Oris Launches the Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer, With a Clever Bezel-Actuated Dual-Time Function
Over the past few years, Oris have wowed us with several practical, innovative timepieces that harness a utilitarian look, feel and features, with competitive prices. Think about the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter for instance: a highly practical watch with a hard to ignore bang-for-buck attitude, or the 2013 Oris Aquis Depth Gauge, a simple yet clever development. Today, there is a new kid in town, with yet another cool innovative element (even if its name tends to indicate a different type of watch). It is the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer, and it is a very intuitive GMT watch.
Oris is well-known for being mechanically creative, whilst remaining true to their DNA, which stands for well built, competitively priced and cleverly conceived watches for various uses. Whether we take a look at their dive watches, pilot watches or even the more fancier watches with the in-house Oris Calibre movement, each watch has a distinct feature not often found in other brands operating in the same price bracket. And to boast, some features are world’s firsts like the first automatic altimeter wristwatch. Now however, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer marks the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Oris Worldtimer, and it comes with a neat set of functions.
An early example of the Oris Worldtimer Classic
For the everyday traveller, who happens to like watches, a watch needs at least a GMT feature or a dual-time indication. It needs to be easily operated, have an hour hand that can jump in one-hour increments without adjusting the minute hand, to feature a clear indication of both home and local time of course, and preferably also feature a day/night indication. Nothing is more annoying than calling your spouse because you think it is 4pm only to find out you messed up and it is actually 4am.
Many GMT / dual-time watches have extra pushers on the caseband (like the original 1997 Oris Worldtimer), or can be adjusted through the crown when it comes to adjusting the time zone you are in. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer though features a stealthy, inconspicuous way to adjust local time: via the bezel. True, it’s not exactly unique as there are other watches that feature a bezel to adjust local time, like the 2017 IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph. This features a bezel that can be turned in order to adjust the time-zone you are in, which also changes the hour and date if needed.
The Oris however, has a bezel that only rotates a few degrees in both directions, sort of like a slider. Turn it clockwise to adjust local time forward in 1-hour increments, and turn it the other way to adjust it 1-hour backwards. In sync with local time, the date moves back and forth too, even if this means it is adjusted backwards across midnight, you will see it jump back accordingly. It’s very intuitive and easy to use, highly practical, and no added pushers to disturb the case.
The dial of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer features the familiar sharp font, in white, on a dark dial. It remains after all a Pilot’s watch so legibility is key. Home time is neatly combined with the day/night indicator and the date on the recessed sub-dial at 3, while local time takes centre stage. A recessed running second sub-dial at 9 completes the set of indications for this watch.
An anthracite dial with a sunray brushing, matched with a polished top ring on the bezel or a matte black dial with a brushed top ring will be the two choices available. The black-dialed version will also have a yellow running second hand, versus the white one on the anthracite version.
The coin edge bezel, which operates the hour adjustment for the dual-time indication, is a Big Crown trademark for the brand and adds grip to it. The 44,7mm wide steel case houses the Oris Calibre 690, an adaptation of the ETA 2836-2, which is visible through the sapphire caseback, showing the signature red Oris rotor. This automatic movement features 38 hours of power reserve, has 30 jewels and operates at 4Hz, or 28,800 vibrations per hour.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer is yet another testament to the clever thinking of Oris, offering innovation within an attainable price bracket for most, keeping in touch with the brand’s DNA, and maintaining a very usable approach to watchmaking. Our only concern is the name of the watch (and it was already the case before, with other watches featuring this same movement). Indeed, we’re in front of a well-conceived and highly practical GMT watch rather than looking at a proper world-timer timepiece, which indicates the time of the 24 main cities around the world (like those 3 for instance). The name “Dual-Time” would be more relevant.
It will be available at a retail price of CHF 3,600 on a crocodile leather strap or steel bracelet or CHF 3,400 on a calfskin or textile strap (like on other ProPilot models). For more information; Oris.ch.
Technical Specifications – Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer
- Case: 44,7mm wide – stainless steel – coin edge bezel which operates local time (hours only) – knurled big crown – sapphire front and back – screw-in caseback
- Features: centrally mounted local time with forward and backward adjustment – home time at 3 – day/night indicator at 3 – date window at 3 with forward and backward adjustment matching local time – running seconds at nine – Anthracite sunray or matte black dial – contrasting hands and numerals with SuperLuminova
- Movement: Oris 690 calibre based on ETA 2836-2 – automatically wound – 25,60mm in diameter- 38 hours of power reserve – 30 jewels – 4Hz or 28,800vph
- Strap: steel bracelet – crocodile leather strap in brown or grey – calfskin leather strap – textile strap
- Price: CHF 3,600 on steel or crocodile leather strap – CHF 3,400 on calfskin or textile leather strap