Oris’s iconic Big Crown Pointer Date turns a new chapter this year, with the brand’s latest unveiling of the Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403. The Big Crown Pointer Date is synonymous with Oris and in recent years has had new models being added to the collection. WatchAdvice, fortunately, had the chance to do a full in-depth review of one of the Big Crown Pointer Date models, a special one at too being the 80th Anniversary edition.
The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403 is not only changed in design but also the movement used as well. The Big Crown Pointer Date has been in production since 1938 and ever since then the models produced always kept two iconic features; an oversized crown so that the watch can be operated by gloved pilots and a central hand that pointed to the date scale around the edge of the dial.
When Oris set out in recreating this iconic and timeless piece, these features were still retained. The upgrade to this iconic piece is not only in the design but also in the sizing as well. The new Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403 model drops down 2mm in size from the previous 40mm version to the now 38mm. Modern watch enthusiasts are leaning towards wearing smaller size timepieces so this new size will be sure to be a hit.
In regards to this latest creation, Oris Co-CEO Rolf Studer states that “people who love Oris have been asking for this. It’s a privilege as Oris guardians to begin this new chapter in the Big Crown story.”
As mentioned earlier, the Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403 comes in a 38mm multi-piece stainless steel case. In previous versions, the watch had a fluted bezel, which has now been removed to look more like the original 1938 Big Crown model. The polished finish matches the casing perfectly, giving the timepiece a more luxurious finish.
The dial is a beautiful navy blue finish, with the hour indices and indications (minute track, date scale) done in contrasting white. The hour numerals have also been given an update as Oris has opted to use a more modern font. The hour and minute hands have also been updated from the previous cathedral style design to the now more modern straight and sleek finish. Another update which the 80th Anniversary edition had is now being included as standard, which is the constant seconds counter at the 6 o’clock position. The red-tipped date pointer remains the same as per the previous model and rightly so as it’s an iconic design of this watch. This hand also offers just the right amount of colour variation.
The watch strap is offered in black leather with Oris’s quick strap interchange system. The black leather is a good choice as it allows the blue dial and stainless steel casing to stand out in contrast.
The engine behind the Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403 is the new Oris Calibre 403 movement. Part of the Calibre 400 series which has elevated levels of anti-magnetism and a staggering five-day power reserve, the Calibre 403 is the latest iteration. Calibre 403 now allows for a combination of complications which include the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock and also the pointer date feature.
This full in-house movement also offers a very impressive 10-year warranty. The case back is also open with sapphire glass, allowing the viewer to have a glimpse of what the Calibre 403 is like.
Updating an iconic model with new design codes is always going to be a challenge. It has to be designed in a way that the new model will be taking the watch into more modern times and be loved just as much as its predecessors. It seems like this new piece has achieved that, with just the right amount of changes to bring about a more modern look to a classic timepiece.