Bronze is big at Oris, and the brand has been toying with bronze cases since the release of the Carl Brashear model in 2016. Four years later, it produced the Hölstein Edition 2020 Bronze chronograph attached to the first Swiss-made solid bronze bracelet. Signature models like the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date have also been treated to bronze, including attractive two-tone steel and bronze editions like the Sixty-Five “Sunset” with a gradient dial. Today, it’s the Big Crown ProPilot Big Date’s turn for a bronze makeover.
Oris has been associated with the world of aviation since the turn of the 20th century. Starting with pilot pocket watches in the early 1910s, Oris produced its first pilot’s wristwatch in 1917 (known as the Big Crown from 1938 on). With its reputation for reliable, robust tool watches, the brand has an entire collection dedicated to Aviation with vintage-style models like the Big Crown Pointer Date. It also features more contemporary styled pilot watches with its futuristic titanium skeletonised ProPilot X watch and more discreet daily beaters like the Big Crown ProPilot introduced in 2014. Available until now in steel cases with grey, blue and black dials, the latest ProPilot comes with a new case material and a slightly more retro spirit.
The three B’s
Big Crown, Big Date and a fairly big Bronze case are the defining characteristics of the latest ProPilot model. Measuring 41mm across with a height of 12.4mm, the multi-piece case of the ProPilot is now made of solid bronze for a warmer, more vintage and definitely a more commanding presence. The signature coin-edged bezel and the oversized crown really come to life in bronze compared to the matte finishing seen on the gunmetal grey PVD case celebrating the brand’s partnership with NATO’s Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP). Protecting the dial is a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The bronze screw-in crown and the screwed caseback with mineral glass to view the movement ensure the 100m water-resistance.
Even though the press release says the dial is black, the official photographs of this Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze hint at a dark matte brown colour. I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for our hands-on session to determine the real tone of the dial. Nevertheless, in keeping with its pilot watch identity, legibility is impeccable, and the hour, minute and seconds hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. However, to improve legibility in the dark, the applied Arabic hour markers are not just treated with Super-LumiNova but are actually made from blocks of solid Super-LumiNova for a more intense and long-lasting glow. To complement the warm bronze case, the indices on the minutes/seconds track are printed in an attractive golden colour. The big date window at 3 o’clock is well integrated into the design of the dial and has a dark background to match the dial colour and white numerals.
The ProPilot Big Date Bronze is fitted with a hard-wearing green Ventile® strap with a bronze ‘lift’ clasp inspired by passenger aircraft seatbelt buckles.
Beneath the caseback is calibre Oris 751, a Sellita SW 220-1 with a specific decoration and the brand’s signature red rotor. This movement is a larger version of the tried-and-tested SW 200-1, itself an ETA clone. Otherwise, it retains the same specifications with a frequency of 4Hz/28,800vph and a 38h power reserve.
Availability & Price
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze (ref. 01 751 7761 3164-07 3 20 03BRLC will be available this month and retails for CHF 1,950. For more information and orders, please visit www.oris.ch.