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The Complete Buying Guide to Oris Watches

Want incredible value in a mechanical wristwatch without spending a fortune? Look at this independent Swiss brand.

oris big crown pointer date

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Watch lovers love to love Oris watches. (You follow?) And how can one not love them — the company offers incredible fit and finish in all-Swiss watches at prices that are impossible to beat. That’s been the Oris story all along, and the proof is in the pudding, as these are incredibly well made and good looking timepieces that hold their own alongside Omega, Rolex, and IWC at a fraction of the price. While those brands start around the $5,000 mark, Oris rarely crests above that mark. Many Oris watches cost between $2,000 and $3,000, and plenty are below that, too, making them one of the most approachable among established Swiss brands operating today.

Tracing its founding to 1904, the name Oris derives from the river that runs behind the factory. (Because Swiss watch companies have relied on hydropower since the late 1800s, it follows that where there’s a long-established watch factory, there’s probably a river.) As such, the name Oris encapsulates an essentially Swiss industrial ideal — one that’s tied to nature in a way that resonates with Oris’ outdoorsy inclinations, as well with the company’s support of environmental conservation through support of various conservationist organizations.

aquis date calibre 400

Oris has always been a brand that serious watch folks know about, but in recent years the company has elevated its prominence in a couple ways: First, by releasing smash-hit vintage-inspired models, especially their acclaimed Divers 65 watches. More recently, however, the brand announced its impressive Calibre 400 in-house movement powering a growing number of collection favorites at aggressive price points. Competing with the likes of Tudor and Nomos for bang-for-buck in-house movements, it offers a five-day power reserve, antimagnetic properties, a refined look and a 10-year warrantee.

Oris operates independently, and the absence of an overseeing holding company allows them to react nimbly to their customers’ desires. Oris has accessible and friendly people at the helm, and these people are in the field meeting customers, whether at trade shows small or large or at local watch nerd meet-ups. That intimacy is how Oris knows so readily what its customers want in a watch.

The Oris catalog is divided into four clear categories: dive watches, aviation watches and more traditional, non-sports oriented watches that primarily exist in the Artelier collection. It’s a rather deep and broad catalog, but one that’s also clearly delineated. The snappy guide below will have you finding the Oris that’s right for you in no time.


Dive Watches

As in all of their other subcategories, Oris divides their dive watches into vintage-inspired and modern-styled models. The vintage-inspired models are often close interpretations of back-catalog classics, while the modern-styled watches tend to be larger and more mechanically complicated.

Oris Diver's Sixty-Five


In 2015, Oris released the first back-catalog-inspired Divers Sixty-Five watches to vast acclaim. These were early days in the current vintage craze, and these funky-yet-sleek watches offered a price-to-quality ratio that remains largely unmatched (which is typical for Oris). Since then, the Diver ("Sixty-Five" usually included in the name) has expanded to include chronograph models, larger and smaller versions, many new dial colors, a smattering of limited editions, and bronze-and-steel two-tone models. You can get them on leather, rubber, nylon, canvas, or metal bracelets.
Diameter: 36mm; 38mm; 40mm; 42mm
Configurations: time + date; chronograph
Price Range: $2,000-$4,250


Oris Aquis


These are high-performance timepieces with exceptional fit and finish. Offered in a range of materials and sizes, the Aquis range is extensive. There are simple date-and-time models, day-date complications, a three-register chronograph, a regulator (hours and minutes on separate dials) and even a model with a mechanical depth gauge for the ultimate analog scuba experience. Limited editions come and go, many which benefit ocean health through affiliated charitable organizations. Newer models feature the brand's Caliber 400 in-house movement.
Diameter: 36.5mm; 39.5mm; 41.5mm; 43.5mm; 48mm
Configurations: Time + date; week + date; chronograph; time + date + depth gauge; chronograph + depth gauge; regulator; pointer date
Price Range: $1,850-$4,600


Oris Aviation Watches

Again, Oris divides their aviation watches into vintage-inspired and modern-styled models. Descriptively, all have Big Crown in their names as pilot watches often have large crowns meant to be easy to operate while wearing gloves. The vintage-inspired aviation watches are pointer-dates, a signature configuration for Oris, while the modern-styled aviation watches vary stylistically and functionally to form an impressively diverse range.

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date


The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date has been a popular range for many decades, offering old-school (think 1930s) aviation vibes and up-to-the-minute mechanical technology and specs. The distinctive pointer-date models give you tasty vintage style and a full view of the month around the dial, which many find to be a useful way to get a sense of a larger chunk of time. They come in many sizes and styles, and like all Oris watches, they offer incredible fit and finish at reasonable prices. There’s also a few limited editions, we well as a weekday pointer and one with Oris's own 403 movement.
Diameter: 36mm; 38mm; 40mm
Configurations: time + pointer date; time + date + weekday pointer
Price Range: $1,750-$3,900


Oris Big Crown ProPilot


The Pro Pilot series takes the classic look of the Big Crown and updates it with larger case sizes, more complex mechanical configurations, and even some edgy blacked-out models. There are chronographs, GMTs, alarms, altimeters and week-daters on top of the standard time + date models. The Pro Pilots carry the same massive legibility, robust build quality, and masculine attitude as IWC’s pilot’s watch range at a fraction of the price.
Diameter: 41mm; 44mm; 47mm
Configurations: time + date; weekdater; GMT; power reserve; altimeter
Price Range: $1,700-$6,100


Big Crown Propilot X Caliber 15


This watch gets its own category, because it truly stands out in the Oris catalog. The skeletonised in-house movement has a 10-day power reserve and a patented non-linear power indicator. Built entirely from titanium, the watch is light, high-tech, and styled for the future.
Diameter: 44mm
Configurations: time + power reserve indicator
Price Range: $7,200 (rubber); $7,600 (bracelet)


Oris Classic Watches

Oris's non-sport watches nowadays fall into a single collection, the Atelier. You can still see the brand's underlying pragmatic, tool-watch ethos, but they lean toward everyday versatility and even a dressy vibe. This is also where the brand might place those watches that celebrate the likes of musicians and artists, ranging from retro in style to the edginess of tomorrow’s tastes.

Oris Artelier


Though varied, the value-laden Atelier lineup is singular in that every watch offers classic elegance without ever straying into haughtiness. They include minimalist midcentury-styled models dedicated to jazz musicians James Morison and Art Blakey, for example, while the rest of the collection includes complex asymmetrical complications, moon-phase displays, a three-register annual calendar, a pointer weekdater and an in-house, 10-day power reserve model.
Diameter: 33mm; 36mm; 40mm; 43mm
Configurations: time-only; time + date; annual calendar; chronograph; moonphase; power reserve; pointer weekdater
Price Range: $1,650-$6,700


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