Baselworld 2019: First Look at the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Timer GMT

The Big Crown ProPilot Timer GMT is a tool watch designed with the professional pilot in mind. Great legibility, a 24-hour GMT hand, and a timing bezel round out a solid set of features that’ll suit you both in the air and on the ground. This year’s model is more of a subtle upgrade than a complete overhaul, but the few changes that were made result in an even better watch.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Timer GMT

Case Material: Stainless Steel
Dial: Black
Dimensions: 44mm
Crystal: Sapphire, double-domed with AR coating
Water resistance: 100 meters
Crown: screw down
Movement: Oris 798 (base SW 220-1)
Strap/bracelet: Ventile, leather or steel
Price: Starting at CHF 2,500
Expected release: n/a


It’s refreshing to see a brand hone one of their existing models to make it better rather than feel pressured to completely overhaul it. While the case is still a robust 44mm wide, Oris has slimmed down the height of the watch so it sits better on the wrist. The strap now features Oris’s “LIFT” lock system, which looks and performs similarly to the seatbelt on an airplane. It’s a fun and functional detail that makes a lot of sense on a pilots watch.

The carryover features from the previous edition are nothing to gloss over. A double-domed sapphire crystal protects the large and legible black dial. Applied numerals at each hour rise slightly off the dial for a refined aesthetic that remains legible. One of my favorite design details that Oris incorporates into their watches is the angular ridges around the bezel. It’s like a coin edge, but at a slant. On the ProPilot, the ridges run around the outside of the 60-minute, bi-directional timing bezel, a new and fantastic feature, which make for a sturdy grip and a slightly aggressive appearance.

Inside the watch, you’ll find Oris’s 748 base movement that powers center hands for the hours, minutes, and GMT and the running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock. The GMT hand is thinner and less prominent than the hours and minutes hand, but it’s highlighted with a red triangle at the tip. 100 meters of water resistance is more than enough for everyday exposure to water, as well as a casual swim. Between the timing bezel and GMT hand, you’re able to track two timezones and time elapsed (up to an hour) at the same time. Overall, it’s a handsome and functional pilot watch that both professional pilots and the everyman will appreciate

The ProPilot is available on three different strap options. There’s a premium brown leather strap, stainless bracelet with folding clasp, and a textile strap made from Ventile. For me, the Ventile is the standout option. The olive green strap is an excellent complement to the black and steel watch, especially with the freshly updated clasp design. Keep an eye out for the ProPilot at a retailer near you starting in June.

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.