True to its philosophy of producing ‘real watches for real people’, the new Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 114 is a utilitarian travel companion with a second time-zone (aka GMT) and a host of practical functions. Propelled by the latest in-house movement with a beefy 10-day power reserve, the novelty of the 2018 Oris Big Crown ProPilot calibre 114 is the 24-hour second time-zone function with half-hour indications.
Exceptions to the rule
The local time in any of the world’s 24 time zones is defined by its difference from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and is generally expressed in full hours. There are of course exceptions to the rule and the new Oris watch will prove an invaluable companion for those of you travelling to cities with half-hour derivations like New Delhi, Tehran, Pyongyang, Kabul or Adelaide.
From pilots to frequent flyers
GMT or second time zone watches came to the fore in the 1950s with the dawn of international aviation and were originally worn by pilots flying across multiple time zones. By displaying home time on a 24-hour scale, jet-lagged pilots could always know what time it was at home and avoid making inopportune phone calls in the middle of the night.
Oris began producing pilot watches very soon after its foundation in 1904 and came out with its first pilot’s pocket watch in 1910. The Oris Big Crown, launched in 1938, featured an oversized crown allowing pilots to manipulate the functions without having to remove their gloves and a useful pointer calendar. Named after its famous ancestor, the Oris Big Crown is now an entire collection of pilot watches distinguished by the large striated crown and, in some cases, with the red-tipped pointer hand of the original pilot watch for the date or day.
In the cockpit
Housed in a 44mm stainless steel, 100m water-resistant case with the signature oversized crown, the coin-edged bezel – with a polished or brushed top ring depending on the model selected – features an external decoration inspired by jet engine blades. As a pilot watch, legibility is paramount and the applied Arabic numerals and hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. The 24-hour second time-zone is arranged around the periphery of the dark dial and indicated by a red-tipped central hand.
On closer inspection, you will notice that the tip of the red pointer hand looks like a mini space shuttle with its tapered cockpit used to signal the numerals and the half-hour dots between them. The red area on the power reserve indicator (described as a ‘non-linear indicator’ by the brand) warns you that your 10 days of fuel supply are dwindling. Directly opposite the power reserve counter is a small second counter with an adjacent date window at 9 o’clock.
Based on the architecture of existing calibres 110 and 113, the latest Oris calibre marks the fifth in-house movement developed by this independent Swiss brand since 2014. Equipped with one single oversized barrel and oscillating at 21,600vph, the hand-wound movement will keep ticking for 10 days straight before needing a rewind.
The mineral crystal on the case back reveals the movement and the watch is offered with three choices of straps and two dial options, in either anthracite or black. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 114 on a dark brown leather strap retails for CHF 5,800, on black, olive or grey textile straps for CHF 5,500, and on a stainless steel bracelet for CHF 5,700. More details on www.oris.ch.