At 47mm wide and at perhaps 17mm thick in steel, the ProPilot Altimeter is the largest model in the new Big Crown ProPilot watch collection. Yes, it is a large watch, but Oris makes it wear as nicely as possible. If you love large watches, then you will enjoy the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, if not the more basic ProPilot Date watch, which is several millimeters smaller in size.
The ProPilot design aesthetic is really great looking and, in addition to fantastic case quality, the turbine engine inspired bezel design is very slick. It is also matched to the crown design. I also love the high-contrast dial and hands which are both attractive and very legible. As a halo product, the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter is a super cool “techie” watch to top the ProPilot collection, but I think the brand will find more sales in the smaller, slightly more practical models. Though, as a unique and admittedly useful timepiece, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter is really cool and fun to use.
Serious pilots with a love of watches might lament the lack of precision in the altimeter scale on the dial, and the watch might be too large for some wrists. On the other hand, this is the most affordable mechanical altimeter watch available, and watching it in action while flying is really cool.
Flying with Oris out of Ambri was certainly a welcome and appreciated experience. Eventually, I would very much like to get my own pilot’s license as I am a huge fan of the aviation world and have a lot of respect for what it means to fly in regard to the skill and danger involved. Pilots are an interesting and complex demographic to appeal to. As someone who knows explained to me, “aviation is not a pretentious pursuit because it is a great equalizer.” No matter how much money you have, flying still requires skill, patience, and a degree of natural talent. And everyone who flies is constantly learning.
Oris pilot watches are still high-end Swiss items, but they don’t reek of lifestyle or status. They are quality tool-style watches for those who like the idea of having a nice mechanical watch to go with a world they love or hobby they pursue, and the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter should make an admirable poster child for their focus on aviation. The ProPilot Altimeter watch will be available with three fabric strap options (gray, green, as well as black), and a black leather strap. These each come with Oris’ pretty wonderful seat belt-style deployant. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter is also available with a steel metal bracelet.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter watch with the feet scale is ref. 733 7705 4134 TS and with a meter scale it is ref. 733 7705 4164 TS. The watches should be available for sale in September 2014 and will be priced at 3,300 Swiss Francs on a strap, and 3,500 Swiss Francs on the bracelet. oris.ch