January 9, 2010
by Ariel Adams
Oris is pretty well known to me as a maker of workhorse watches with all sorts of sporty themes. Maybe it is racing, or diving, or aviation – Oris has a handsome watch for the job. Less people know their retro styled watches. One such example is the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date watch. It has a terrible name (no effort there!), but totally falls into the category of what I call “the dad watch.” Yea, that looks like something everyone’s “dad” used to wear. It has that sense of classic no-nonsense functionality that seems to remind you of steady good taste for uncontroversial times in the past. This is for people whose father were not sports or action heroes but regular guys who wanted something nice, but “reasonable.”
The Big Crown Pointer Date watches come in a few styles and even in a smaller version for the ladies (“mom watch” anyone?). Prices are actually quite reasonable. You can a well-made mechanical Swiss watch for well under $1000. Of course there are version just over $1000 and at least the ladies versions come in quartz models as well. Oris watches tend to always feel like a good value, even if you get into their several thousand dollar diving watches (that are great depending on your tastes). Pictured are three of the varieties of the watch. Oris really is trying to make a Big Crown Pointer Date watch for everyone. White dial, black dial, silver dial. Little bit of decoration or without. I tend to like the two-tone model with the gold coined edge bezel and some gold-toned links in the bracelet.
The name of the watch pretty much sums it up, but I wanted to discuss a bit. As to the pointer date that is pretty self evident. Using a periphery and crescent moon hand to indicate the date as opposed to having a disc underneath the dial with a date window. The large crown is interesting. At 40mm wide, proper watch making etiquette would have had Oris give it a moderately sized crown. But this is a man’s watch, and Oris wanted to emphasize the traditional aspect of the design. Back when watches like this usually were manually wound and needed more of your attention. Thus, to give the watch a more important and traditional look, the crown is sized for a watch that is a few millimeters larger in diameter. While there are a few styles of hands, I prefer the classic aviator style ones.
It is probably a better idea to get one of these modern vintage style Oris Big Crown Pointer Date watches than one of the originals it is based on from “way back when.” While I am of course a fan of modern watches, there is a big place on my heart for quality vintage designs from back when mechanical watches were all you had, and all watches were something a bit special. Not like you could go to the drug store and get a cheap quartz watch or a high quality Swiss one. So for those times there are plenty of homage are vintage styles such as this Oris watch available out there.See Oris watches on eBay here.