Oris Unveils Their Most Ambitious Watch Yet: The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115
The humble brand from Hölstein makes what they've called their, "most Oris watch yet"
Oris is a brand known for many things. Making incredibly robust and accessibly priced tool watches is certainly top of mind for most. Another notable activity would be their efforts to give back to the environment (read HERE, HERE, HERE). But what many forget is that Oris has a pretty valid claim in the realm of fine watchmaking.
Case in point, their remarkable efforts in creating over 270 in-house calibres. Including 2014's calibre 110 which boasted a 10-day power reserve displayed via a non-linear (and patented!) power reserve indicator. Sure, the brand's incredibly popular Divers Sixty-Five and Aquis novelties will always be at the forefront of consumer's thoughts, but deep down, there is some impressive watchmaking happening in Hölstein.
The most ambitious Oris yet, the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115
At this year's Baselworld, where Oris continues to be a perennial brand in the show's main hall, Oris had a secret. Sure, they had a whole slew of new introductions to share (read HERE), but they also had a novelty that wasn't quite ready for its grand unveiling. At the conclusion of our appointment, we were asked by Oris' CEO North America V.J. Geronimo if we, "Have time for one more surprise?" Our answer was a resounding YES!
After checking our phones and camera with security, we were escorted down a secret corridor to a room covered in black drapes. Then we were outfitted with VR helmets and soon found ourselves in an immersive world which revealed itself to be a watch movement. Sharp lines and crisp gear trains gave way to a jump inside a mainspring and we soon found ourselves doing our best Han Solo impression aboard the Death Star's compactor. All of a sudden, as if a vacuum opened in space, we found ourselves floating outside of the watch, which soon revealed itself to be a skeletonized ProPilot with a very futuristic look.
At first glance, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 (aka PPX) looks like a shocking departure for the otherwise humble brand. Bold lines give way to curious curves and the skeletonized movement seemingly explodes from beneath the dial surface. Oris says the PPX was produced in an effort to bring the wearer back to nature. While the nature in question isn't necessarily mountains or valleys, it's a raw look at the very concept of watchmaking.
With this approach, Oris is also challenging the perception that smartwatches may one day eclipse or replace traditional mechanical watches. For all of their bells and whistles, smartwatches are at their very an ephemeral product. With the PPX, Oris seeks to reignite a passion for all things mechanical. The brand also finds itself moving into the experiential space, their events have become legendary, but for the PPX, the experience of owning and operating the piece will take center stage.
For the PPX, you'll want to experience this piece in the metal. Winding the big crown, see the mainspring coil tighter and tighter, and finally, watch as the power reserve indicator slowly sweeps towards its full capacity. Human interaction with the piece is key, and the experience of using the watch is just as satisfying.
The manually wound PPX is sized at 44mm and encased in ultra-lightweight matte-finished titanium. With the Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre, the brand is building a bridge between collections. About the only thing left over from the Calibre 110 is the 10-day power reserve. Everything else feels super fresh. Even the mainspring barrel is skeletonized so that you can see the piece virtually spring to life. While based on the Big Crown ProPilot platform, this watch melds the best of Oris' Artelier department with their rich history in Aviation. The modern design leaves almost no stone unturned. The watch feels fresh and well proportioned.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 is available starting today. The piece does carry one of the highest price points in the brand's catalog, but considering the level of design and watchmaking technicity within, it feels like a justifiable move. Official pricing is $7,200 USD on a black alligator leather strap attached to integrated titanium lugs, or $7,600 USD on a full titanium bracelet. For more information, visit Oris' website (HERE).
(Hands-on photography by Ty Alexander, Press images provided by Oris)