It seems that Baselworld 2018 is going to be a year of vintage-inspired watches. Oris kicks off Baselworld with a whole new slew of their popular Oris Big Crown Pointer Date models. Featuring two 36mm models (one in bronze, and with some confusing literature, but I will touch on that a little later), and a 40mm model, Oris revamps, reshapes, and releases a very vintage-inspired lot of their esteemed pilot watches.
Model: Big Crown Pointer Date
Dimensions: 36mm for the green dials, and 40mm for the blue dials (Although apparently black dials are available as well)
Case Material: Stainless Steel or Bronze
Movement: Oris Cal. 754 (Sellita SW 200-1 with pointer date module)
Power Reserve: 38 Hours
Strap/Bracelet: A slew of leather straps or a Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price & Availability: $1,635 on leather or $1,846 on the steel bracelet for the steel models, $1,897 for the bronze model
The Big Crown Collection dates back as far as 1917, while the development and utilization of the Pointer Date module was something Oris dates back to 1938. Handset and flumed bezel aside, my biggest complaint is the reservation of vintage aspects of the collection for the sake of a modern appeal. While Oris boasts that their Big Crown collection utilized the oversized crown for pilots to wind with gloves on, I would hardly call the more recent Big Crown releases, well, big-crowned. Even less large than the already modernized Big Crown D.26 released earlier this year, the new iterations not only slim down the case and case size, they removed the indentation at the base of the crown that allowed pilots to easily pull it with gloves on. While I understand the modern design re-vamp, I feel these releases lack the vintage oomph that say the fantastically executed Oris Big Crown 1917 had for the pursuit of livening up of the the designs of an earlier era.
My second concern for the watch (admittedly, may be better left for when we get our hands on the watch), is the lack of clarity for who the 36mm watches are for. Oris claims that the bronze case is aimed at ladies (but also seem to leave that open to interpretation), but the steel is for “Men and Women” and is simply a “vintage case size.” So, are both 36mm sizes directed towards women (I imagine so)? Or only on the bronze case? While deeply tapered straps may allude to a more feminine style, 36mm wasn’t necessarily an uncommon watch size for a men’s dress watch, particularly when it boils down to a more vintage look.
Overall, these are great looking watches and not because I am already a fan of the Big Crown Pointer date models – these are simply well designed. I will reserve my sizing qualms for when I have hands on the watch, but I think Oris is going to have to more clearly define these watches if they are going to effectively market them to their respective audience. Price for the steel models is $1,635 on leather or $1,846 on the steel bracelet. The bronze model comes in at $1,897. oris.ch