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Oris Watches

History of Oris

An ability to adapt and a passion for perfection have helped the Oris watch gain a position that is at par with other luxury watches from brands that have been around for much longer. The company was founded in 1904 by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian in the picturesque town of Holstein. It was named after a small brook running nearby and housed in the same building that was once the Lohner & Co watch factory. A second factory and an assembly plant were opened in 1906, and by 1929, the company had 4 more factories in Como, Courgenay, Herbetswil and Ziefen. The Ziefen factory is from where the company would launch its first wristwatches.

In 1936, Oris set up its first dial factory in Biel and within 2 years, by 1938, they were manufacturing their own escapements. The launch of the Oris Big Crown was the other notable achievement for the year. Designed for a pilot, the watch featured an oversized crown and a Pointer Calendar function.To get through the Second World War, the company transitioned into manufacturing alarm clocks. In 1949, they launched a model with an eight-day power reserve!

Fighting the Swiss Watch Statute

Throughout this period, Oris had been struggling to overcome the hurdle of the Swiss Watch Statute that prevented watch companies from introducing any new technology without permission. This had limited them to using pin-lever escapements that were not considered 100% accurate. However, in 1945, Oris was awarded a distinction from the Bureau Officiel de Contrôle de la Marche des Montres for their Le Loclefor pin-lever movement. This proved that the Oris escapements were as accurate as the ones being used by their competitors. It was only in 1966 that the company’s campaigns to reverse the Watch Statute bore fruit and Oris became free to develop and adopt new technology at will.

Launches and Achievements

In 1952, the first Oris Automatic movement was launched with the Caliber 601 and a power reserve indicator. In 1965, Oris launched a state-of-the-art diver’s watch. Some of the watch’s special features included water resistance up to 100m, a unidirectional rotating bezel with a timer scale and luminescent hour indices. It would be re-released many years later as the Oris Diver 65 and become one of their most successful launches.

2 years after the reversal of the Swiss Watch statute, Oris introduced the Oris Calibre 652 and was awarded full chronometer certification by the Observatoire Astronomiqueet Chronométrique. This was the highest distinction for accuracy.

In 1970, the company launched the Oris Chronoris. This marked the beginning of the Oris Motor Sport collection. The watch was so popular that 35 years later, in 2005, the Chronoris was re-launched in a modern avatar.

Why are Oris Watches Special?

As part of their brief membership of the ASUAG, Oris had worked with quartz movements. But when the company became independent once more, they decided to focus solely on mechanical timepieces. This has become one of the factors setting the brand apart from others. The Pointer Calendar first used in the Big Crown watches from the late 1930s was another distinctive feature that has today become Oris’s signature complication.

Without compromising on their passion for perfection and quality, Oris has remained a watch brand that offers affordable luxury. Most Oris wristwatches are priced between $1,000 and $2,500 mark with just a few crossing over the $5,000 mark. This has made them popular with those watch collectors who are looking to purchase a good watch without breaking the bank.

The Oris Worlds

Oris has a number of watch collections that are categorized according to the people and culture they are designed for. The four Oris Worlds include diving, aviation, culture and motor-sport.

The Diving World

Oris has three categories of watches designed just for divers – the Oris Aquis, Oris Divers and Oris Prodiver. The Oris Divers collections are probably the most well-known. They re-imagined the vintage look of Oris Diver 65 from 1965 and packed it with innovative features using state-of-the-art technology. Some collections like the Oris X Momotaro and the Oris Holstein Edition 2020 have a single model each, while the Oris Divers 65 boasts 45 models. If you’re looking for a professional diver’s watch, the Oris Prodiver collection delivers all that you need.

The Aviation World

The Oris Big Crown marked the beginning of the brand’s venture into watches for pilots. The characteristic large bezel was developed to make handling the watch easy even when wearing heavy gloves. The 1938 model inspired the Oris Big Crown collections even today. The Oris BC3 collection is recognized for its easy to read dial and durability while the Oris Big Crown Propilot and Propilot X collections feature multiple complications for added functionality.

The Cultural World

The Oris classic and the Oris Artelier collections embody the brand’s commitment to balancing heritage and innovation. They use a suite of calibers developed in-house and versatile designs that exude a formal appeal. The watches are designed for men and women with a distinctive sense of style. A round dial is common to all models, but while some have a minimalistic face, others from the Oris Artelier collections have date windows and subdials.

The Motor Sport World

Oris offers 4 categories of watches for motor drivers; the Oris Chronoris, Oris TT1, Oris Artix GT and Oris Williams. The Oris Chronoris collections are inspired by the first chronograph launched by the company in 1970, while the other collections have a much more modern design detail. The Oris Williams collection is the result of the collaboration between the watch company and the Williams Formula 1 Team in 2003.

Finding Your Dream Oris Watch

An Oris watch is designed to be worn with pride. With designs ranging from the minimalistic to see-through dials that showcase the inner functioning of the watch gears, an Oris Watch can complement your tastes and lifestyle perfectly. It’s simply a matter of browsing through the designs and picking your favorite as per your budget.