is graded on a scale of 60 and has a orange-red triangular marker for the chronometer function.
This touch of colour, half way between coral and blood orange, can also be seen on the central second hand and on the squares above the white hour indices on the dial. The dial features black, grey and silver concentric rings around a grey disc. The hours and minutes are displayed with two white, stick-shaped hands coated with Super-LumiNova®. With black edging, the date is shown at 3 o’clock against an easy-to-read white background.
The power behind the Chronoris Date is the calibre Oris 733, an automatic mechanical movement based on the Sellita SW 200-1. It provides a power reserve of about 38 hours.
This reissue of the 1970s Oris model is equipped either with a vintage brown strap, perfectly matching the silver colour on the steel case, black leather or rubber. The original steel strap has 15 metal links that have been modernised to make it more flexible and comfortable to wear. But with a NATO strap in light grey material, the Chronoris Date model is quite simply magnificent!
Price: 1 600 CHF (leather or rubber strap) – 1 800 CHF (steel strap)
By Sharmila Bertin
THE ARCHIVES, SOURCES OF TREASURE
One of the models unveiled by Oris at Baselworld takes its inspiration from two vintage timepieces in the brand’s archives and, despite the limited number of pieces made, was a big hit at the opening of the trade fair.
It’s impossible to deny the heart-stopping feeling I experienced when Rolf Studer, the CEO of the Oris brand, gave me this new model. It is hard to restrain your emotions, even though journalists should always try to be impartial. But my love had bloomed for this treasured object delicately placed on one of the tables of the Oris at Baselworld. Its name? The Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition.
The dial on the Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition is decorated in a lightly grained, silver grey tone, and features an hour rim with large Arabic numerals coated in beige Super-LumiNova®. In the centre are two luminous, blued, openwork and leaf-shaped hands, identical to the ones found on the first pilot’s watches in the 20th century, displaying the hours and minutes.
This new watch made by Oris is available with a chocolate brown leather wrist protector, as well as a travel pouch with a “simple” second strap, also made of brown leather.
Price: 2 400 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
2017: YEAR OF THE SHARK
Concerned about the future of the shark, the Oris brand has taken the plunge and funded a research project in partnership with a famous diver and an NGO, while creating a limited edition diving watch.
The oceans are not only a gigantic and magnificent body of blue water bringing waves to lap at our feet when we are relaxing on our beach towels in summer. They are also and above all a habitat for billions of marine species, some of which, including the shark, are endangered. A victim of the industrialisation of fishing, of local laws to protect holidaymakers and surfers to the detriment of wildlife, and of underwater hunting for idiots in search of adrenalin, the shark is in danger of extinction in less than 50 years if nothing is done to protect it.
Based on the second generation Aquis, a model from which it takes its shape, the new Hammerhead Limited Edition features a 45.5mm steel case that is water resistant down to 500m. The case is topped with a rotating bezel fitted with a black ceramic ring and a sliver diving scale, and has a screw-in crown encircled by side protections. The case back shows an engraving of a scalloped hammerhead shark. Thus protected in its attractive steel case, the Oris 752 calibre – an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW220 – drives the hour and calendar functions while supplying a power reserve of about 38 hours.
At the centre of the steel grey dial with a sunburst finish, two wide nickel hands of the dauphine type show the hours and minutes on a luminescent hour rim and white and blue minute markers; the second hand, meanwhile, has a blue finish. A double window at 3 o’clock shows the day and date.
Price: 2 550 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
NEWLY-STYLED DIVE WATCH
The reissuing of a 1965 piece presented in 2015 continues to expand, and is becoming a collection of Oris watches in its own right
Just as fashion often moves in cycles, so watch-making likes to go back in time and take up old models from their archives to make them into what they call vintage. Vintage has already been talked about for several years, and what with real vintage, vintage inspiration, neo-vintage, retro-vintage, old-school vintage, and so on, it all gets a bit confusing… In 2015, Oris reissued their first dive watch that originally dated from 1965, but it was not a case of making a “fake antique”, but rather retaining the essential from the original style while giving the model a contemporary motor. In view of the successful Divers Sixty-Five presented last year, the company decided to make a collection of them, which currently includes dials in six different colours: black and yellow, blue and yellow, navy blue, British racing green and – new this Autumn – silver grey.
The diameter of the steel case has been adapted to present-day tastes and now measures 42mm. Its waterproofing remains the same, and the Divers Sixty-Five can withstand being immersed in water up to 100m deep. In addition, the screwdown case back is solid, and decorated with the 1965 version of the Oris crest, which is slightly different from the current logo. Like its predecessor, the Divers Sixty-Five is topped with a rotating bezel with a black aluminium ring on which the minute scale is inscribed, with silver numerals and markers and a luminescent indicator in the form of a yellow pea.
On the domed, silver dial with its sunray finishing, the minute track extends unobtrusively towards the chapter ring. The hour rim is composed of vanilla-yellow markers – different, geometric shapes – while the Oris shield appears in the 12 o’clock position. In the centre, two baton-shaped hands in nickel coated with Super-LumiNova® display the hours and minutes, while a seconds hand marked with a yellow pea shows the seconds. The date appears in a trapezoid-shaped display, rimmed with black, in the 3 o’clock position.
The different functions of this Divers Sixty-Five are powered by a self-winding movement, the Oris 733 calibre, mounted on a Sellita SW200-1 base, which gives a 38-hour power reserve.
Three straps are available with this new version of the Divers Sixty-Five with a silver dial: old Havana-brown leather to complete the vintage look of the watch, black rubber stamped with a chevron motif to give a sporty look, or a steel bracelet with three rows of links.
Price: 1,900 CHF (with rubber or leather strap) – 2,100 CHF (with steel bracelet)
By Sharmila Bertin