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Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

Coinciding nicely with the 20th anniversary of their original Worldtimer watch, Swiss watch maker Oris has released an updated model for 2017 with the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer. First released to much acclaim in 1997, the 2017 version features a new time-setting mechanism. Something to clarify right away is that despite the word "Worldtimer" in its name, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer is in fact a dual-timezone watch – and not one that shows many time zones around the world simultaneously, which is usually what a "world time" watch refers to (many examples here).

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

To provide some context, the 1997 Oris Worldtimer was notable because the hour hand for the local time could be adjusted back or forward in one-hour increments using pushers in the caseband. This meant that one could adjust time without having to pull out the crown and stop the watch. Additionally, it featured a patented mechanism through which the date would keep track in either direction. So if you used the pushers in the case to move back several hours and moved past midnight, the watch would automatically move the date backwards as well. Overall, for someone who crosses timezones often, this meant that you could adjust the local time with a series of quick presses of the correct pusher and not worry about jamming a date wheel or synchronizing time down to the minute. You can see why this recipe hasn't changed for 20 years.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

1997 Oris Worldtimer

The observant reader will have noticed that the new Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer does not have the two pushers anymore. The hour hand for the local time is now adjusted via the coin-edged bezel on the watch. Time is still set in one-hour jumps with the bezel and it is bi-directional, which means that turning the bezel counterclockwise will make the time displayed jump backward (including the date wheel as necessary). While there is nothing wrong with using pushers or the crown to set the hour hand, there is a simplicity to this method that is very appealing. To me, this is not a case of being unique for the sake of uniqueness but an intuitive, practical approach.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

Aesthetically, there are a few changes from the previous Oris Worldtimer (that has resided in the Artelier collection) aside from the lack of pushers. The day/night indicator, date, home time, and running seconds functions all remain, and it is still at its heart, a large, legible, functional pilot's watch. At 44.7mm in diameter, this is not a small case but it ensures that the dial has good legibility despite the number of indicators. As far as the Oris Big Crown offerings go, this sits in the middle size-wise, as the range has watches from 41mm up to 47mm. The case is stainless steel with a multi-part construction that is mostly brushed. The prominent design feature is the bezel with its coin-edged finish that is complemented by the large, ergonomic, fluted screw-down crown. The coin-edging ensures that the bezel has sufficient grip to make the time adjustments an easy task to execute, but I also think it lends the watch an interesting look that suits it well. There is a display caseback and the watch is rated to 100m of water-resistance.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

There are two dial options for the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer – black and an anthracite sunburst. The black dial option comes with a bezel top (the small bezel between the coin-edged portion and the sapphire crystal) that is brushed, while the anthracite has one that is polished – presumably to reflect the sunburst nature of the dial. It's hard to tell if the polished vs. brushed bezel top makes a significant visual difference from the press images, so I'll hold off any comment until a hands-on look.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

In terms of layout, the primary hour makers are large Arabic numerals printed in Super-LumiNova to ensure visibility in the dark too. There are two sub-dials at 3:00 and 9:00 with the former showing home time in hours and minutes, a date window and the day/night indicator. Even after the larger dial size to increase legibility, this crowded sub-dial may be a bit cluttered for some tastes. The sub-dial at 9:00 shows the running seconds for the local time display. All but the running seconds hands are sword-shaped with the local time display hands filled with Super-LumiNova. Another difference between the anthracite and black dials is the running seconds hand which is orange in the former and white in the latter, which I can only interpret as Oris' attempt to make one look more casual/sporty than the other.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer Watch Watch Releases

The watch is powered by the Oris Caliber 690 which is a modified version of the ETA 2836-2 – a reliable movement for a functional watch. While the ETA 2836-2 provides 42 hours of power reserve, the modified Cal. 690 loses some of it from the modifications, offering 38 hours. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer is a timely update to its predecessor and if you were a fan of the old one, chances are you'll like this one even more with the new bezel system and cleaner aesthetic (thanks to a lack of pushers). The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer is available for a price of $3,600 on leather or textile strap and $3,850 on crocodile leather or a steel bracelet – and as a final functional bonus, the deployant has a patented length adjustable system to ensure a better fit.

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  • Mapston

    I love when the bezel has a function like this. I wish more watches offered it.

  • MrJKLFoams

    Interesting piece. Now oris need to start making their own mvt.

    • Framlucasse

      They do, and with 10 days power reserv, no less. So….

      • And it’s all from one honking big barrel.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    477mm ! , that’s to big even for me

  • Framlucasse

    Too big, too bad. Otherwise, it’s a quite nice watch.

    Brands should remember this before doing 45mm watches :

    • ?mperius ???????

      Thank You, so many watches that are on my list but not purchasable due to size!

  • Luciano

    I like it. But a dual timezone watch usually makes sense for frequent (business) travelers, and the 45mm case is too large if you want to keep it discreet.

  • James Miller

    I’ve been a big fan of Oris.
    Their watches represent outstanding value.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    This is a big improvement on the ’97 version.
    I find it spooky they put big crown on this model when the older one has a bigger crown and goes unmentioned anywhere on the watch.
    If i was a world traveller, getting on and off planes as i do buses this is not the watch i would use.
    What about places with half hour time zones ? i am often in Goa (+5.30) I would have to pull out the crown to change the time no matter what watch i was wearing.
    45mm is a nice size for me, i can’t help being a giant living among oompa loompas.
    This is a smart well bit watch with tech which is of no use to me. The coin edged bezel is nice.
    On this occasion i’ll pass but i do love Oris.

