From the 80th Anniversary Edition of its Big Crown Pointer Date, to its mega-popular Carl Brashear dive watches, to last year’s commemorative Hölstein Edition and beyond, Oris is no stranger to using bronze in its watch cases. Up to now, however, the metal had yet to make an appearance in Oris’s aviation-inspired Big Crown ProPilot family. The wait on that inevitable expansion of Oris’s bronze initiative ended this week, with the unveiling of the Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze — this week’s Watch to Watch.
Like its predecessors in the collection, the new watch’s bronze case measures 41 mm in diameter and 12.4 mm thick. The multi-part case and its deep black dial bear all the familiar hallmarks of the ProPilot series, including the coin-edge motif on the side that recalls the look of jet turbines and the large, fluted, screw-down crown that gives the model part of its name. The double-domed, nonreflective sapphire crystal covers a dial with printed golden indices accompanying applied hour numerals made of solid Super-LumiNova; the same luminous substance fills the hour and minute hands. Lending the watch the rest of its lengthy moniker is the oversized date window at 3 o’clock.
The caseback, the only piece of the case made not of bronze but stainless steel, has a mineral glass exhibition window offering a view of the Sellita-based Oris Caliber 751, which stores a 38-hour power reserve when fully wound and is equipped with an instant date-change function, a date corrector, and stop-seconds capability. Running in 26 jewels, the Swiss-made, automatic movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph and features the hallmark Oris red on its oscillating weight.
The 100-meter water-resistant case of the Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze, complete with a bronze screw-down crown, is mounted on a green Ventile strap that Oris describes as “hard-wearing,” and fastens to the wrist with the brand’s signature “Lift” clasp, also in bronze, whose design takes inspiration from aircraft seatbelt buckles. Available at retail as of October 2021, the watch retails for $2,200.
Who the devil came up with Bronze watch cases? Oh yeah…they stain over time to your personal wrist chemistry. Great…but give me SS, or Gold.