The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser uses biomimicry instead of paint The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser uses biomimicry instead of paint

The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser uses biomimicry instead of paint

Fergus Nash
  • The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser creates a colour spectacle without a drop of pigment.
  • The iridescent optical interference effect can be found in nature, such as on butterfly wings and beetle exoskeletons.
  • This is the first time that this treatment has been used in watchmaking.

Dynamics in watch design revolve around aesthetic movement, essentially being able to make solid objects look like they’re alive. You can see it in metal bracelets as the reflective highlights tumble across the various surfaces, as well as in sunburst dials as the light spins and dances with your wrist’s subtle turns. Oris’ latest release takes advantage of a fairly recent technology to create something never before seen in watchmaking, colouring their dial without any pigments and accentuating dynamics. With an intoxicating display of blues, greens and violets, the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser could be the beginning of something special.

Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser 1

If you’ve ever looked at the iridescence of a butterfly wing or a beetle exoskeleton, then the effect of the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser’s dial will seem familiar. In fact, although Oris need a high-tech laser to etch the watch’s dial, it’s a phenomenon often found in nature. Whether it’s a texture, material or a mass of microscopic holes, the principle of optical interference essentially cancels out certain frequencies of light and reflects what’s left. To achieve the blue-green effect that Oris have selected, the laser-etched dial traps the wavelengths of light that occupy red in our visible colour spectrum. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is, but it’s also the same effect that some countries’ banknotes use for their anti-counterfeiting holograms. The dial plate is actually made from titanium, and has no colour treatment whatsoever other than the physical etching by laser.

Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser 2

Encasing the newly-developed dial is the architecture of the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400, which leans into a futuristic look of sharp angles and sleekness. The titanium is entirely brushed, giving the watch an industrial wash of grey darker than steel. When paired with this almost magical dial, it truly feels like it’s more suited for spaceships than regular aircraft. The bezel’s edge has a slight spiral cut into it, pulling you in further. The dimensions are just as sleek as the finishing too, with a 39mm diameter, 47mm lug-to-lug, and 11.8mm thickness that wear comfortably on the average wrist.  From the side angle, you can really see how the ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser sits with a low profile.

Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser 3

Oris’ Calibre 400 is their in-house movement that was released back in the tail end of 2020, and since then it’s definitely earned its fanbase. With two mainspring barrels, the power reserve is a generous five days long. It also benefits from a 10-year warranty and service interval, ensuring that it’s a more affordable movement to take care of in the long term. It runs at a smooth 4Hz, and although the view through the exhibition caseback isn’t lavish with decoration, the covering plates provide the movement with exceptional protection against magnetism. Although it’s not COSC-certified, Oris quote an accuracy range within -3/+5 seconds, beating COSC by a second on either side.

Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser pricing and availability

The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser is now available from Oris’ website and retailers. Price: CHF 4,800

Brand Oris
Model ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser
Reference Number 400 7778 7150-07 7 20 01 TLC
Case Dimensions 39mm (D) x 11.8mm (T) x 47mm (LTL)
Case Material Titanium
Water Resistance 100 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Laser-etched blue, green, violet effect
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Titanium bracelet
Movement Oris Calibre 400, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 120 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds
Availability Available now
Price CHF 4,800