Today Oris unveils a new, quite striking and original watch, a solid bronze piece in a limited run of 250 pieces, designed to pay tribute to Hölstein, the village where Oris was founded in 1904. An all-bronze version of the Divers Sixty-Five chronograph, it is the first watch made in Switzerland to feature a solid bronze bracelet… And probably the boldest Oris so far. Let’s have a closer look at the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 Bronze.
Oris was founded in June 1904 by Paul and Christian Cattin in the village of Hölstein, Switzerland and was named after a nearby brook. Within the first year, the company had 67 employees and a solid production of pocket watches. By the late 1930s, Oris was producing its first pilot’s watches with a big crown and pointer calendar function and by the 1960s Oris was one of the 10 largest watch companies in the world, producing over 1 million watches a year. However, the year that concerns us here is 1965 when Oris launched its first diver’s watch with a unidirectional rotating bezel and 100m water-resistance.
tapping into the trend for Retro and Bronze
In 2015, Oris resuscitated its vintage diver and created the Divers Sixty-Five collection. The faithful retro aesthetics of the model won immediate favour and were also an eye-opener for many watch enthusiasts who couldn’t get over the excellent price/quality ratio. Although some argued that its 100m water-resistance was not compatible with a professional dive watch (although highly debatable), the Sixty-Five collection combines nostalgia for yesterday watches with enough robust functionality for everyday wear and tear.
The first bronze watch to make its debut at Oris was in 2016, a watch with a bronze case and bezel dedicated to US Navy Master Diver Carl Brashear. From 2016 on, bronze and bi-metal bronze/steel cases have popped up fairly regularly with the Oris Sixty-Five Steel and Bronze in three-hand and chronograph versions and this Oris Divers with a two-tone bronze and steel case and bracelet. Today, the Divers Sixty-Five collection welcomes the solid bronze homage to Hölstein model.
Solid Bronze, Case & bracelet
The case measures 43mm in diameter and has a height of 16.93mm. The unidirectional rotating bezel, the chronograph pushers and screw-down crown are entirely crafted in bronze. In fact, the only part of the case that is not made from bronze is the caseback. Taking into account the amount of bronze used here, it is a heavy watch, but not quite as heavy as gold. The top surfaces are brushed and the pushers, crown, markings on the bezel and the sides of the case are polished.
However, the novelty of the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is the bracelet, with solid bronze links. Given the malleable nature of this metal, bronze wasn’t strong enough to be used for the pins to hold the links together or for the folding clasp. These features, along with the caseback are made from stainless steel. Bronze is an alloy formed primarily from copper and is characterised by its dull-gold colour.
Over time, bronze oxidates to form a mottled, greenish surface. Patina is an entirely organic reaction and no two bronze cases will ever age in the same way. However, to avoid the watch looking like something salvaged from the Titanic, Oris has developed a special bronze alloy and the part of the caseback that comes in contact with the skin is made from steel. Another detail is the engraving of the smiling Oris teddy bear on the screw-down caseback along with the limited edition number xxx/250.
Golden Panda Dial
Set against a golden background, the twin counter layout on the dial underscores the vintage vibe of the watch. The two sub-dials – running seconds at 9 o’clock and 30-min elapsed time counter at 3 o’clock – have a snailed black background and white markings with a lick of lume on the hands. The skeletonized hour hand and the longer minute hand are filled with white lume, as are the applied hour markers. In the dark, the lume glows blue on the dial although the dot on the bezel emits a green light. Protected by a steeply domed sapphire crystal, the golden dial with its black counters is extremely legible.
Automatic Chronograph movement
The Sixty-Five Chronograph is equipped with an automatic chronograph movement – calibre Oris 771 – based on Sellita SW 510 with a decent 48-hour power reserve. Although the caseback is sealed, the rotor is hallmark Oris red.
Availability and price
As mentioned, the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is limited to 250 pieces and is now available in Oris boutiques and the Oris e-Shop. The retail price is CHF 4,800 or EUR 4,600.
For more information, please visit oris.ch.