Oris expands its Big Crown Pointer Date collection with the incorporation of this model with an oxblood dial. An unusual colour that is rarely seen in watchmaking, we think it works extremely well in this context. The technical specifications, the styling of the 40mm steel model and even the price have not altered, but the intense, dark red dial proves that there is plenty of room for a bolder colour palette in the iconic Big Crown Pointer Date family.
Lately, we’ve been covering a lot of Oris dive watches on MONOCHROME, in particular, the Aquis and Sixty-Five models, which are the stars of 2019. Well before Oris produced its first dive watch in 1965, the Swiss brand had made a name for itself with its Big Crown pilot’s wristwatch of 1938. Fitted with an oversized crown for pilots to manipulate without having to remove their gloves, another key trait was the original date complication.
Patented in 1915 by A. Hammerly, the date was indicated with an additional central pointer hand instead of a date window. Named after its famous ancestor, the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date is a fully-fledged family of vintage pilot watches and the backbone collection of the brand.
In 2018, coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the Big Crown Pointer Date, Oris adopted some very smart marketing moves. The watch was presented in two case sizes (36mm and 40mm), in steel and bronze cases, and with a selection of very attractive dial colours – with a particularly effective light green dial colour inspired by a colour from Le Corbusier’s Architectural Polychromy. The variety of case size, material and dial colours added a breath of fresh air to the collection.
In the Mood for Vintage
The oxblood dial, which is technically a dark red colour with brownish hues (not to be confused with burgundy), sets off the vintage notes to perfection. The cathedral-shaped hands and the stylized typography selected for the Arabic numerals are textbook old-school pilot watch. Legibility is paramount in a pilot’s watch and the dark red dial contrasts well with all the markings. For additional legibility, the numerals and hands are all treated with beige Super-LumiNova. The additional hand for the calendar features the inverted arrow pointer picked out in red as it circles the peripheral date track.
Same Specifications as before
For the rest, the watch retains most of its specifications. We still have the 40mm case with brushed and polished surfaces, the fluted bezel (a motif that is also present on the caseback) and the typical oversized crown – what would be an Oris Big Crown without a big crown… The watch is overall pleasantly finished and has the same value for the money feeling as everything done by Oris.
The reverse of the watch reveals the Oris calibre 754 automatic movement – a Sellita SW 200-1 base, modified internally for the date complication – with the hallmark red bi-directional rotor. The movement has a power reserve of 38 hours and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. A robust, reliable, easily serviceable movement that helps to keep the price relatively low.
This colour works so well in the collection that I wouldn’t be surprised if it appears again in the smaller 36mm version. It’s bold, it’s handsome and it’s unusual, a plus for those of you who are beginning to tire of the blue tidal wave. Well done Oris for daring!
The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood (reference 01 754 7741 4068) comes on a brown chamois deer leather strap with a choice of a stainless steel buckle or a folding clasp – also a rather unusual strap – and retails for CHF 1,550. More information at www.oris.ch.