Mechanical watchmaking may be serious business, but it surely doesn’t hurt to lighten up every now and then. And if its Watches and Wonders novelties this year are any indication, Swiss watch brand Oris certainly seems to adhere to this line of thinking. The brand makes an impact with two timepieces, each of which has adopted a different approach to celebrating fine horology.
On the one hand, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition infuses fun into the ProPilot X Calibre 400 while the Oris ProPilot Altimeter adds an improved mechanical altimeter to the world’s first and only automatic mechanical watch to have one and that too, with an innovative carbon-fibre composite case.
GMT India gives you the lowdown on what to expect from these new Oris releases.
Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition
Oris’s creative director Ken Laurent took a trip to Hollywood to meet Kermit the Frog from The Muppets and realised that both Kermit and Oris have a lot in common; mainly, they bring people joy. What followed was a creative catharsis wherein Laurent incorporated Kermit into the dial of the ProPilot X, thus giving birth to the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition.
It is important to add here that other than the green dial, the Kermit link here is rather subtle. Instead of just putting the frog on the dial in an in-your-face fashion, this new Oris watch chooses to celebrate the character with a ‘Kermit Day’; this will be on the first of every month, when Kermit the Frog emoji will show up in the date window at 6 o’clock.
On the technical front, this automatic winding watch is fitted with an Oris Calibre 400, is highly anti-magnetic and has an accuracy of -3/+5 seconds a day (within COSC tolerances). Functions include centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds, the date window at 6 o’clock, the date corrector, the fine timing device and the stop-second.
In terms of appearance, the 39 mm (1.535 inches) green-dialled watch comes with Super-LumiNova® indices and hour and minute hands, with a top glass made of sapphire and an anti-reflective coating inside.
Both the case and the caseback of this Watches and Wonders launch are made of titanium with satin and sandblasted finishes; the latter is screwed and has a see-through sapphire glass. Additional features include titanium screw-in security crown with protection and a titanium bracelet with a folding clasp that has the Oris-patented ‘LIFT’ system.
With a power reserve of 120 hours and water resistance of 100 metres, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition is available from April 2023 at the Swiss retail price of CHF 4,400 (INR 4,22,500).
Oris ProPilot Altimeter
‘Higher, slimmer, lighter’ seems to be the motto of the Oris ProPilot Altimeter this year. The timepiece, which already holds the record for being the world’s first and still only automatic mechanical watch with a mechanical altimeter (the record was established in 2014), offers an upgrade on this feature.
A favourite of mountaineers, hikers, pilots and watch connoisseurs, the Oris ProPilot Altimeter has indeed stayed true to its tradition of accurately conveying the time, air pressure and altitude via its single dial, and entirely mechanically at that. And in 2023, thanks to its improved altimeter module, the new Oris ProPilot Altimeter can indicate altitude up to 19,700 feet (6,000 metres), as opposed to earlier, when it could only do so until 15,000 feet (4,500 metres).
Another interesting thing about this new Oris launch is the watch’s case, which has been made with lightweight carbon fibre, in turn, produced through a unique, innovative process, based on ‘additive manufacturing and moulding' and developed by 9T Labs. A Swiss high-tech firm, 9T Labs works on new design and manufacturing solutions for planes, satellites, cars, motorbikes, bikes and surgical instruments so as to make stronger, lighter parts at lower cost and zero waste. In fact, Oris is the first watchmaker to use 9T’s tech; given the watch brand’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, it found a willing partner in 9T Labs and the watch’s case was born.
Moreover, the material itself is a composite of carbon fibre and a polymer called PEKK that comes with high mechanical, heat and chemical resistance. As a result, the watch case – 1 mm thinner than the original – boasts high stiffness and strength, despite being light. Inside it is the watch’s Calibre 793, a slimline automatic movement that now offers 56-hour power reserve.
At 47 mm, the Oris ProPilot Altimeter is a big, automatic winding watch with a black dial and an altitude scale on the dial ring in either feet or metres. Like the ProPilot X Kermit Edition, this one too has Super-LumiNova® indices, numbers and hands; the sapphire top glass comes with anti-reflective coating on both sides though. The bezel, the caseback, the screw-in security crown at 2 o’clock and the altimeter crown at 4 o’clock, all come in grey PVD-plated titanium; the caseback has feet-to-metre conversion chart engravings.
Equipped with the Oris Calibre 793, hours, minutes and central sweep seconds hands, date with quick setting, the stop-second device and a date window at 3 o’clock, this high-functioning, innovative watch – the second of Oris’s Watches and Wonders launches this year – comes with a green textile strap with a brown leather lining and a grey PVD-plated titanium folding clasp.
Available from March 2023 at the Swiss retail price of CHF 6,200 (INR 5,95,500), the Oris ProPilot Altimeter also has a water resistance of 100 metres.