Oris, one of the leading independent brands in the industry, has showed up with its new model ProPilot WorldTimer under the Big Crown Collection. The new model attracts a great deal of attention with its rotating bezel, which is actively involved in adjusting the watch, and its relatively affordable price.
As we mentioned while sharing our impressions about the Baselworld 2017 fair, the mobility of the brands and the segments that these brands are active still remains the same. The brands that we know with hi-end models show up with novelties to be included in the lower price range, while the ones that are among the indispensable brands of the entry and mid-level segments continue to launch new models with in-house movements and/or high complications to compete in higher leagues.
Oris is one of the brands that climb up the stairs with a stable momentum. The independent brand, which is one of the veteran names of the segments such as the entrance and the middle level, draws up price tags without lowering the price/performance ratio with new models equipped with updates both technically and aesthetically. In my opinion, the main issue here is the price/performance ratio. If you can increase the product prices by keeping the price/performance ratio constant, or even preferably higher, I think you are doing the job right. However, as a side effect of this action, you will also raise the entry level price of the product line. I will explain with a practical example; a product from the X brand with a MSRP of US $ 3,000.00 can now be far better than the equivalently priced alternatives in the market. But as a side effect, you cannot find a brand X product retailing less than US $ 1,000.00 anymore. That’s exactly how it is with Oris.
The WorldTimer function is not a feature that Oris has just introduced. On the contrary, this feature has been on the brand’s product line for exactly 20 years. This feature, which continued to exist in different variations over this time period, is somewhat different from the WorldTimer function we know of in the Oris terminology. Can be explained as a "unique GMT watch", the original timepiece featured a set of pushers to adjust the local time forwards or backwards in one hour intervals. There were also other functions like a small seconds sub-counter, a day/night indicator, home time display and an patented module that allowed the date display to be set forwards or backwards as the hour hand moved over midnight.
The model that was recently introduced technically shares the same platform with its past variants but with a set of upgrades both technically and aesthetically.
The model is offered in a Big Crown style case, which is one of the brand’s best-selling product lines. The case is made of stainless steel measuring 44.7mm x 13.10mm that gives the right to define the word “Big" in its full name. The matt finish case features the symbol details of the Big Crown collection like the hefty winding crown and the coin edge bezel. In fact, one of the most important features of the model is that bezel. Unlike the previous variants in which the bezel was more like an aesthetic detail, ProPilot WorldTimer’s bi-directional bezel actually adjusts the central hour hand. It is difficult to predict how effective it will be in terms of practicality, but it certainly is very successful in terms of "cool factor" which is a very important parameter for me.
On both sides of the case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glasses with antireflection coating are used. Thanks to the screw-in caseback and winding crown, the case is water resistant to 100 meters - a very reasonable value for everyday use.
Arguably the second cool feature of the new model is its dial. The dial, which is offered in two color options as black or anthracite, sports a sub-counter hosting a date display and the day/night indicator. The small seconds sub-dial is located at 9 o’clock. Offering great legibility in almost any environment, the dial is laid-out pretty nice and neat.
The new model is powered by the brand’s Caliber Ref.690. Despite the bezel operation set-up is a new feature, the self-winding movement is being used by the brand since 1997. Based on the tested and approved work-horse ETA 2836-2, the movement features a date display, a day/night indicator and most importantly a user-friendly second time zone function.
Offered in two different dial colors, the model is available with a stainless steel bracelet, a pair of alligator straps in brown or black and a khaki textile strap. All options come with a folding clasp inspired by the buckles of the seat belts in the aircrafts.
The stainless steel bracelet model is available with a price tag of US $ 3,850.00, while the version with textiles and leather straps is priced at US $ 3,600.00 (US list).