Twin Peaks: Watchonista Travels To Vail And Previews Two New Oris Novelties
From cloisonné dials to bronze beauties, the new year brings some beautiful new timepieces from the Hölstein-based manufacture.
This past weekend, the Watchonista team hit the hills of Vail, Colorado, to get a hands-on look at Oris’ first 2022 launches: The new Sun Wukong Artist Edition and a new quartet of Big Crown Pointer Dates kitted out from case to bracelet in bronze.
Both introductions show that Oris is keen to plow new trails: the Sun Wukong is the brand’s first cloisonné dial in its 118-year history, and it’s also the first all-bronze iteration of the Big Crown Pointer Date. We were happy to get a first-hand look at these unique pieces surrounded by the natural beauty of Vail.
Mother of Dragons
The most-talked about timepiece we saw in Vail is undoubtedly the Sun Wukong Artist Edition. And, of course, the most striking feature of this watch is the hand-painted cloisonné enamel dial inspired by the 1961 Chinese animated feature-length film The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven (which, in turn, is based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West). But more than just the beauty of its artistry, the dial depicts a scene set in the underwater palace of the Dragon King where Sun Wukong (a.k.a. the Monkey King) finds the Golden Cudgel superweapon.
While we have no doubt this exceptional watch will appeal to fans of vintage animation, the beauty and craftsmanship of the stylized dial design are enough to enchant any enthusiast. Oris collectors, in particular, will want to get their hands on it because it’s not the sort of thing the brand does every day. Yet the brand’s artisans have executed the vision extremely well.
Additionally, though the dial’s design was inspired by a dragon’s lair, the soft shapes of the cloisonné walls and icy palette of the enamel are almost eerily reminiscent of the snow-capped hills of Vail, where the piece was revealed to the press. Coincidence? Probably.
In fact, it reminds us of the curving lines of the landscape artist Lawren Harris. But, as a brand, we are reminded that Oris has always committed to environmental initiatives. So, it should come as no surprise when the manufacture’s love of nature is not only apparent for the mountain top location of the launch but also in the way the high-altitude sunlight makes the layers of enamel glow.
Environment affects the appearance of bronze over time. Everything the wearer experiences changes the patina of the metal, making each watch one-of-a-kind. That is why there’s a whole circle of fandom devoted to bronze watches, and Oris is a leader in this material’s world. Just look at the popularity of the Carl Brashear Calibre 401 Limited Edition or the Divers Sixty-Five “Cotton Candy” collection.
Now in 2022, for the first time, Oris is releasing a version of its signature Big Crown Pointer Date in full bronze. We’re talking a solid bronze case, bezel, crown, and five-link articulated bracelet and clasp. And with more bronze comes more opportunity to observe the metal reacting and changing its color to match and mark your adventures.
Something else that’s new about these 2022 editions is the four gradient dial color options that echoed the ever-shifting tones of the countryside: green, brown, Bordeaux, and a new-to-Oris blue variant.
Colorado: The Switzerland of America
We spent our Vail adventure not just admiring watches but also snowshoeing, skiing, and après ski activities. At all times, we were surrounded by pines, a big sky, cold snow, warm blankets, and beautiful watches.
Luckily these handsome bronze timepieces are just as hardy in both form and function as their fellow Big Crown Pointer Dates.
Available for pre-order now, the Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date will retail for $2,600.