Oris revives one of its most historic complications, the mechanical alarm, for a new generation of watch lovers. Few watch complications communicate the passion of a luxury Swiss timepiece with the clarity of a mechanical alarm. Oris first made mechanical alarms in the 1940s, a tradition revived this year in the Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition. The new watch is based on Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot, the independent Swiss company’s iconic pilot’s watch.
The stories of Oris and aviation are closely linked. Oris was founded in 1904 at the dawn of aviation, and made its first pilot’s pocket watch in the early 1910s. That was followed by the company’s first pilot’s wristwatch in 1917, a watch that featured an ingenious mechanism that meant the watch could only be adjusted when a button was pressed at 2 o’clock.
The same spirit of invention inspired the Oris Big Crown, which debuted in 1938. Its oversized crown meant gloved airmen could adjust their watches quickly and easily. Today, Oris’s pilot’s watch collection is full of innovative watches that are trusted by pilots all over the world.
The Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition is the latest expression of Oris’s pilot’s watch tradition. The watch has two distinctive features. The first is its alarm, indicated by a central pointer hand with a bright yellow tip. The alarm can be set to the nearest 10 minutes against a scale that runs around the outside of an aperture in the middle of the dial. That aperture houses the watch’s second key feature, a circular date display. Underneath it is a rotating disc with a yellow date marker that makes a full tour of the dial once every 31 days. Both functions are powered by the watch’s Swiss Made automatic movement.
Aesthetically, the Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition is based on the familiar design of the Big Crown ProPilot. In this case, the watch has two stainless steel oversized crowns, one to set the time (between 2 and 3 o’clock) and a second to set the alarm (between 3 and 4 o’clock). Both crowns are made of stainless steel and screw in to ensure the watch’s water resistance to 100 meters.
Otherwise, the watch retains the now instantly recognizable ProPilot look. Its signature bezel motif is inspired by jet engine turbine blades; the classic round stainless steel case and tapered lugs give the watch its stylish gait; and the fundamental dial design elements, such as the straight-edged hour and minute hands and large, luminescent Arabic numerals, remain clear and functional.
The watch’s case back is embossed with the Oris shield and engraved with a limited edition number – only 250 pieces will be made, making this a hugely collectible Oris watch. It comes on a dark brown croco leather strap with a stainless steel folding clasp. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition is a contemporary expression of the Oris legend that will go down in the company’s history.