Founded in 1904 in Holstein, Switzerland, Oris has developed a reputation as a purveyor of very reasonably priced timepieces in a variety of styles, and all with Swiss-made mechanical movements. Whether they’re playing in the dive watches, pilot watches, chronographs or elegant watches categories, they are all offering a great value for money – and some even have the exclusivity of featuring clever mechanical devices such as a depth gauge or an altimeter. Here is our buying guide made together with WatchTime of five of the company’s most affordable watches, all priced below 2.500 USD and each representing one of Oris’s distinctive watch collections.
Oris Williams Day Date
The Oris Williams Day Date (1.350 USD) is the entry-level piece in Oris’s new Williams collection, a product of the Swiss watch brand’s partnership with the prestigious Williams Formula One racing team. (There is also a chronograph in the Williams collection, priced just slightly above our ceiling, at $3,100.) The watch’s 44-mm stainless-steel case takes its design cues from the shape of a Williams F1 car, tapering like the vehicle’s profile and equipped with integrated lugs that echo the shape of its nose cone. The crown, meanwhile, has been molded to resemble the shape of a wheel from the automobile’s gearbox. The dial, available in both black and the traditional blue of the Williams team, displays the day and date at 3 o’clock and a Williams “W” at 6 o’clock. The movement, Oris’s automatic Caliber 735 (based on a Sellita SW220), is visible through a screw-down exhibition caseback with a sapphire window.
Oris Artix Date Blue
The latest addition to the classically elegant Artix collection, the Oris Artix Date Blue (1.650 USD) boasts a very of-the-moment look, with a midnight blue dial paired with a matching azure strap. The dial’s spiral grooving and traditional galvanic enhancement on the two-zone dial give it a striking sense of depth. Small Arabic hour numerals are applied on the outer dial ring, lined up with the nickel hour indices (which, along with the hour and minute hands, are inlaid with Super-LumiNova; the hands are also made of nickel). The case has gently curving lugs and domed sapphire crystals in the front and back, the latter to display the movement, the Sellita-based Caliber 733. The strap of the Artix Date Blue is calfskin leather with a croco pattern and has a stainless steel folding clasp.
Oris Aquis Date
The Oris Aquis Date (1.650 USD) can be regarded as the starter piece in the brand’s popular Aquis line of contemporary divers’ watches, which boasts such innovative models as the Aquis Depth Gauge and a new chronograph model released at this year’s Baselworld. This one also has an attractive (and aquatic) blue dial (we reviewed this exact same watch here), along with Super-LumiNova-filled indices and hands and an unobtrusive date window at 6 o’clock. The stainless steel case measures 43 mm in diameter and features a screw-down crown (for a water-resistance of 300 meters) and a unidirectional diving bezel with a ceramic top ring for the minutes scale. It’s got a nonreflective sapphire crystal in the front and a see-through mineral glass window in the screwed caseback, offering a view of the automatic movement (also an Oris 733), which is equipped with a date corrector and a stop-seconds function, and, like all Oris movements, the hallmark red winding rotor that swings in both directions. The Oris Aquis Date comes on a stainless steel bracelet with a security folding clasp and divers’ extension.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five (1.850 USD) revives the look of a vintage Oris dive watch released 50 years ago and gives it a 21st century makeover (take a look at our review of the Sixty-Five here). The 1965 model had a chromium-plated brass case and plexiglas crystal, a bidirectional rotating bezel, and a black plastic strap, while the new version has a larger, more contemporary 40-mm case in corrosion-resistant stainless steel; a scratch-resistant, nonreflective sapphire crystal with a “bubble-curved” shape; and a safer (for diving) unidirectional bezel. The bezel is enhanced with a black aluminum inlay, and the hands and indices (filled with tritium on the original model) are filled with a type of Super-LumiNova called “Light Old Radium” which emits a beige glow in the dark. The steel caseback is engraved with the same historical Oris emblem found on the original’s, the crown screws down to ensure a water-resistance to 100 meters, and the modern version is available on a black textile NATO strap and steel bracelet as well as a rubber strap. The movement is Oris’s automatic Caliber 733, which is based on a Sellita SW200.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT
Boasting a newly developed movement with a second-time-zone function, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT (2.300 USD) expands the aviation-inspired Big Crown collection, based on a 1938 model and launched in 2014. The watch has a hefty, multi-piece 45-mm case, made of matte satin-finished stainless steel and topped off with a vintage-look coin-edge top ring on the bezel that evokes the design of a jet turbine. The domed sapphire crystal is engineered to be cockpit-friendly, minimizing glare with a nonreflective coating applied to the inside. The big, white Arabic numerals also aid in legibility, contrasting starkly with the black dial and printed in Super-LumiNova. (The hour and minute hands are also filled with the luminous substance.) The date appears in a window at 3 o’clock, while the small seconds tick away in a subdial at 9 o’clock. The watch’s signature feature, its GMT indicator, uses a center-mounted, yellow-tipped hand and a 24-hour scale that encircles the dial. The self-winding Oris Caliber 748, which is visible through the clear caseback, is based on a Sellita SW-220-1. Even the military-style, olive-green textile strap offers a nod to aviation: its patented folding clasp operates like an aircraft’s safety belt, with a release tab indicating “Lift.”
This article was first published on WatchTime here and republished here with authorization.