Oris has developed a bit of a reputation for consistently releasing surprising vintage-inspired pieces. Having said that, their Big Crown 1917 is a little more surprising than most. That’s partly because Oris had no idea the watch that inspired it existed — this little piece of Hölstein history has been sitting in their archives, quietly gathering patina. Happily, someone (who deserves a promotion, just quietly) at Oris noticed it and recognised the potential of their first pilot’s watch, just in time for its 100th anniversary. Not a foot has been put wrong with the Big Crown 1917; all the elements work in harmony and there’s precisely the right blend of idiosyncratic charm and everyday comfort. The 40mm steel case resembles a converted pocket watch, rounded and pebble-like, with a nicely domed sapphire crystal and onion crown. The dial is warmly retro, with a finely grained silver base with old-school railroad chapter ring, and stylised serif Arabics filled with creamy SuperLuminova that neatly matches the blued steel cathedral hands. Purists can also breathe a sigh of relief as there’s no date window to mar the purity of the style. Oris also gets major kudos for that little button at two —… Read More
If you dive, or even if you don’t, then you may know that a diver’s regulator is the hub of their equipment – it is what makes breathing underwater possible, after all. We may not be referring to that type of regulator here, but the latest offering from Oris, the updated Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ (Master Diver), has been purpose-built for divers with a dial design seldom seen on a dive watch. In fact, Oris is the only manufacturer that currently offers a regulator dial on a dive watch – pioneered back in 1999 and featured in a handful of their collections, including the Aquis line, to which the ‘Der Meistertaucher’ belongs. So, what is a regulator dial? First introduced in observatories of the 18th century, these dials were found on highly accurate clocks that clockmakers would use as a reference when setting or regulating the pieces they were working on. They’re distinctive thanks to their non-coaxial layout, meaning the hour and minute hands are separated, with the minute hand traditionally remaining in the centre while the hour hand is shown on a separate sub-dial – it’s located at three on the ‘Der Meistertaucher’. What this means is that the watch shows the… Read More
Oris seem to be going from strength to strength, releasing smart watch designs – like the Divers Sixty-Five – that impress critics and customers alike. This year it’s time for their modern diver, the Aquis, to shine. The entire collection has been revamped – it’s still big and bold, but it’s a little less blocky. Oris also released the Artelier Calibre 113, with loads of calendar complications (though truth be told, we’re still wondering who would use a week indicator), as well as some hot new heritage pieces: the old-school pilot that is the Big Crown 1917 and the funky cushion-cased Chronoris Date. All up it’s another strong year for the Hölstein-based brand, which is great news if you’re in the market for a well-priced mechanical.
One watch leapt out at me from Oris’ 2017 collection – the Chronoris Date. Not only is the colour scheme and tonneau case shape pretty eye-catching, but it’s also an honest and authentic homage to the timepieces of the ‘70s. In fact the Chronoris name refers to a 1970 design that was the brand’s first chronograph. This reinterpretation isn’t a chrono, but it’s certainly an era appropriate design. Given that I’ve got an incredibly soft spot for this sort of fun and funky design (I’ve been wanting an Omega Memomatic for ages, and – until it died – a compressor cased Bulova Accutron was one of my all time faves) my attraction to the Chronoris is perhaps unsurprising. Personal bias aside, the Chronoris Date is a winner of a watch, with a solid 39mm cushion shaped case with a pleasing radial brushed finish, paired with a domed sapphire crystal, 100m of water resistance and, as we’ve come to expect from Oris, it comes on a range of solid strap options. However, my favourite part of this watch is the dial. Seriously, look at it. The colour scheme of white, grey and black, with orange accents is just hot. I particularly… Read More
Ladies and gentleman, if we could please have your attention during our pre-flight safety demonstration. Our pilots today are Skip Stewart and Jurgis Kairys. During our three-minute flight you will experience some turbulence, along with dizzying aerobatics, death-defying stunts and extreme speed, so we advise you to familiarise yourself with the brace position. If you have any concerns about your heart rate, please consult the pulsometer on the Oris Royal Flying Doctor Service II. We’ll be departing from Avalon Airshow – the most significant event on the Australian aviation calendar – in the safe hands of Oris, who have a proven track record in pilot’s watches since 1917. We hope you enjoy your flight.
When it comes to partnerships, there are a few routes watch brands typically embark on. There’s the celebrity ambassador, which is often little more than name awareness and a few key appearances. Then there’s the high-profile event tie-in, which usually results in a limited edition with a few dial tweaks. And there’s the organisational partnership, which, in its best form results in two like-minded parties creating something that benefits all involved. It’s this last model that Oris tends to opt for, and they do it well. Oris Australia has a strong track record in supporting charitable organisations, notably their work around the Great Barrier Reef, but also their partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service – a comprehensive air ambulance service that provides primary healthcare to people living in rural and remote communities, across a swathe of Australia encompassing 7.13 million square kilometres. It’s essential work that the RFDS has been undertaking since 1928, which Oris has been actively involved in since 2013, releasing the first generation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service watch, as well as providing ongoing support. Today Oris and the RFDS unveil the second generation of the RFDS watch, in the perfect setting of the Avalon Airshow. And it… Read More
For a few weeks in March, Avalon (part-way between Melbourne and Geelong) will become one of the busiest air spaces in the country. The normally sleepy airport will be transformed when state-of-the-art planes including the gigantic RAF Atlas airlifter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (in its first Australian sighting), will thunder down from the skies. The reason, of course, is the bi-annual Avalon airshow, the world’s third largest aviation trade show, and if you’re in the market for a private jet or just looking to stock up on heat-seeking missiles, no doubt it’s already in the diary. We’ll be there for a more down-to-earth purpose, spending time with event sponsors Oris, a brand with its eyes firmly on the skies. What better time to talk about the Big Crown Day Date, from their Pro-Pilot collection. Typically, pilot’s watches are pared-back, utilitarian affairs with simple cases and black and white dials, so this offering from Oris is definitely at the dressier end of the spectrum. While the bold printed Arabic numerals (that 4!) and highly readable hands are still present, the dial finish is a rich grey starburst, which makes a pleasant change from plain black. And though the 45mm case means there’s plenty of space, the… Read More