Vintage watches from the 1960s and 1970s have been all the rage for the past decade, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some brands are pushing the fast-forward button on the timeline. We’ve seen this trend in the fashion industry, with the 1980s and 1990s proving to be a great source of inspiration for recent collections. To mark its 118th birthday, Swiss brand Oris releases a Hölstein Edition 2022 based on a Full Steel Worldtimer from the late 1990s with a landmark in-house calibre. It’s bold, it’s different, it’s not going to be to everyone’s liking…
The Third Hölstein model
Founded in 1904 in the Swiss village of Hölstein, Oris uses the Hölstein denomination for its limited-edition watches. We first saw it with the Hölstein Edition 2020, a bronze edition of the Sixty Five Chronograph. The next year, Oris released the Hölstein Edition 2021, a compact take on the Big Crown with a sleek look at in-house movement. Marking its third limited edition, the Hölstein Edition 2022 celebrates the revival of the Full Steel Worldtimer model of 1997 in a run of 250 watches with the Oris teddy bear on the caseback. The mechanical Full Steel Worldtimer of 1997 was an important model for Oris, signalling the re-emergence of the brand after the devastating effects of the quartz crisis during the 1970s and 1980s.
Typical 1990S GMT Watch
Despite the word Worldtimer, the 1997 model was a GMT/dual time watch. Fitted with the innovative Oris calibre 690, local time could be adjusted in one-hour jumps clockwise (+) and anti-clockwise (-) using pushers in the caseband at 4 and 8 o’clock. The advantage of pusher-activated jumps eliminated the need to fiddle with the screw-down crown. As the time moved past midnight, the date corresponding to local time also advanced.
This is not the first time this display has returned to Oris. When it was re-edited in 2017 (20th anniversary) on board the whopping 44.7mm Big Crown ProPilot, the handy pushers were replaced by a bezel to adjust the local time in one-hour increments, yet another intuitive and user-friendly mechanism developed by Oris.
The Hölstein Edition 2022 is faithful to the original Full Steel 1990s watch and retains the pushers in the caseband. However, the button-style pushers of the 2007 model have been replaced with larger, rounded rectangular pushers that are easier to manipulate. Although the specs of the original 1997 Worldtimer are not included, the 36.5mm steel case of the limited edition indicates that this was probably the original case size. The case thickness has increased in the new asymmetrical model to accommodate the beefy crown guards and larger-sized pushers, along with the thick caseband surmounted by a rounded bezel with indentations for the bracelet. Given the thickness of the case, the screw-down crown and sealed caseback, the water-resistance is only 50 metres compared to the 100m water-resistance of the ProPilot – no doubt limited due to the presence of the pushers in the caseband. The brightly polished case flanks, bezel, pushers and central links of the steel bracelet give the watch a fluid look and contrast with the satin-brushed finishing of the surface of the external links.
Like the original Oris Full Steel Worldtimer, the layout of the indications is similar on the Hölstein Edition 2022: home time is displayed in the sub-dial at 3 o’clock with a wedge-shaped aperture at 9 o’clock to indicate night or day; the running (and hacking) seconds sub-dial is at 9 o’clock; the date appears in a triple-bevelled rectangular aperture at 6 o’clock, and the plus and minus signs corresponding to the pushers on the caseband are featured on the dial.
However, the original silver dial is now a bluish-black colour with a series of concentric ridges on the chapter ring and applied numerals treated with Super-LumiNova. The central hands for the local time and the home time hands are also treated with Super-LumiNova, as are the dots on the periphery of the chapter ring marking the hours. A sloping flange with white minute markings allows precision readings. Contrasting red details on the running seconds hand and the plus and minus indications in red triangles add another touch of colour to the dial.
Until the arrival of calibre 110 in 2014, the calibre 690 powering the Full Steel Worldtimer was Oris’s most complicated movement. Although it is hidden beneath the screwed caseback with an engraving of the Oris teddy bear in aviator garb, the calibre 690, which is an adaptation of an ETA 2836-2, features the signature bidirectional red Oris rotor. This automatic movement delivers 38 hours of power reserve and beats at a frequency of 4Hz, or 28,800 vibrations per hour.
As CEO Rolf Studer explains, the Oris Hölstein Edition 2022 Full Steel Worldtimer has been conceived as an anniversary watch and is a one-off run of 250 pieces. To personalise the experience, owners can choose a limited-edition number from the brand’s website to be engraved on the caseback. The watch, which comes on a three-piece stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp, is delivered in a special wooden box. Available from June 2022, the price is CHF 4,000.
For more information, please visit Oris.com.