When Oris’ name comes in the conversation, most collectors know what it is about: reliable, well-crafted, well-designed and perfectly priced tool watches (and not only tools…). This goes for the Oris Aquis, a reliable and accessible dive watch, or the Depth Gauge, with its innovative mechanism. There’s also a huge cool factor with some, like the Divers Sixty Five. But Oris is not only about divers, but about pilot watches too. We already showed (and tested in real conditions) the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter. in a less technical but still pilot-oriented style, the brand just launched a cleaner version, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date.
What makes a watch a pilot watch? Easy question you’d say but in fact there are many answers, depending on which type of pilot watch we are talking. However, we’ll try to make it simple. A pilot watch, in the definition of tools used by military pilots of WWII – the golden age of such watches – is a large watch, with highly contrasted and clearly identifiable indexes and hands, easily readable during the night, with faculty to be worn over a flight-jacket and used with gloves. It has to be reliable and precise enough to help pilots to have an exact notion of time and to make calculations. Funnily, pilot watches are now more a style than something that is used in real conditions (on board computers, like diving computers, replaced watches). These are watches usually with a bit of retro / military look, but in the end, most actual pilot watches are designed accordingly to the definition. And so is the new Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date.
This new Oris uses all the codes of pilot watches, with a more refined and wearable-on-a-daily-basis look. Let us explain. The watch has a stainless steel case of 45mm, with rather toolish look – surfaces are brushed. The overall case wears large – of course with such diameter – but comfortable, with lugs that are curved enough. And such a large case is part of the pleasure with a pilot watch. The crown of this Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date, like indicated in the name, is oversized. It participates to the look of course but also makes this watch friendly, in case you want to use it with gloves. Finally, to complement the pilot / plane look, Oris chose a coin-edged bezel inspired by jet-engine turbine – a pattern that is more discreet on the wrist than on these photos, and that gives the watch a rather unique look.
Then comes the dial – certainly the most important part of a pilot watch. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date has all the attributes of pilot watches. The opening of the dial is huge, the numerals and tracks, painted in white and luminous, are highly readable during the day and in low light conditions… Nothing can properly distract the legibility, even the additional day-date feature at 3 – which can be rather practical on a daily basis. This feature, combines to a new color of the dial, gives the watch a more urban look. While the Big Crown ProPilot exists with a matte black dial – again, very traditional to pilot watches – Oris gave this edition an anthracite color with sun-ray brushed pattern. While not contradicting the legibility – contrast with the white numerals is still great – this dial is more modern, more refined and certainly fits better in daily conditions, especially when a pure sports, tool watch is not really an option. This edition is more like a pair of jeans, suitable for any situations.
A same idea has been applied to the hands, which are not plain and white anymore, but executed in polished steel and filled with white luminous paint – again, the overall shape is legible, clear and reminiscent of pilot watches but their execution is more refined. Finally, straps options allow for more versatility. You’ll have the choice between a vintage brown leather option with beige stitching, a grey leather strap with a crocodile imprint, a more traditional black leather strap, a grey textile strap or a brushed stainless steel metallic bracelet.
in the tradition of Oris, the case encloses a simple but reliable and precise Swiss Automatic movement, the Oris Cal. 752, based on Sellita SW 220-1, with day and date at 3 o’clock. This movement, considering the price level of the watch (well below 2,000 Euros) and the pilot / sports vocation of the watch, will perfectly do the job and will please new (or not) collectors who want to turn to automatic. The movement, visible thought the sapphire caseback, and fitetd with Oris red rotor, boasts 38 hours of power reserve and ticks at a modern 4Hz frequency.
This new edition of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date is again a nice option for collectors with a lower budget. While having some more refined touches, like the anthracite dial with brushed pattern or the polished hands, it manages to keep the DNA of a proper tool, pilot watch, in a more modern and urban style. Price: 1,450 Euros on leather or fabric strap, 1,650 Euros on steel bracelet, already available in stores. Also note that the watch exists in 41mm case, with date-only feature. Oris.ch.
Specifications of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date
- Case: 45mm diameter – stainless steel – sapphire crystal on front and back – 100m water resistant
- Movement: Oris Cal. 752, based on Sellita SW 220-1 – automatic – 38h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – hours, minutes, seconds and Day-Date at 3
- Strap: several leather and fabric options – also available on steel bracelet
- Europe retail price: from 1,450 Euros – ref. 01 752 7698 4063