January 23, 2010
by Ariel Adams
Watches like this make a great argument for why you need to have more than one watch. How could a singular timepiece style match how you feel all the time? Unless that is, you just don’t pay any attention to what you are wearing on your wrist. This Oris Chronoris watch is a perfect example of this fact. If I had one of these watches I would certainly find days when I couldn’t look at it, and other days when all I would want is to wear it. How is that possible?
It is like how art can function – meant to enhance how you feel or want to feel. The colorful look from 1970 is just not for all the time, but sometimes it is just what hits the spot. Sometimes you feel like being retro-nostalgic, other times the idea sounds terrible. The 70’s had a lot of odd watches, maybe not as many as today, but they certainly got weird when it came to shapes and colors. A few things from the era stuck though. Namely large sized cases and bold looks. You really didn’t have a lot of that before. In celebration of this era and Oris’ connection with motor sports is an interesting model, the Chronoris. Released last year, the Chronoris is a unique Oris watch, but one that also feels uniquely satisfying. For me, a lot of their stuff misses my tastes, but a watch like this I can stand behind (when I am in the mood that is).
There are two models of the Chronoris watch. Both are in the same tonneau style case with the integrated lugs, and the retro looking pushers. The polished edging on the case works nicely with the brushed surfaces. Oris also did a nice job with the watch hands that aren’t too thin – sometimes that was an issue in actual 70’s watches. The basic Chronoris model has just a 30 minute chronograph and the time (with date). This is a stripped down version of the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. Then you have another version with a Valjoux 7750, but this time it has been added to instead of stripped down. This more elaborate version has a GMT module on the 7750 movement inside of the watch. Interesting design feature where the subsidiary seconds dial is just nakedly placed over some of the concentric circles on the dial. Further, while the dial might feel a bit busy and full of markers – they are actually all useful.
Other nice details include the round date windows for the black colors date disc, and the large carefully made crowns. You really can’t beat the perforated leather strap with the hint of color on the side for that real 70’s racing feeling. I can’t decide whether I am a bigger fan of the orange or green trim on the watches. Maybe the green? It is certainly more subdued than the orange. An interesting option is the rose gold version of the 42mm wide case, which is otherwise in steel. That takes a reasonably priced cool watch of $3-4k into a territory that I am not sure about. Why does it exist in my opinion? For 70s era enthusiasts who have reached the level of “I don’t buy anything but gold or platinum watches.”