Just in time for their birthday, Oris has released the latest entry in their Hölstein Edition series (you’ll recall that last year saw a full bronze Divers Sixty-Five chronograph to pay tribute to the brand’s Swiss home). For this year’s limited release Hölstein Edition, the brand has decided to update a classic with a brand new movement. The Big Crown is a signature watch for Oris, and has been continuously in production since 1938. The pointer date complication has become inextricably linked to the Big Crown line over time, and reinforces the brand’s heritage in a particularly charming way. A pointer date is such an old-fashioned complication, it always feels right at home in Oris’s simple, aviation inspired Big Crown platform. This limited edition, however, is a more modern take, befitting the technological advances of the 400 series movement, which sees a new variant debut in this very watch.
The pointer date, complication, if you’re unfamiliar, is a rather ingenious way to display the date without disrupting the symmetry of the dial. Rather than a date window being violently cut into the dial at what always seems to be the worst possible spot, a pointer date does exactly what it advertises: a hand posted at the dial’s center points to the correct date at the watch’s perimeter, making a full rotation around the dial once per month. This is a remarkably intuitive way to read the date, as you also, at a glance, get a sense for how deep into a particular month you are at any given time. It’s an old school complication, and Oris’s Big Crown watches that are so equipped have become fan favorites, and have also proven to be a great blank canvas for limited editions and adventurous colorways.
For this edition, Oris adds a new movement, the Oris Calibre 403. We’ve covered the 400 series movements at length previously, and this release sees Oris continue to expand Calibre 400 equipped watches to include different complications. Among the caliber’s features are a five day power reserve through the use of twin mainsprings, an efficient automatic winding system that only works in a single direction, and a 10 year recommended service interval and warranty period. Oris’s rapid deployment of the new movement across many product lines would seem to be an indication of their confidence in its ability to remain reliable over the long haul, and demonstrates their long term commitment to the project as well.
In terms of this Hölstein Edition’s design, Oris has taken the Big Crown look and tweaked it a bit to make it appear just a little more contemporary. The fluted bezel is gone, with a polished flat bezel in its place, and the heritage inspired domed crystal has been replaced with flat sapphire. According to Oris, the gray dial is a reflection of the industrial manufacturing processes that Oris developed in their early years, and the typeface chosen for the dial is also based on watches from the Oris archive. The case is 38mm in diameter, which seems to follow a trend for the brand in reducing case sizes just a hair throughout their catalog to give consumers additional options. Like many of their watches, the new Hölstein Edition is a mix of the past and present, but it’s striking to see Oris’s familiar pointer date in a decidedly less formal and more stripped down package.
The Hölstein Edition 2021 is available beginning today through Oris authorized retailers. Only 250 pieces will be made, and the retail price is $3900. Oris