A Closer Look At Oris’ New Full-Bronze Hölstein Edition 2020 Chronograph
For the first time, a Swiss brand has produced a fully bronze watch. From the bezel to the bracelet, this new chronograph has a whole lot of patina potential.
Independent watchmaker Oris has long been associated with the small Swiss village of Hölstein. The story started in 1904, when two watchmakers, Paul Cattin and Georges Christian, signed a contract with the village to establish a watchmaking facility that was eventually named ‘Oris’ after a nearby river.
From Hölstein, With Love
To this day, Oris continues to produce watches at their humble Hölstein facility. While the styles and components may have changed slightly since their founding over a century ago, the brand’s ethos has remained the same – to produce robust, yet, accessibly priced mechanical watches for all to enjoy.
Oris may have made its roots in Hölstein, but the brand has gone global over the past few decades. From a robust community of collectors in the United States to far-flung locales in Asia, the demand and desire for Oris timepieces have never been higher. Within their $2-5k price category, they have very few legitimate competitors.
Today, this Oris community is as strong as ever, and the brand continues to bring smiles to its collectors despite a global pandemic. This is why the brand has released the new Hölstein Edition 2020, a watch cast entirely in solid bronze with a caseback is embossed with Oris Bear, the brand's de facto mascot.
Finally, Oris Makes An Oris Bear Watch
I don’t know about you, but the mere sight of Oris Bear brings a smile to my face. Thanks to the brand's North American CEO, VJ Geronimo, Oris Bear even made a special appearance at my wedding. Oris Bear brings joy, and in these uncertain times, we could all use a bit of joy in our lives, which is partially the reason why Oris decided to include Oris Bear on the Hölstein Edition 2020.
When asked why put a bear on a watch, Oris Co-CEO Rolf Studer replied, “All of us had a teddy bear when we were kids, and it was a mirror for our emotions. People buy watches because they cheer us up. Our job is to give people a happy moment in their hectic day.”
About The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020
Oris’ latest release, the Hölstein Edition 2020 Chronograph, is a 43mm entirely bronze chronograph version of the brand’s Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph. The watch features a case, bezel, screw-down crown, pushers, and bracelet entirely cast in solid bronze. It is a watchmaking first that is decidedly different. But then again, that’s always been the point of Oris.
“We thought about doing a special movement or playing with new materials, or even doing something colorful. But in the end, we decided what connects us to this place (Hölstein) and to watch enthusiasts around the world is joy. So we did something quirky, something unexpected – who else puts a bear on the back of a luxury watch made of solid bronze?” says Studer.
The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 Chronograph is powered by the Oris 771 caliber, which is essentially a Sellita SW500-1 column-wheel chronograph movement. This automatic chronograph movement boasts a power reserve of 48 hours and beats at 28,800vph.
To match the fully bronze motif, Oris has crafted a brushed gold-plated dial with contrasting black chronograph sub-dials. The indices are rose gold-plated and filled with bright white Super-LumiNova. The watch is finished with a fully-bronze bracelet with a bronze clasp. Owners can expect a unique patina to form on their Hölstein Editions because of the nearly raw bronze material used throughout the watch.
The number one question on your mind might be, “What effect could a fully bronze wristwatch have on collector’s wrist?”
To which Studer replies, “We've been working with bronze for years, and our customers know what bronze is and will be aware that if they have a watch with a bronze bracelet, they may get oxidization on their skin. But then you have a shower, and it’s gone again. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.”
Pricing and Availability
The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is limited to 250 pieces worldwide. The watch is available starting today and is priced at $5,200. You can find this piece at your nearest Oris boutique, Oris retailer, and Oris’ e-shop. The brand also offers an online tool to choose your limited edition number.
“Just as a person is defined by where they come from, it’s the same for a brand. We are from Hölstein, a remote place away from the center of the watch industry. This part of Switzerland is more about rigor than romance. Being in Hölstein has defined us and made us the maverick that we are.” – Rolf Studer Co-CEO, Oris
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)