The earliest pilot’s watches were often pocket watches adapted for a strap by welding wire loop lugs to the case. Oris recently discovered a watch of this type dating back to the 1910s, and for 2017 it is presenting a new edition of this piece from a century ago.
Early design style, modern materials
While the 1910s watch was large and had a brass case with an aluminium dial, the new Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition has a steel case at a very wearable size of 40 mm, a silver dial and a domed sapphire crystal watchglass with anti-reflective treatment inside. Water resistance is better than average at 5 bar, 50 metres. The Arabic numerals and the blued steel hands are coated in SuperLuminova. The crown is large, and there is a pusher on the caseband at 2 o’clock. This is a direct reference to the original, which had this safety device so that you can only change the time when the pusher is pressed.
The caseback is solid stainless steel, with a relief OWC (Oris Watch Company) logo that was used as a quality mark on the brand’s gold watches. The caseback is also marked with the limited edition number – one of 1,917 pieces.
Inside the watch is the new self-winding calibre 732, a modified Sellita SW 200-1 running at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz, with about 38 hours power reserve. The watch is supplied with a travel pouch containing an additional riveted leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle.
Price and reference
The Oris Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition is reference 01 732 7736 4081 LS. It will be available in August, price €2,300, 2,400 Swiss francs.