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Oris Watches

Oris watches have a rich history in the swiss watch industry. The collection of watches comprises of 15 different models, all of which fall into four sub-categories – diving, culture, aviation, and motorsport. Retail prices for new watch in 2019 range between $1,000 to $3,000, but current market prices for used model watches can easily be referenced below.


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About Oris Watches

Oris has been designing and producing watches in Switzerland for over 100 years. Today, the brand is one of the few manufacturers that only produces mechanical timepieces. Proud of their Swiss heritage, all Oris watches uphold the most strict guidelines for quality control throughout the manufacturing process. Oris watches are worn, beloved, and trusted by everyone from pilots and divers to race car drivers and celebrities

They offer a variety of luxury watches spanning multiple categories. Each category of watches serves a very specific purpose. Here are some of the more popular Oris watch models available on the market today:

  • Diving Watches

    • Aquis
    • Divers
    • Prodiver
    •  
  • Culture Watches

    • Artelier
    • Artix
    • Rectangular
    • Classic
  • Aviation Watches

    • Air Racing Edition
    • BC3
    • Big Crown
    • Big Crown Propilot
  • Motorsport Watches

    • Artix GT
    • Chronoris
    • TT1
    • Williams

The History of Oris Watches

Oris is one of the hottest watch brands today, with everyone from sophisticated watch collectors to those just getting into mechanical watches and interested in adding one to their collection. While this brand may just be getting on the radar of many watch fans today, their rich history of watchmaking stretches back over a century. Despite many ups and downs along the way, as common with the rest of the Swiss watch industry, they are seeing amazing success in the present and have a future that's looking brighter than ever before.

The story of the company began in 1904 when watchmakers Paul Cattin and Georges Christian arrived in Hölstein, in the northern foothills of Switzerland’s Jura Mountains, to start their watch business. Heralding from the famous watchmaking town of Le Locle, Paul and Georges came looking for a property where they could start their business. The two men purchased the recently closed Lohner & Co. watch factory and called their new company Oris, named after a nearby brook and valley close to Hölstein. The name originates from the Celtish 'Aurisa' and Roman 'Orusz' meaning “watercourse”. On June 1, 1904, the two men entered into a contract with a local notary to found and operate a watch business in the town.

Paul and Georges had a dream of making high-quality mechanical watches using efficient industrial methods, and so they quickly set about building a skilled workforce, and state-of-the-art factories that would enable them to see that dream realized. By 1910, they became the region's largest employer with more than 300 workers and built accommodations in the area to house them. By 1925, the company had factories on six sites, including an electroplating facility equipped with advanced technology that placed them at the forefront of watch technology. A dial factory in Bienne would follow in 1936, and by the time the Second World War began, the company was running at peak efficiency.

However, as was the case for many companies, the war negatively affected them. The company's distribution network beyond Switzerland was reduced significantly, so the company started manufacturing alarm clocks to keep the business alive. When the war was over, the brand was able to start rebuilding their production, and by the end of the 1940s, the company was slated to enter a golden period in its history.

One of the Most Advanced Swiss Watch Manufacturers

By the mid-1950s, they had once again become one of the most advanced manufacturers in the Swiss watch industry. The company produced almost every watch component in-house. Leading the company at the time was Oscar Herzog, an industrialist who pushed the company forward by continuously enlarging its factories. The company began developing its own machines as it strived to streamline their watchmaking process for maximum efficiency. At its peak, the development and engineering department had more than 80 employees and produced machines such as the transfer machine, which was used for manufacturing main plates.

Herzog ’s industrial revolution meant they were able to introduce movement after movement, to the point where the company was the region’s largest employer and one of Switzerland’s biggest watch manufacturers. They even ran an apprenticeship program, training engineers and watchmakers, with as many as 40 trainees coming through the program every year. By 1970, the brand employed over 800 people and produced 1.2 million units a year, making it one of the 10 largest watch companies in the world. The future looked bright until the Quartz Crisis arrived.

