Oris pays homage to its first pilot’s wristwatch by introducing the Oris Big Crown 1917 limited edition.
Recent research into the company’s archives revealed that Oris first made watches for pilots in the early 1910s. One catalogue featured a pocket watch with a Bleriot monoplane engraved on its case to celebrate the memorial moments when French pioneer aviator Louis Bleriot completed his first flight across the English Channel on July 25, 1909.
On that occasion, the round, brass-cased timepiece had a big crown, an aluminium dial and a pin-lever movement, and was essentially a pocket watch with wire loop lugs soldered to its case. This was common practice during the First World War as officers looked for practical ways of wearing watches and as aerial warfare developed.
To pay tribute to the original landmark wristwatch, the limited edition Big Crown 1917 series comes with the same onion-shaped big crown, early 20th-century Arabic numerals, blued steel hands, and domed glass. The brand puts a new calibre into the watch, which is engineered so that the time can only be adjusted when the button at 2 o’clock is pushed down, in keeping with a quirk of the original. The case is polished stainless steel and water-resistant to 5 bar, and set on a beautifully crafted brown leather cuff strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. The bubble-curved glass is made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the Arabic numerals and hands are finished with luminescent Super-LumiNova.
The case back is embossed with the original ‘OWC’ trademark, which stood for Oris Watch Company and was used as a Poincon de Maitre quality stamp on Oris’s 18-carat gold watches. The case back also carries the limited edition number – only 1,917 examples will be made.
The final flourish is a travel pouch, which contains an additional leather strap with twin rivets, as per the original, and a stainless steel pin buckle.
Find more by calling (02) 163 0555.