Hands-On: Oris Delivers with the New, Hand-Wound Big Crown Calibre 473
For Oris, a new year inevitably means new milestones, and with today’s release of a new Big Crown model featuring a hand-wound movement from the acclaimed Calibre 400 Series, it is clear that 2023 will be no different.
To set the scene: At an elevation of 2,100 meters above sea level, in the middle of the Sunnegga ski resort above Zermatt, Switzerland, but within the shadow of the Matterhorn, I had the privilege of getting my hands on the new Big Crown model from Oris.
However, beyond its signature design inspired by a 1930s sports style watch with a pointer date hand, the latest Big Crown model from the Hölstein-based manufacture now comes with the new in-house, hand-wound Calibre 473 movement.
My Oris Story
As I strapped the 38mm, stainless-steel Big Crown Calibre 473 on my wrist and began testing it out, I couldn’t help but think about my personal connection to the art of watchmaking and, more specifically, my connection to Oris. You see, I own a classic vintage Oris Star Calibre 632 KIF from the 1960s featuring a hand-wound movement, and it still keeps good time.
This timepiece belonged to my grandfather, a man I never got the chance to meet. He wore this watch every day of his life. So to me, it represents a connection to my family’s history and a legacy of craftsmanship.
It may be needless to say, but I was extremely excited to see the new manual winding Oris Big Crown Calibre 473. And I was thoroughly impressed with the innovations this evolving brand brought to one of its most iconic designs.
Inside The New Calibre
The level of attention to each detail, the engineering precision, and the self-assurance needed to keep the new Big Crown Calibre 473 simple and practical is truly remarkable. And the story of Calibre 473 is built upon the success of the Oris Calibre 403 automatic.
So, it has hour, minute, small stop-seconds, a pointer date hand, and a five-day power reserve displayed via a 120-hour power reserve indicator on the back of the movement and visible through the sapphire caseback. Unsurprisingly for a calibre with this much finesse, the Calibre 473 took four years to develop.
The Romance of the Oris Big Crown Calibre 473
The manual winding mechanism is smooth and effortless, and the overall design is classic and contemporary. But for me, the real joy of wearing a manual winding watch like the Big Crown Calibre 473 is the sense of connection it provides to the past. There is something deeply and unexplainably satisfying about winding the mainspring by hand, knowing that, for centuries, this is how people powered their timepieces.
In short, if you love the art of watchmaking and an appreciation for the finer things in life, the new Big Crown Calibre 473 manual-winding watch (available on a sustainably sourced deer leather strap in olive brown and priced at CHF 4,200) is a must-have. It combines the best of tradition and innovation and is sure to become a treasured possession for anyone who wears it. For more information, visit the Oris website.
(Images © Oris)