The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 is simply a watch that explains Oris’s true personality. The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 goes back to the roots of what mechanical watches are all about. In today’s world, so many of us know what the things around us can do, but rarely actually know how they work.
The same logic applies to mechanical watches too. We see brilliant timepieces made and know what they can do, yet rarely see or understand the inner workings behind them. This is the idea behind the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115, to show as much as possible how the true inner workings of a mechanical watch operate.
There is almost a natural connection between a mechanical watch and its owner. If we don’t wind it, or even yet move, we won’t drive enough power to turn the mainspring which ultimately powers the movement. This is what Oris is trying to show with the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115.
Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 was inspired by nature, in particular, a Valley named Waldenburg, which surrounds the village of Hölstein. This particular village is significant to Oris, as it is there where the brand originally began. Oris was founded in 1904, and since then the brand has been based in Hölstein. It’s no wonder then that they would go back there to find sources of inspiration for arguably the “most Oris watch” they have ever made.
The whole concept behind the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 started with the movement of the timepiece. Oris, being an independent manufacturer, has only ever made mechanical watches. For Oris’s 110th anniversary back in 2014, the brand unveiled the Oris Calibre 110. The Oris Calibre 110 was an in-house produced watch that had a staggering 10-day power reserve, along with a patented non-linear power reserve indicator and small seconds counter. This Oris Calibre 110 served as the basis for all subsequent iterations of the calibre all the way up to Calibre 114 released in back in 2018. On the topic of in-house calibres, an interesting fact about Oris is that up until now, the Swiss brand has manufactured more than 270 in-house calibres. This is an incredible legacy and one that Oris truly should be proud of.
Much like the other iterations created from the base Calibre 110, Oris has given the base model a new spark by giving it a fully skeletonised look for the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115. As the name of the watch suggests, the inspiration for the dial design has come from the aviation industry.
The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 comes in a 44mm lightweight titanium case. The bezel is unique as it has a knurled motif design which has been inspired by jet engine turbine blades. This knurled motif design can be seen in the dial as well, displayed outside of the minute track, going in the opposite direction to the bezel. The main point of this watch was to show the movement, and Oris certainly didn’t leave much to the imagination. The counters have been skeletonised as well to show the action underneath. The barrel with the mainspring shown at the 12 o’clock position is a highlight of this timepiece. It takes roughly 200 turns to fully wind the watch, which you can see happening as each turn in the Titanium screw-in crown winds the mainspring.
Oris’s patented non-linear 10-day power reserve indicator can be seen at the 3 o’clock position. This is quite a large counter too, especially in comparing to the small seconds counter shown between 7 and 8 o’clock.
Although one would think that with the counters being skeletonised it would be hard to see it, this is not the case with the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115. The power reserve indicator is a grey ring that goes for roughly 3/4 of a full circle. On this ring, like the minute track, Oris has used white lettering to inscribe the numbers. A grey plate the white inscription stands out well, making readability easier.
To break up the overall look of grey on the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115, Oris has added nice touches of colour from the jewels to the golden gears. This subtle addition of colour adds class to the timepiece while also highlighting and distinguishing the gears hidden underneath. As you may have noticed already, there are no hour numerals shown on the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115. Oris’s Senior Product Design Engineer Lukas Bühlmann says that “It’s certainly not a conventional pilot’s watch. For example, this is the first Oris pilot’s watch without any numerals on the dial.”
The choice to remove the numerals is bold, however, works well for the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115. If hour indices were added in, it would only clutter the dial more and take the attention away from the main aspect of this timepiece; the skeletonised dial.
As we have already pointed out throughout this article, Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 has a highly complicated in-house movement based on the original Calibre 110, explicitly re-developed to showcase the watch’s complications through the skeletonised dial. The Calibre 115 movement is a hand-wound, operated by the titanium crown. When the movement is fully wound, it can produce up to 10-days of power reserve. This is indeed quite an incredible feat as most normal mechanical watches only power for roughly two days (~50 hours). The power reserve indicator made visible on the large counter at 3 o’clock position is a very useful tool, as it lets the owner know how much time is left before needing to be fully would again. This patented non-linear power reserve indicator is managed by what is called a ‘worm-gear’. This worm-gear is an exclusive innovation from Oris, only found in a series of their in-house developed calibres. This unique mechanical tool is what controls the speed at which the power-reserve indicator moves around the sub-dial.
So how does it wear?
Even though it’s sized at 44mm, case thickness of 12.5mm and lug to lug of 50mm, the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 sits surprisingly well on a 6.5inch wrist. The curved lugs help to provide a snug fit around the wrist. The multipiece titanium bracelet, which has been designed exclusively for this watch by Oris, is stylish and definitely adds to the aesthetic appeal of this timepiece. Designing the bracelet to match the dial is a great move by Oris. The sharp design of the links transition smoothly from the casing to the bracelet and yet stands out enough to be noticeable from some distance.
The bracelet feels sturdy and not too heavy or clunky when worn. Another interesting feature of the multipiece titanium bracelet is the clasp. Oris has produced something quite special for the clasp, which they call lift. The word “LIFT” is engraved on the clasp too, giving a call to action for the user to lift the clasp to undo the bracelet. It is super easy to use and also reliable, while blending in to the overall design of the bracelet.
The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 can be worn with most attire ranging from casual to smart; however, due to the design and skeletonised dial, it would feel more at home to more smart attire. The watch goes well-matched with formal attire such as a jacket or blazer, with the integrated bracelet adding to the classy look.
If it wasn’t said enough already, the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 certainly nails down the visually appealing factor. To be able to see the whole movement in action while not reducing the readability of the dial is an excellent achievement by Oris. Taking around two years to design this watch, the creation of the Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 is a crowning moment for the brand.
As Cheif Operating Officer Bear Fischli put it; “The watch is a masterpiece, a perfect synergy of design and technology. Previously, we had this incredible movement, but no one could really see how it worked. Now you can. You know a palace is beautiful inside, but until you actually walk through the door, you can’t be sure exactly how beautiful.”
Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 Specification:
Model Reference: 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC
Case Diameter: 44mm
Case-back: Titanium, screwed, see-through sapphire glass
Movement: Calibre 115 (skeletonised) , Manual wound
Power Reserve: Min. 240 hours
Functions: Centre hands for hours and minutes, small seconds between 7 and 8 o’clock, non-linear power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, fine timing and stop-second devices
Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 meters
Australian Retail Pricing: $11,000.00
Availability: Available now
Enquire at local Authorised dealers :
- Brisbane – The Hour Glass
- Melbourne – Hardy Brothers
- Sydney – Gregory Jewellers
- Perth – Hardy Brothers