    • Places with half, quarter and other odd time zone offsets should just get with the program and pick an hour. And kill daylight savings time worldwide too. Horology would be much better off with these 2 simple, purely political, changes worldwide.

    • Mapston

      You could go for Blancpain’s Demi-Fuseau Horaire.

  • Almost perfect.

    Like this is 93.97% there. But if I wanted to travel with a 44.7mm timepiece, I’d bring a desk clock from home.

    Trim it down to 42: The answer to life, the universe, and everything including case size.

  • Mark1884

    An Oris fan here. Love the coin edge bezel for time adjustments. That is too perfect!
    As usual, a fine offering from Oris.

    • Yan Fin

      Do you mean priced at 18,000 Chinese Yuan?

      • I think he meant 18 karat red/rose gold case.

        • Yan Fin

          I was kidding

        • Mark1884

          But….. I would like to pay only the 18k Yuan!

  • John Stevens

    Oris have been doing great things lately and with style, they may not be haute horology but this is a company with some history, that had to fight just to be there, I love the dials on some of their old big crown pointer dates even if the watches weren’t that great.

  • Radium head

    The dial is well printed & clear unlike the Greyham with those perforation or Revit hole Marks that kind of looks like the tear lines on toilet paper this is much nicer. Push mechanism built into the coin bezel is cool . Nicely proportioned crown which doesn’t look like a grenade release pin. It’s a little pricey but not overly High. There’s a bit of reflection on the slightly Dome sapphire crystal but not overly bad kind of like on the Tudor Ranger Fine with that. It fits very well on my non girlish wrist I’ve had this on twice but still haven’t bought it & l do like a nice tool style watch

  • Norbs K

    Love the bezel’s function. Never seen anything like it before.
    But both the size and the price are too damn big.
    For less I could get something with a bit more history and a better features.

    And to think of it. Would you ever use this function? I mean it’s not hard to add or subtract from the hour. The hard part is to know how much is the difference.
    My personal opinion is, that having a rotating bezel with city names on it is much better then being able to step hours back and forth without any extra information.

  • Elijs Dima (@x2eliah)

    That bezel, nice. Not only useful, but looks great too.

  • otaking241

    I’ve always admired Oris’ “world timer” functionality and moving the local time setting function to the bezel seems like a really smart move. I do wish they’d tweaked the movement design to get the spacing better on the subdials–their crowding towards the center screams “small movement in an oversized case.”

    Overall I like the watch but I doubt I’d invest this much in an Oris–they rarely seem to hold better than 50% of their value on the second hand market, and often much less. See you on the forums?

  • Yan Fin

    Very interesting solution. Respect to Oris

    • ?mperius ???????

      Waiting for a “small crown” of approx 40mm.

  • Ross Diljohn

    I’ll take it over Tudor any day.

  • Ranchracer

    I don’t really have a need for a dual-time zone watch (Then again, I suppose none of us really has the need for a WATCH anymore period.), but sometimes I feel like I’m really missing out on some cool designs by tending to skip over GMTs. In general I like Oris’ offerings, and this one’s creative approach to the local time adjustment is very appealing. Might need to start taking a second look at GMTs! 🙂

  • Very clever. Can the local and home time’s minute hands be set independently to take into half and quarter-hour time zones?


    As many have pointed out for the average human this is just too big. At least offer it in a couple of sizes say 40mm and in gargantuan size of 44.7 then wait for it to go grey and get it for 2gs

    • The bezel appears to be angled downward at the periphery, so I’m guessing that it wears, or at least appears, smaller than its 44.7 mm diameter otherwise suggests. Sure it’s not small but without trying one on, it may be premature to say its too large. Larry might think it’s too small, ha ha. Cheers.

      • BNABOD

        True but I generally find my sweet spot at 40-42mm so really would need to try it on. I like what Oris makes, actually my first real watch was a rectangular oris monophase which wasn’t small nor light but really dug the look at the time

      • Larry Holmack

        Actually….44.7 mm’s is okay by me….especially since I really like this one and wish I was still able to work in retail management….I could have easily saved up for one.

  • I like the functionality, But I wonder if they could have engineered the module so that the 2nd time zone, day/night indicator and date would be at 6H with the running second then at 12H. The symmetry would have been better and some pilot (flieger) watches had their small seconds at 12 anyway. I’m too lazy today to do a dial mock-up but I think most of you get the idea.

    • IG

      I do.

    • Coert Welman

      Very nice. A tad smaller also would also be quite welcome. The positioning of the subdials hints at a relatively small movement in the large case.

    • spiceballs

      Agree, also with smaller size – 40 to 42mm? Would add that it might look more “together” if crown gnurling matched the (angled) bezel gnurling?

      • I would also appreciate a smaller case. I do wonder how much case diameter is required to support the bezel mechanism that changes the time. The base caliber is just under 26 mm so I would guess (without really knowing) that a 42 mm case will still be possible.

    • Ok, I got bored (or motivated). Here is what it could and should have looked like IMO.

  • SuperStrapper

    Subsidiary seconds always has and always will ruin this otherwise outstanding watch. this latest iteration may be the best yet… shat on by a completely unnecessary and unbalanced sub seconds dial.

  • IG

    As there are 2 minute hands, they should be adjustable separately to support +:30 and +:45 minutes timezones.

  • Hands90

    Really nice watch. It seems like a really practical travel watch.

  • Ian john horwood

    Watches with very long power reserves also have very poor time keeping abilities which include the expensive and overpriced iwc etc and so on.