The Brand Rebuilt

During the 1970s and early 1980s, demand for Swiss watches declined as cheap quartz alternatives flooded the market. Around 900 Swiss watch companies went bust and Oris was on its knees. Believing in the value of mechanical watches and the skills of their watchmakers, Dr. Rolf Portmann, and Ulrich W. Herzog, then General Manager and Head of Marketing, bought the company in 1982. Working together, they rebuilt and revived its industrial approach to mechanical watchmaking

Rolf and Ulrich decided to phase out quartz watches and focus entirely on mechanicals. Without the means to create new movements from scratch, it turned instead to developing modules that would allow it to introduce practical complications for its customers. They would become known for its innovative approach to watchmaking and its range of useful complications and functions. In 2002, they introduced their signature Red Rotor, both a registered trademark and symbol that signifies Oris only produces Swiss Made mechanical watches.

2014 was the 110th anniversary and the company marked this occasion by returning to the production of movements, with the introduction of the Calibre 110. Between 1904 and 1981, they made 279 in-house calibres at a rate of about four a year, but because of the effects the Quartz Crisis had on the industry, the company didn't introduce an in-house movement for over 30 years.

Modern Watches

Today, the company has produced one of the most attractive watches in its price class, the Divers Sixty-Five, which the company introduced in 2015 based on a vintage model. It is now available in multiple sizes with multiple dial options and is seen by many as the best vintage-inspired watch in its price category.

Sources: Oris.ch and The Oris Handbook

Price

For luxury Swiss watchmaking with such an impressive heritage, the price of an Oris timepiece is relatively reasonable. In fact, retail pricing starts out at less than $2,000, while their most expensive model clocks in around $7,600. Pairing exceptional Swiss watchmaking with an affordable price point, they are popular among professionals, sportsmen, and watch collectors.

How Much Does an Oris Watch Cost?

Within each collection there are different model variations and special edition watches. The prices below reflect the price range for the various models in each respective collection.

  • AQUIS:$1,900 - $5,200
  • DIVERS: $1850 - $2,350
  • PRODIVER: $3,500 - $4,950
  • ARTELIER: $1,650 - $6,300
  • CLASSIC: $1,250 - $1,550
  • BIG CROWN PROPILOT: $1,550 - $7,600
  • BIG CROWN: $1,250 - $2,600
  • BC3 $1,250 - $1,575
  • CHRONORIS: $1,750 - $3,950
  • WILLIAMS: $1,450 - $4,700
  • ARTIX GT: $1,750 - $3,750
  • TT1: $1,400 - $1,900

Types

The brand boasts 13 watch collections, each featuring their own model variations and special edition timepieces. Among this collection of timepieces, there is seemingly a watch for everyone - from the sophisticated lines of their Artelier to their masculine Divers and vintage-inspired Big Crown.

Diving Watches

The company has a long history with dive watches, releasing their very first one back in 1965. Since then, their dive watches have been extremely popular for their design, durability and great price point. Oris has three collections of dive watches, all with a variety of high-performance functionalities and calibers - from automatics to chronographs and GMT's. They even have a ladies dive watch, the Aquis Date Diamonds, making their collections of dive watches varied and comprehensive.

Aquis: Forged with high-performance materials, the Aquis collection of diver's watches match dive-functionality with a modern take on classic dive watch design. This watch can withstand 300m depths and features a signature unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel to time out dives accurately. With a variety of models, inside an Aquis you'll find everything from the reliable SW 200-1-based 733 ticking inside the Aquis date to an Automatic Winding Chronograph inside the Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph.

Divers: The Divers Sixty-Five pays homage to the first of the brands diving watches, including their very first model from 1965. Its cool vintage aesthetic appeals to everyone from collectors to general watch enthusiasts and divers themselves. But don’t let those old-school-looks fool you, this watch is outfitted with state-of-the-art materials and crafted with nothing but the best modern techniques. The Divers series can withstand up to 100m depths and features a proven movement with a 38-hour power reserve for sheer reliability.

Prodiver: The Prodiver has the sportiest look and feel of all the Oris diving watches. Two of their models feature bright yellow accents for easy underwater reading, the Prodiver is also outfitted with Oris' patented RSS bezel-locking system. Unlike the Aquis and Divers series, this watch features 1000m of water resistance, and inside ticks an Automatic Winding Chronograph or GMT movement depending on the specific model.

Aviation Watches

The company has a rich history and connection to the world of aviation. In fact, their earliest aviation timepiece dates all the way back to 1910. However, it wasn't until 1938 that they introduced their signature, and most famous pilot's watch, the Big Crown. This watch was revolutionary because its large, oversized crown allowed pilots, who often flew wearing gloves, to maneuver their watch more easily. Today, this watch still stands as a staple of the category, now available in four distinctly modern iterations paired with practical complications like GMTs, chronographs, and even altimeter-equipped timepieces.

