Swiss watchmaker Oris is known for its appreciation of nature, as evidenced by its banning of single-use plastic at its headquarters, surrounded by pristine forest. Now the company has taken its natural inspiration a step further, creating the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 watch on a bracelet or a strap, which, from its movement to its 44mm titanium timepiece itself, is designed exactly ‘as nature intended’.
Oris has been headquartered in Hölstein in the lush green Waldenburg Valley since 1904. It was the quaint village’s bucolic backdrop and its culture, architecture and unspoilt nature that inspired the 10 people working on the design of the ProPilot X Calibre 115 movement, case and bracelet. The designers wanted to create a timepiece that brings the wearer back to nature, drawing them away from the overly complicated technology – much of it incomprehensible – that they’re surrounded by on a daily basis. For this reason, Oris’s new watch, which launched on 6 September, displays the fine art of Swiss watchmaking via a fully skeletonised movement that allows them to see for themselves just how their precious timepiece functions.
See it for yourself
The extended mainspring – usually hidden, even in skeletonised watches can be admired through the skeletonised barrel at 12 o’clock. The mainspring coils grow tighter when the screw-in security crown is wound, until it’s ready to provide 10 solid days of power reserve – that’s 240 hours. To highlight these inner workings, the movement’s matt-grey skeletonised bridges have been left bare, rather than polished or engraved, and the edges of the movement itself have been neither chamfered not beveled. Even the dial on the pilot watch has no numerals, which is a first for Oris.
The 44mm timepiece, cast in light and durable brushed titanium, provides an incredible new opportunity to admire and celebrate the science behind a mechanical watch. In the words of Oris’ Chief Operating Officer, Beat Fischli, ‘You know a palace is beautiful on the inside, but until you actually walk through the door, you can’t be sure exactly how beautiful.’
The movement, which took two years to develop and deliver, also features Oris’s nonlinear power-reserve indicator, which cleverly shows the power remaining with ever greater accuracy as the watch continues to slow down.
A pilot’s dream watch
Nature aside, the other key component Oris considered when creating the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre is aviation – it is, after all, first and foremost a pilot’s watch. It gives a nod to Oris’s original pilot’s models, created in the 1900s, which truly took off when the brand released its first Big Crown in 1917. The horology house played a prominent role in the Second World War, when it created sturdy pilot’s watches for American servicemen. The contemporary new Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre pays homage to this, with its multi-piece titanium case inspired by the sleekness of a stealth plane. Above all, the watch is highly technical in both its aesthetic and mechanics – and what drives aviation today more than technology?
The all-important technicalities
Though lacking numerals, the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre does have the pilot’s other essentials – its hands and indices are filled with Super LumiNova, and its sapphire, domed on both the front and back of the case, has double-sided anti-reflective coating. The watch, which is presented on a multi-piece titanium bracelet or black leather strap equipped with titanium lift clasps, is water-resistant to 100m.