Year in review 2020: Oris

by Lewis Jordan
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Oris had an unusual year in terms of releases for 2020. The brand opting not to make any changes to its flagship Aquis range until late in the year. At first glance, it seemed as though Oris was set to play 2020 safe, with a variety of special editions to already successful model lines, but the brand had a big secret up its sleeve for October.

Kicking off the year in February, Oris showcased its continued commitment to combatting climate change, with the Lake Baikal limited edition. Based on the high-performance Oris Aquis diver’s watch and made in partnership with the Lake Baikal Foundation. Sales of the watch helped to raise funds in support of ‘Point No.1’, a Lake Baikal conservation project run by the Scientific Research Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University that’s also the longest-running and most detailed environmental water monitoring project in scientific history. 

In June of 2020, Oris went all in on Bronze with the release of the Hölstein Edition. The first in a new series of watches celebrating the brands roots in the Swiss village of Hölstein, Oris released an all-bronze version of the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph. The watch’s warm tone is matched by the smiling Oris Bear on the case back. Limited to 250 pieces, and available through Oris boutiques, the Oris e-Shop, and retailers with access to the Oris e-shop. 

Then, later in August Oris released the Hangang limited edition, a watch in partnership with Seoul KFEM, part of the Korean Federation for environmental movements. The green of the watch’s ceramic bezel insert and shimmering gradient dial was inspired by the vivid hues of creek waters at the Hangang’s source. The watch also has an unusual circular date function and small seconds. Limited to 2,000 pieces the watch was another reminder of the brand’s ecological efforts. 

One of the stranger links to history the brand employed this year, was with the release of the Roberto Clemente limited edition. Inspired by the late baseball legends humanitarian efforts, Oris debuted the variation of the big crown pointer date. The watches black and gold detailing, inspired by Clemente’s uniform, while the light brown strap and its double stitching reflects the aesthetic of a baseball glove. Finishing the look is a case back engraved with Roberto’s image and your watch’s limited-edition number.

So, it seemed Oris was set in for a year of aesthetic changes to existing model lines for limited edition pieces, until October where the brand looked to set the new standard for entry level luxury watches. The new Oris Calibre 400 debuted and caused quite the stir, for good reason. An entirely new, in house automatic movement, the Oris calibre 400 boasts a staggering 5-day power reserve. New standards for anti-magnetism and an entirely new escapement were developed for use in the new calibre, signalling a shot across the bow to all those still using off the shelf movements to power their entry level pieces.

The Calibre 400 debuted inside the revamped Oris Aquis line and set an RRP of $4,600AUD.

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