Down-to-earth tool watches are Oris's bread and butter, but you can increasingly expect in-house movements from the independent Swiss watchmaker — as well as toughness and reasonable prices, of course. The latest to get the in-house treatment is a limited-edition version of the brand's Big Crown pilot's watch, refining the classic look that we love by bringing the benefits of some excellent mechanics inside.
Oris recently introduced its new Calibre 400 series of automatic movements, which offer an impressive five days of power reserve, antimagnetic properties and a 10-year warranty. In the new Big Crown Hölstein Edition 2021, the 400 has been tweaked to feature a small-seconds subdial and been dubbed the Calibre 403. Unfortunately, it's not visible through the watch's solid case back, which instead features an engraving of the Oris Bear just as the 2020 Hölstein Edition did.
As a way to mark the new watch as a limited edition and distinguish it from other models containing sourced movements, the Big Crown Hölstein Edition 2021 received some visual changes as well. The date is still indicated by a hand on the dial, but now it's arrow-shaped rather than a crescent and, along with the seconds hand, its deep red (another Oris signature) offers a striking contrast with the gray dial.
Most notably departing from the existing Big Crown watches is that the case and bezel have been simplified as well: The collection's signature fluted bezel has been replaced with a flat, polished one and the numerals have also received a subtle redesign based on early Big Crown models the brand has been producing since 1938. The biggest difference, however, is that the Big Crown's typically 40mm case has been shrunk to 38mm.
All of these changes, from the simplified hand layout to smaller case and new bezel, serve to make the Big Crown more refined and dressy feeling than ever — an appropriate departure for the first model in the collection to feature an in-house movement. Available now but limited to only 250 examples, the Oris Big Crown Hölstein Edition 2021 can be yours for a price of $3,900 via the brand's website.