Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date Review

by Chamath Gamage
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“Beauty drives our decisions. In beauty, we find attraction, love even, which drives us to invest. We buy what we love. With a watch, that’s very true. Most often, the heart rules the head.” Those words are from Oris’s Joint Executive Officer; Rolf Studer. The brand celebrated a very important historical role of the Big Crown Pointer Date by giving the latest edition a solid bronze casing and a unique finish on the dial that makes each watch different from one another. 

The original Big Crown Pointer Date played a significant role for Oris during the 1970s Quartz Crisis and the revival of the Swiss watch industry. When Oris decided to only build mechanical watches during the mid to late 1980s, the Big Crown Pointer Date was vital in this decision. The watch carried a presence of history and emotional value along with a driven purpose that many of the quartz-powered timepieces in the era of the Quartz Crisis couldn’t compete with. The Big Crown Pointer Date become a signature for not only Oris but also the revival of the mechanical Swiss watch from the Quartz Crisis. 

In 1938, the creators of the Big Crown Pointer Date designed the watch so that it was well suited for the aviation industry. Timepieces that were designed in the early days for the aviation industry had to be easily readable at a glance so that pilots were able to do calculations quickly. They also needed to be easily adjustable while also being sturdy and reliable enough to withstand the turbulence and fluctuations felt in the cockpit. All this was taken into consideration when designing the Big Crown Pointer Date. 

Case and Dial:

The resemblance between the original 1938 Big Crown Pointer Date to Oris’s latest Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date is almost identical. Oris has used an oversize crown which can easily be operated by pilots, even while wearing gloves. The dial features large Arabic numerals which provide excellent readability. The bezel like the crown is fluted, which provides a lot of grip. The cathedral style hour and minute hands are filled with superluminova, which provide night time visibility. 

The prominent feature in this piece, of course, lies with the date system. An extra central hand has been added to the dial which has a “bident” pitchfork style red tip. On the outside of the minute track, a date ring has been added to the dial. The red-tipped central “date” hand would then move between dates as the days progress. This is a different and unique take on showing the date on the dial, much different from the ordinary date window shown on contemporary pieces. 

What stands out from the original 1938 piece to today’s Big Crown Pointer Date is the use of bronze throughout the watch, which ties back to Oris’s industrial philosophy and the true value of a Swiss mechanical watch. The 40mm casing is made in solid bronze which over time will patinite. The dial itself is also made of solid bronze. However, it has been chemically treated and coated with a transparent matte lacquer, which in the end gives a unique finish for each watch. What this means is that each individual Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date will have its own visual appearance and story. 

Movement:

The movement inside the Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date is the automatic bi-directionally rotating 754 calibre. Even though Oris have in-house movements, they have opted to use a Sellita based movement for this timepiece. The Calibre 754 is based on Sellita’s Sw200-1 movement, which ticking at 28, 800 BPH, produces approximately 38 hours of power reserve. The Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date is also water-resistant up to 50 meters (5 Bar). The Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date comes with an open case-back, which shows the iconic red rotor and the 754 calibre movement underneath. 

How it wears:

The Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date sits quite well on a 6.5-inch wrist, especially with the lugs tucking in nicely. The bronze dial stands out rather than blending in with the bronze casing as it is a darker shade. The white Arabic numerals provide a good colour contrast, making readability of the dial quite easy. The pointer date hand is ever so subtle and can only really be seen once close up.

The Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date comes with an aged brown leather strap along with bronze buckle in keeping with the whole bronze colour theme. Overall the aged look and feel of the leather, it adds to the overall visual appearance of the piece. If the leather strap were lighter in colour, it would blend too much with the watch, which in turn would draw the attention away from dial and casing. The right blend of shades of brown/bronze has been used by Oris to make the watch look aesthetically pleasing as possible.

The Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date can be used as a great dress watch piece. As it comes on a leather strap, it’s ideal for office wear or semi-formal events. Under a suit jacket or even a formal dress shirt, the bronze look will still capture the attention of the viewers. 

This timepiece has become one of Oris’s signature pieces. Without this piece guiding the brand through the Quartz Crisis of the 1970’s, Oris wouldn’t have the reputation today of being a high-quality, independent Swiss Watch company. Now, the general public can enjoy a big part of Oris’s history, decked out in full bronze attire! 

Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date Specification:

  • Case diameter : 40mm
  • Case material : Multi-piece bronze case, stainless steel case back
  • Dial: Bronze, Indices, numbers and hands with Superluminova C1/C3
  • Crystal : Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Water resistance : 50 meters/ 167 feet
  • Movement : Oris 754, base SW 200-1
  • Power reserve : Approximately 38 hours

Australian Retail Pricing : $3,000.00

Availability : Available now

Enquire at local Authorised dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass
  • Melbourne – Hardy Brothers
  • Sydney – Gregory Jewellers
  • Perth – Hardy Brothers
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