Something Old Gets Something New: Oris Debuts Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403

Oris introduced its Big Crown Pointer Date in 1938, and the distinctive model has been in constant production for more than 80 years. Now firmly established as one of the Swiss watchmaker’s most emblematic timepieces, the latest version of the Big Crown Pointer Date brings it closer in look and spirit to the original model, while also giving it a decidedly modern technical upgrade with the installation of Oris’s in-house Caliber 403.

Caliber 403 is the most recent addition to Oris’s 400 Series of in-house movements, all of which spring from the base Caliber 400 that the brand rolled out to great acclaim in 2020. Its descendants have thus far included Caliber 401, which replaces the base’s central seconds display with a small seconds subdial, and Caliber 403, which combines the small seconds with the central date-pointer hand that Oris introduced on the original Big Crown watch more than eight decades ago. The new Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403, which made its debut at Dubai Watch Week, is not the first Oris watch to be equipped with that movement — that would be the Big Crown Holstein Edition, released earlier this year and limited to 250 pieces — but it is notably the first one to be added to Oris’s regular collection.

The watch’s multi-part case is made of stainless steel and measures a relatively modest 38 mm in diameter — downsized from the 40 mm of recent models to more closely approximate the dimensions of the 1938 original. It features the namesake large crown that screws in securely to ensure a 50-meter water resistance and a double-domed sapphire crystal over the dark blue dial. Also recalling the watch’s historical ancestor is the case’s notable lack of fluting, a common element on contemporary versions of the Big Crown Pointer Date, and straight-edged hands replacing the cathedral hands used on recent models.

On the dial, Oris has used a slightly more modern font for the hour numerals, along with a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and a central red-tipped hand to indicate the date on a white-printed scale on the dial’s edge. Driving all these functions, and visible behind a sapphire caseback window, is the aforementioned Caliber 403, which like its predecessors in the self-winding 400 Series is distinguished by a lengthy five-day power reserve, a chronometer-worthy accuracy of -3/+5 seconds per day, and a high degree of imperviousness to magnetic fields.

The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403 is delivered on a black leather strap with a quick-change mechanism. Priced at $3,400 and available as of November 2021, the watch and its movement come with a 10-year extended warranty with a MyOris signup.

Manufacturer:Oris SA, Ribigasse 1, 4434 Hölstein, Switzerland
Reference number:01 403 7776 4065-07 5 19 11
Functions:Hours, minutes, small seconds, pointer date
Movement:Oris Caliber 403, automatic, 28,800 vph (4Hz), 24 jewels, 120-hour power reserve, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-seconds function, diameter = 30 mm
Case:Stainless-steel case with sapphire crystal domed on both sides and nonreflective-coated on inside, screw-in security crown, water resistant to 50 meters
Bracelet and cla­­sp:Black leather strap with stainless steel buckle
Dimensions:Diameter = 38 mm, lug width = 19 mm
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  1. David Goldman

    I read about it, put hands on it, and purchased one. It’s a great looking watch, decent size, very light and the specs are top notch. If it runs as good as my 43 mm Oris Staghorn limited edition, I’ll be very happy. Plus it’s got a 10-year warranty and no service required for 10 years. At least that’s what Oris says. My birthday present to me.

  2. Tony Grainger

    Why 19mm lug size. Straps in this size are hard to get. Should be 20 or 18mm. The absense of a power reserve indicator is another mistake. The Tudor North Flag is a good example of how a power resrve indicator can be done well.

  3. Gerry Dimatos

    I think the value proposition is definately there.. We are talking Chronometer grade in-house movement and a striking design. I’ve always respected Oris as a brand…

  4. Ron Howard

    The Oris Big Crown is iconic for the brand and this new iteration is pleasing to the eye with its simplicity of being able to tell the time at a glance. The movement inside is intriguing and if it lives up to its hype it will be a welcome addition. However, the price point for this watch is unreasonable and bucks the value oriented direction of the Oris brand. While I can understand that a proprietary movement with a longer duration of reserve power along with other design features raises the stature of the brand, I don’t see the justification of a $3,400 price point. It appears to be just another and all too frequent rationalization for charging an absurdly amount of money. I had hoped Oris was a brand that wouldn’t succumb to the machinations of other industrial brands avarice, while still being able to bring to market new and innovative features and charging for it, but still keeping sanity mobilized in the pricing aspect. Well, so much for hoping.

    • I agree. This level of finish here does not rise above brands just below their asking price. And, while this new movement will no doubt be robust, it is still not proven. Nice watch, but I’m not spending their asking price for a nice, but unproven watch.

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