Introducing the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115, Oris’s Latest with a Whopping 10-Day Power Reserve

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Oris has carved out a niche for itself in recent years as a bang-for-your-buck brand that is the quintessential enthusiast’s choice. With watches in a range of contemporary and modern styles, they offer both subtle nods to history as well as true innovation, spurred on by the independence of not being owned and operated by a larger luxury or watchmaking group like nearly all of their competitors. As a brand with a keen eye to their own history, it’s not surprising that Oris would come up with something special and unique for their 115th anniversary. The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 casts a bold new vision of what Oris is today, or even what Oris could be in the future. Let’s take a closer look.


Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 
(Ref. 115 7759 7153 7 22 01 TLC)

  • Case Material: Titanium (grade 2 and 5)
  • Dial: Skeletonized titanium
  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Crown: Screw down  
  • Movement: Calibre 115 (skeletonized and featuring a 10-day power reserve)
  • Strap/bracelet: Titanium bracelet or black leather 
  • Price: $7,600 on bracelet; $7,200 on leather
  • Expected Release: Available now

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First, a quick refresher. In addition to the simple pilot’s watches and the huge range of affordable dive watches that are Oris’s bread and butter, they periodically release a watch with an in-house movement to display what the brand is capable of. Five years ago, for their 110th anniversary, Oris debuted a limited watch housing the caliber 110, a hand wound movement with a truly impressive 10-day power reserve and a patented non-linear power reserve indicator. Oris has iterated on this theme over the last few years, releasing a series of special timepieces using this movement as a base, which brings us to this year’s version and the Calibre 115.

Just look at the size of that barrel.

As you can tell from the photos, Calibre 115 is a skeletonized movement, but to describe it in that way does it, and what Oris has to accomplished here, a disservice. The movement has not simply been skeletonized; rather, it was designed to be skeletonized from the start. The result is dramatic — almost industrial, in fact — and unlike anything Oris has released to this point.

At first glance it looks as though the case was pulled from past ProPilot watches, it’s actually a new body designed and manufactured for this very movement. Using a mix of grade 2 and grade 5 titanium, the case is made of several parts that fit tightly around the movement, giving the whole thing a seamless, high-end look. The new ProPilot X straddles the line between something traditional for Oris and something brand new veering toward haute horlogerie.

At first blush, it might be hard to understand why a brand like Oris would create a watch like this. The hallmarks of recent Oris designs are simplicity and functionality, and a throwback to styles of the past. But look closer at what Oris has done, and what they have always stood for. Their recent Oceans series of Aquis dive watches was an exercise in using watches as a vehicle to promote a platform and to tell a larger story, something the ProPilot X is clearly intending to do. And as a company, Oris has stuck with mechanical timekeeping exclusively, and even through the worst days of the Quartz Crisis Oris believed that making watches the old fashioned way was important, and not something they were willing to compromise on as virtually everyone else did. This commitment is a key to the brand’s identity to this day.  

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The ProPilot X, then, is a watch that pays tribute to the importance of a mechanical movement itself, and to people who remain curious about how these things work. With the inner workings of the timepiece so clearly on display, particularly the extra large mainspring barrel between 9:00 and 11:00 highlighting the ProPilot X’s most distinguishing feature, the wearer is asked to really consider the complexity of what’s happening on his wrist whenever he checks the time. A visible movement, whether it’s through the dramatic skeletonization seen here, or the more common open casebacks of many modern mechanical watches, demands that we more fully engage with the watch’s timekeeping. It’s not incidental or by accident — someone created this thing just for this reason.

Oris didn’t just focus on the movement and forget about the rest of the watch. The brushed titanium case comes in at 44mm, a fittingly large size for a statement piece like this. And the handset and dial are designed in such a way that legibility appears to not have suffered greatly. Skeletonized movements can be a bit of an eye-chart for some of us, making it harder to read the time at a glance, but there’s enough contrast between the hands and hour markers (coated in luminous paint and rendered in a brilliant white) with the open dial that I think most will be able to read the time without an issue.

There are two straps options: a matching titanium bracelet, and a leather strap with a titanium end link attachment and deployant clasp. The bracelet is noteworthy, both in terms of design and quality (we got to handle an early prototype in Basel earlier this year, and it really impressed). Bracelets can sometimes look like an afterthought. Not here, though. The aesthetic perfectly matches the design presented by the case, giving it an almost integrated look without  actually jumping on that bandwagon. That means you’ll be able to strap in new bands (22mm in this case) to switch up the look of the watch.

When you really enjoy a brand, it’s fun to see what they come up with when they don’t put limits on themselves. The ProPilot X represents the current pinnacle in Oris’s craftsmanship and watchmaking ingenuity, and though it might initially seem like a departure for the brand, the more you dig in, the more sense it makes. Oris

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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