Big Crown: The Big Crown has a wonderful vintage feel that mirrors the history and legacy of the Big Crown collection, as well as Oris's long-standing aviation history. Within this collection there is a beautiful breadth of timepieces, from the historic and innovative stainless steel original Pointer Date featuring an automatic movement to the newer Pointer Date with a Cal 754 and the option for an all bronze or two-tone bronze and stainless case. There’s also the small-seconds Pointer Date and Doctors Service Limited Edition II with a pulsometer for measuring someone's heart rate.

Big Crown ProPilot: This watch is cockpit ready. With easily legible pilot functionalities, this watch both looks and works like it was made for someone ready for takeoff. The ProPilot has a decidedly more sporty look than the Big Crown, with models like the Paradropper LT Staffel 7 Limited Edition with that ceramic minutes scale top ring and chronograph dial. Or the sturdy yet vintage-looking cloth bracelet of the ProPilot GMT that also has that awesome red-triangle seconds hand for quick-readability. The ProPilot watches feature a variety of functionalities and calibers, from the Automatic Calibre 114 to the GMT and Chronograph.

Crown ProPilot X: While the brand is known for showing off their signature Red Rotor whenever possible, they decided to show off their mechanical engineering in a whole new way with the Big Crown ProPilot X. Here, you'll see that this architectural watch reveals the inner workings - of a Calibre 115 - for the wearer and the world to admire. Besides the skeletonized dial, one of the most distinctive features of this watch is the patented 10-day power reserve that reveals the power remaining with greater accuracy as the time to rewind the watch gets closer.

BC3: First introduced in 1999, the BC3 Advanced is the latest, most technologically advanced BC3 model. While there are a range of different dial colors and bands to choose from, what sets the BC3 apart is its larger, more geometric case that is effortlessly sporty. The cases are available in traditional stainless steel, but also these awesomely modern grey and black coatings for a contemporary look and feel. This watch features both the day and date, as well as an Automatic Caliber with the famous, bi-directionally rotating red rotor.

Motor Sport Watches

Ushering in a new decade, they introduced their Motor Sport Collection in 1970. The first watch was the famous Chronoris chronograph, with that barrel-shaped case, orange accents and black, easy-to-read dial. Everything about it oozes with vintage 1970's flare that's still reflected in this watch's modern models. The company expanded upon the collection with the Willams and TT1 thanks to their close partnership with the F1 team, as well as the Artix GT.

Chronoris: The Chronoris is the original Motorsport watch. Released in 1970, its bold design was emblematic of the times and racing culture. Today, this same spirit is enveloped in the modern design. With that thick, barrel-shaped case that’s totally unique amongst the lineup, the Chronoris makes the same proud statement today that it did back then. Unique features of this watch include orange accents, a dark, easy-to-read dial and rectangular hour markers. The only exception to this rule being the 40th Anniversary Edition, accented in blue, a nod to the F1 Williams team who they sponsor.

Williams: An ode to the team they adore and sponsor, the Oris Williams is emblematic of the watchmakers mechanical expertise and the F1 team's skill and dedication to the sport. They first partnered with the Formula 1 Williams team in 2003, but it wasn't until 2015 that they released the Williams in their honor. The watch has looks just as slick and striking as F1 cars - featuring stainless steel or black Carbon Fiber and Titanium cases. Each watch also has a sporty, black rubber band, dark face, and blue team-colored accents. Except the Robert Kubica Limited Edition, which actually features red accents.

GT: The Artix GT has a distinctly different look from the other Motor Sports watches thanks to a substantial stainless steel case and a bi-rotating bezel. The bezel is designed to track time extremely accurately, not only backed by the power of its internal movement, but an Oris-developed rubber 'good grip' around the edge that helps the wearer keep quick, accurate time. In this collection we have the regular Date, the Chronograph with three sub-dials, and the Skeleton, which is actually made to look like the inside of a race car engine.

