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A bronze watch that shows thetime and date? Yes, but for manyreasons, the historic Oris BigCrown Pointer Date is far morethan the sum of its parts
Where would watches, and particularlywristwatches be today without aviation?The dawn of air travel heralded a sea changein industry, global politics, social mobilityand many other areas of life. It also fuelleda need for a wrist-worn device that couldkeep track of time, and therefore othercritical navigational measurements, such asposition, fuel economy and average speed.
Early wristwatches designed for pilots hadto be highly legible, so that every calculationcould be done quickly – at a glance. Theyalso had to be easily adjustable, and they hadto be robust and reliable, built to withstandthe in-flight fluctuations felt in the cockpit.
Oris was founded in 1904, and around1910 made its first watch for pilots. LouisBlériot had flown across the English Channelin 1908. Shortly after, Oris created a pocketwatch with an image of a Blériot planeengraved onto the case. That was followedin 1917 by the company’s first pilot’swristwatch, a clever piece that could only be adjusted when a button above the crownwas activated. Two years ago, Oris created acentenary edition of this landmark watch.
War spurred advances in watch design asin aviation. In 1938, Oris produced a watchthat would become known as the Big CrownPointer Date. It had an oversized crown thatcould be easily operated by a pilot, evenwhen wearing gloves; large Arabic numerals,so the time could be read quickly; a fluted,grippy bezel; and a central hand with apointer tip that indicated the date. It wassimple, logical, useful – and it worked.
More than 80 years later, the same designprinciples continue to inform the Big CrownPointer Date. Over time, it’s been refinedwith material and mechanical improvements,but its timeless pioneering spirit remains.
Today, the new Oris Big Crown BronzePointer Date continues the narrative. Itscased in solid bronze, a material that recallsOris’s industrial roots and that over time willpatinate so it comes to tell its own story.It also celebrates the role the Big CrownPointer Date has played in Oris’s history.It has never been out of production andhas become Oris’s signature piece. Somehave even said that without it, Oris mightnot enjoy the reputation as a high-qualityindependent Swiss watch company it hastoday. In short, it sums up the Oris story.
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