2021 Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 80th Anniversary Review

by Pratik Shah
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Pros:

  • Get to enjoy the beautiful patina
  • Great value for money
  • wears great on smaller wrists

Cons:

  • Some may not find this to be a daily wearing watch
  • Some may find the power reserve to be too low in today’s standard
  • At times reading the date can be tricky (through the domed sapphire )

Over All Rating: 8.1

  • Value for money – 8.5/10
  • Wearability – 8.0/10
  • Design – 8.0/10
  • Build Quality – 8/10

Oris was founded in 1904 and it produced its first pilots watch in 1917. However, this was a pocket watch with an image of a plane that Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel in 1908 engraved on the case. Few years later in 1938 The BIG CROWN POINTER DATE was born and became a staple in their pilots watch collection. Fast forward 8 decades and Oris introduced a very elegant, vintage, and timeless classic: Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date 80th Anniversary Edition.

The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date was introduced to serve a purpose and to a target audience. A watch with oversized crown that pilots could easily operate wearing gloves, large Arabic numerals to read time with a glance and finally a pointer tip which would indicate date. Over the years the watch has undergone refinement in mechanics and materials, but its core design language has remained unchanged.

In 2018 the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date was encased in solid Bronze. An alloy which changes over time making this watch unique no matter when you wear it on your wrist. 

Case:

The 80th anniversary edition comes in a solid bronze 40mm case and is 12mm thick. The case is waterproof to 5 bar or 50m a has domed sapphire with AR coating on the inside. The legibility is not affected by the single AR coating, but the watch does catch light a bit. The watch has an exhibition steel case back with mineral glass. Oris made a wise decision by using stainless steel case back. This would allow the watch to be worn for longer duration as a bronze case back would cause skin irritation. 

As we all know the bronze will patina over time. The watch case comes wrapped in plastic to keep the lustre of bronze. The lustre will deteriorate depending on how often you wear the watch and which elements it gets exposed to. Wearing in humid environment will accelerate the oxidisation and you will get a green tinge whereas the dryer environment will allow the lustre to sustain for a longer duration. I bought my watch for my wedding and have worn it only on few occasions since. As you can see below the watch has developed patina but still has slight lustre. 

Design:

The watch comes in 2 dial variants, bronze and green. I chose the green dial over the bronze; the green colour when paired with the warmth of the bronze case makes an elegant combination. The dial has 1930’s style large Arabic numerals which makes it extremely easy to read time at a glance, serving the practicality aspect of this watch. The railroad style minute markers and the cathedral hands filled with super lume add to the old school details. The hands are coated with bronze colour guild creating further contrast in the dial. Surrounding the minute marker are the date indices and the red pointer. Again, the contrast. You might think that so much contrast would make the dial look busy and cluttered. However, the dial looks extremely balanced and symmetrical. The design just works for this Oris. 

The contrasting design feature continues outside of the dial and on the case. Prominent to this watch is the BIG CROWN, but personally for me its most elegant feature is the coin edge bezel which is more lustrous. The remainder of the case has a satin finish which blends seamlessly into the watch. As the watch has contrasting elements it catches light and gives away different tones in different lighting conditions. In very bring light the green dial come alive whereas in dim lighting the bronze shows of just enough for the person on the other side of table to think that you are wearing something different than stainless steel. Oris has nailed the design in terms of making this watch stand out. 

Movement:

Powering this watch is the Oris 754 automatic movement which is based on Selita SW 200-1. This is a reliable movement and will give you 38 hours of power reserve and accurate to +10/-10secs a day. The open case back has the signature Oris red rotor and the twin wheels of the winding system. The main talking point of this movement is the addition of the red pointer date hand. This is an independent hand which keeps track of the date. A change from the regular date window and this adds to the uniqueness of the watch. The movement is not heavily decorated but the attention seeking aspects for this watch is the dial and the case. 

How it wears:

The 40mm case wears very comfortably on a 6.5inch wrist. The lug-to-lug distance is 47mm and the thickness is 12 mm. These measurements allow you to wear the watch longer and pull off the casual and dressy look with ease. The watch comes with a quick release brown calf skin leather strap with bronze pin buckle. I would keep available more strap options as shades of green and brown work well with this watch. The watch wears great in any setting and occasion as its earthy tones i.e., the browns and the greens give away very pleasing look especially after the watch patinates. 

In closing:

The watch is reasonably priced at $3,000AUD. There are not many brands with similar offering at this price point. I can hardly find any fault while reviewing this watch. If I am nit-picking, then I would say that Oris could give a double AR coating for the front sapphire. Or may be a free servicing as some people might like the shiny bronze look more, than when the watch patinates.  However, if you ever only going to own one Oris you might as well make it arguably their most important model. This is great watch to have in your pilot watch collection or may be the only watch in your pilot watch collection.   

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 80th Anniversary Specification:

  • Case: 40 mm, Lug-Lug 47mm and thickness 12mm
  • Case Material: Bronze
  • Dial: Green
  • Crystal: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Water resistance: 50 meters
  • Movement: Oris 754
  • Power reserve: 38 Hours
  • Strap: Dark brown leather strap, bronze buckle

Australian Retail Pricing : $3,000.00 AUD

Availability: Available now

Enquire at local Authorised dealers :

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

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