We often hear that blue is the new black… In recent years, we have seen dozens of watches evolving with the addition of blue dials, yet in sports watches, black is still pretty much the norm. Not for Oris! Just like they did recently with the Artelier Calibre 111, the brand introduces a blue version of its in-house version of the Big Crown ProPilot, a powerful (to say the least) aviation-inspired watch – which also happens to be one of the brand’s bestsellers in Switzerland (we knew they had some good tastes). On then to the overview!
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 was introduced one year after a major step for the brand; the introduction of their first in-house movement in decades (35 years to be precise), the Calibre 110. This number was a reference to various elements of the movement. First, it celebrated the 110th anniversary of the name Oris. A reference to the number “10” was also implied by the length of the power reserve: 10 days. All of that was achieved by a completely new movement, developed by Oris and the École Téchnique Le Locle, after almost 10 years of development. The result was quite impressive. The 10 days of power reserve come from one (very long) large mainspring, the power reserve indicates the remaining energy in a non-linear way (with a more precise indication when close to the end of the power reserve), and the decoration of the movement was pretty satisfying.
After the Calibre 110, reserved for a limited edition, Oris slightly re-worked the movement, for more precision and more stability over the full length of the power reserve. It became the Calibre 111, which features an even longer mainspring (1.8m long). The movement cuts off the delivery of power after 10 days, so when the torque drops below a certain value, the power is cut off – although there is still some power in the spring. This prevents the movement running on low torque, thus low amplitude, thus poor accuracy. It’s simple but efficient. In addition to that, the Calibre 111 features a date function. It was introduced in both the Artelier collection, and also on the watch that has our attention today, the Big Crown ProPilot.
With this Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111, the brand combines two interesting features: the look of the pilot watch, with a powerful movement with extra-long power reserve – something that should sound familiar to some watch aficionados. The look is modern, without vintage accents, yet with most of the classical codes of the pilot-watches respected: legibility, strong contrast, large case, solid construction and ease of use (even with gloves). The Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 features a respectable 44mm steel case, with the signature knurled bezel and oversized crown. Having seen the watch on multiple occasions, it is a true tool, built to last and made with great solidity in mind.
The novelty comes from the addition of a blue dial, to complement the already existing dark grey model, but otherwise there’s no visible evolution. The dial still retains the sunburst pattern for a lively colour rendering, the applied and raised, luminous and extra-large numerals and the highly legible white hands. The display is also the same: small second at 9, date on the very left side of the dial and massive power reserve indication (non-linear, with a focus on the last few days, and a red zone for when it is time to wind the watch).
Inside the case is the Oris Calibre 111, which is visible through the caseback. Its decoration and finishing are pleasant, with a deliberate industrial look (mainly because of the brushed bridges). This modern movement runs at a frequency of 4Hz, and as said, boasts no less than 10 days or 240 hours of power reserve. 3 versions will be available: steel bracelet, brown crocodile leather strap or black textile strap (both with patented buckle for stageless length adjustment).
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 will be available soon in stores, at a price of CHF 5,200 / EUR 4,950 on textile strap, CHF 5,400 / EUR 5,150 on metal bracelet, CHF 5,500 / EUR 5,250 on Croco leather strap. More details on Oris.ch.
Technical Specifications – Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 Blue Dial
- Case: 44mm diameter – Stainless steel, satin finish – Sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water resistant
- Dial: Blue sun-ray dial with applied raised numerals
- Movement: Oris Calibre 111, in-house – hand-wound – 10-day power reserve – 4Hz frequency – hours, minutes, small second, date, non-linear power reserve indicator
- Strap/bracelet: steel bracelet, brown crocodile leather strap or black textile strap
- Price: from CHF 5,200 to CHF 5,500 / from EUR 4,950 to EUR 5,250
- Reference: 01 111 7711 4165 LS
- Availability: December 2017