Unveiled on June 15th this year, the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 was made to honour and celebrate the birthplace of the Swiss watch brand. The story of how the Swiss brand came to be goes all the way back to June 1st, 1904. Two independent watchmakers Paul Cattin and Georges Christian had arrived in Hölstein from Le Locle in the Jura mountains, where the central hub of traditional Swiss watchmaking lies. Hölstein, situated 25km from Basel, was an industrial town, that at the time, was going through economic hardship. The two watchmakers saw an opportunity to start something amazing here.
Paul Cattin and Georges Christian had the vision to build a watch company that would use industrial techniques to build watches that would also have the horological flair known to Swiss watch brands. A mechanical watch that would stay true to the romantic values of horology, while being beautiful and affordable to the hard-working citizens at the same time. During this era, to imagine concepts like these were visionary. The two watchmakers signed a contract in the Swiss Village of Hölstein. The signed contract would see the start of a much-loved watch brand. The brand would be named Oris, after a local creek in the Hölstein village.
Six years after the company’s creation, Oris was one of the biggest employers in the region, providing jobs at a time of difficult economic conditions. By 1960’s, Oris was one of the ten biggest watch manufacturers in the world, employing almost 1000 people. Oris would produce up to a million watches a year that would be exported to all areas of the globe.
Almost 100 years after the company’s inception, the Swiss watch brand and the village of Hölstein have become identifiable with one another. The Hölstein village and it’s surrounding Waldenburg valley have shaped Oris’s brand philosophy, while the watch brand has shaped the village’s identity and really put them on the map.
The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 was created to celebrate the long-lasting inseparable relationship between the brand and the village. The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 was created as a bronze version of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph.
The entire watch is basically made to appear bronze. The 43mm multi-piece bronze case, uni-direction rotating bronze bezel with bronze insert, crown and chronograph pushers are all cast in solid bronze. The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 features a gold-plated dial with two black counters at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position. The hour indices are rose plated with SuperLuminova. Oris has done well to carefully make sure that the overall appearance of the watch is full bronze. The use of black for the counters certainly help break up the colour and make the watch more noticeable (if it wasn’t already).
An interesting feature about the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is that this is the first Swiss-made timepiece to have a solid bronze bracelet. The bracelet itself is visually stunning, and it also goes incredibly well with the overall look of the watch. Initially, you would think it’s too much bronze, but the more you see it, the more you fall in love with it. As with all bronze, the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 will acquire a natural patina as the bronze oxidises. This makes each watch sold, individualistic and defer from one another.
The movement used for the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is Oris’s 771 calibre. The Oris 771 calibre is based off the Sellita SW500-1 movement and powers the two counters, centre chronograph 1/4 seconds hand, hour and minute hands, fine timing device and also stop second function. The automatic winding calibre comes with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. The case back of the watch is closed; however, it features a symbol of Oris that represents warmth and honesty. The Oris Bear was engraved into the case back, to simply make you smile.
A true mechanical watch is a thing of great beauty. In the current challenging times of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we face, seeing upcoming watches like the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is a welcome distraction. With intriguing characteristics that will charm everyone that sees it. As Rold Studer (Oris Co-Ceo) put it, the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is also a celebration of Oris’s roots and the values we carry through into today and tomorrow.
Limited to just 250 pieces, the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 will be the first timepiece in a series of watches released by the Swiss brand in celebrating and paying tribute to the magical village of Hölstein they call home.
Oris Hölstein Edition Specification:
- Case diameter : 43mm
- Case material : Multi-piece bronze case, uni-directional rotating bronze bezel with bronze insert
- Dial: Gold-plated with black chronograph counters, rose gold-plated indices
- Crystal : Domed sapphire with anti- reflective coating inside
- Bracelet: Multi-piece bronze bracelet with folding clasp
- Case back: Stainless steel, screwed, special engravings of the Oris Bear
- Water resistance : 100 meters/ 10 bar
- Movement : Oris 771
- Functions: Centre hands for hours, minutes and chronograph 1⁄4 seconds, two subsidiary dials with continuous seconds at 9 o’clock and a chronograph 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, fine timing device and stop-second
- Power reserve : Approximately 48 hours