TT1: The TT1 may also be about celebrating the sponsorship of the F1 Williams team, but this stand alone watch it has a look all its own. What you will probably notice first about the TT1 Day Date are those thick hands, applied hour markers the the second hand outfitted in Williams team blue. There's also that beautiful stainless steel case, featuring a fluted crown and dial ring. It’s a nod to the engineering that goes into making a Formula 1 car, and a stunning one at that. Also notice the bezel which is outfitted with quarter hour markers for timing.

Culture Watches

While they made a name for itself by manufacturing watches that were purpose-built, the brand also saw the need to create watches that could stand on their own. This resulted in the 'culture' collection, featuring the Artelier and Classic, which are built on a foundation of dressier handsome aesthetics and Swiss watchmaking ingenuity. Keeping with the theme of culture, Oris has also been known to name limited edition collections after cultural icons and jazz musicians, like Louis Armstrong.

Artelier: This collection has to be one of the most significant for its wide breadth of designs. But, what ties all of the Artelier watches together is the commitment to heritage and innovation, paring modern watchmaking technology alongside classic designs. Within this collection, you'll find everything from a Day Date to Chronograph and Moonphase.

Classic: The brand is seeking timeless elegance with their Classic collection. The round case, three-hand Date watch shows us the beauty in simplicity. What really sets this watch apart from the rest of the Oris collection are those Roman numeral hour markers. These elements are cornerstones of the Classic design, spanning all the different models, from the two-tone with a metal bracelet, to the two-tone with a midnight-black face and the stainless steel blue faced model.

Popular Models

If you haven't caught the drift, they have an extensive and impressive collection of watches. But, among all of their models there are a few that stand out time and time again amongst collectors, sportsmen and enthusiasts.

Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter: This watch has gotten a lot of love from the press and collectors since it was introduced in 2014. What makes the ProPilot Altimeter special is that totally mechanical altimeter — activated with the additional crown — that can measure altitudes from 0 to 4,500 meters (14,500 feet) high. When the crown is pushed down, this watch is also water resistant up to 100-meters, making this watch even more impressive.

Aquis Depth Depth Gauge Chronograph: As the manufacturer says, this watch makes waves. When it was released in 2013, it was largely regarded as one of the most innovative diving watch ever manufactured. As you can probably surmise from the name, the gauge is what sets this watch apart and adds an additional and unexpected level of functionality. To this day, it's loved by divers who need the functionality and enthusiasts who love the bold, sporty aesthetics.

Artelier Pointer Day Date: What draws so many people to this watch is its classic, timeless appeal. What's more, the motto, 'in style and on time' stands firm. Another highlight of this beloved timepiece is the unique pointer date function, a mainstay in the collection since 1938. In this model here, it points to the day, where the date is displayed down at six o'clock.

That Iconic Red Rotor

Oris is a well-known brand for a lot of reasons — rich history, Swiss watchmaking, horological ingenuity, professional-grade timepieces. But, if you ask any collector about them, the first thing that will probably come to their mind is their iconic Red Rotor. Introduced in 2002, the Red Rotor is emblematic of their dedication to Swiss mechanical watchmaking and a nod to their heritage. It is used in all of their Automatic mechanical watches, but it's only visible with watches that feature a designated clear 'exhibition' caseback.

Partnerships: An F1 Racing Legacy

The company sponsors the legendary Williams Formula 1 team. If you don't know anything about F1, we can sum it up by saying they built a car so good that it got banned from the competition. It's arguably the best Formula 1 car ever built, and it secured the Williams team as fierce competition. They began sponsoring the iconic team back in 2003. But, they took it to a whole new level when they released the Williams Collection and the TT1 in their honor.

How To Buy an Oris Watch

You can buy an Oris watch directly on their website or from a certified, trusted dealer. There are also retail shops and websites that sell new timepieces. However, for maximum savings, there's the secondary market.

With such a low price point, many people don't turn to the second-hand market to get their hands on a less expensive timepiece like they would with other more costly watches. Instead, we see that people look for pre-owned models so that they can get their hands on limited edition, vintage, rare, and out-of-production models.

Here at Bob's, you can buy a 100% certified Oris watch, second hand. We vet all of our watches for authenticity and offer some of the best prices online. Shop now.

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned Rolex watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex, www.rolex.com, is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by Bob's Watches. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation ( Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.) To buy a new Rolex watch, please visit rolex.com for a list of authorized Rolex dealers near you.
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