Oris Artelier Calibre 111 Anthracite Review

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In 2014, Oris turned heads with the release of the Artelier Calibre 110, a limited edition watch boasting the brand’s first in-house movement (also referred to as the caliber 110) since the firm stopped in-house production in the early ‘80s. From my perspective, it was one of 2014’s most interesting releases. We’re big fans of Oris here at worn&wound, so it was exciting to see the beloved independent take such a big step. And big it was because the caliber 110 is an undeniable powerhouse—a mechanical hand-cranker with a whopping 10-day, non-linear power reserve.

The caliber 111, which features the addition of a date complication, is the follow up to the 110, and the watch using this fantastic movement (and the one we’re reviewing today) is the Oris Artelier Calibre 111 Anthracite (anthracite denoting the dial color). The 111 is not limited. As one might expect, an in-house movement means that this watch comes with added cost. The retail is $5,700 on a bracelet and $5,800 on a crocodile strap with deployant, so it’s quite a chunk of change and a bit of a novel price point for Oris to be in. But there’s also a lot packed into this watch that’s worth noting. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

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$5700

Oris Artelier Calibre 111 Anthracite Review

Case
Sstainless steel
Movement
Oris Caliber 111
Dial
Anthracite (sunburst)
Lume
Super-LumiNova (hands)
Lens
Double-domed sapphire
Strap
Nine-link bracelet; crocodile
Water Resistance
3 atm
Dimensions
43mm x 49.5mm
Thickness
13.2mm
Lug Width
23mm
Crown
7.4 x 2.5mm
Warranty
Yes
Price
$5700

Movement

Let us begin with the engine. The 111, likes its predecessor and its recent successors, is an engineering marvel. The 110, which is the foundation for the 111, was an effort ten years in the making born from a collaboration between Oris and the engineers of L’École Téchnique Le Locle. This hand-cranker runs at 21,600 bph, features a whopping 10-day power reserve, and has a non-linear power reserve indicator. The 110 was the first time these two complications were ever featured in a single watch. Our very own Mark McArthur-Christie wrote about the movement when it was first released. I’ve included his excellent analysis below:

“To power a hand-wound watch for 10 days you need to overcome three challenges. First, you need to make a serious mainspring. In this case, a 1.8m (5′ 11″—yes, really) mainspring.

The impressive cal. 111.
The massive single barrel!

[Second], if you opt for a single barrel, you need somewhere to store it that isn’t going to make your wristwatch look like Harrison’s H4 marine chronometer. In this case, Oris have managed to make a watch with a 1.8m mainspring in a movement just 34mm in diameter. The case measures a relatively modest 43mm. The barrel itself takes up around one-third of the movement’s area.

The third challenge is to get that mainspring to deliver its power to the going train evenly throughout its 10-day winding life. Yep. They’ve beaten that one too. And that’s where the non-linear power indicator comes in. It’s not called “non-linear” because it’s curved, but because it displays the power reserve in a non-linear way. At the top of the scale, when the mainspring is fully wound, the day markers showing the reserve are close together. They’re further apart at the bottom of the scale. So, as the spring winds down the indicator moves faster giving a clear indication of the need to get winding.”

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Aesthetically, I find the movement to be beautiful, though it’s unlike the high-polish finishes you typically see on entry-level luxury Swiss calibers—and that’s a good thing in my book. The caliber 111 features a clean, industrial design made of large vertically-brushed plates, subtle decoration, and a massive—and I do mean massive—barrel. In fact, I’d argue Oris went with a more British approach to the movement decoration and finishing here, and I’m personally a big fan of the style.

With regard to operation, it takes many twists (and by that, I don’t mean full rotations) of the crown to max out at the 10-day mark. My rough estimate would be somewhere around 300 twists. To be frank, outside of testing to see how long it would take to fully wind the movement,  I generally stopped at about five days during my time with the watch and winded it as needed along the way. I’d wager that most would likely do the same to save time. Of course, even stopping at around five days means that you can put this watch down for the weekend and still have it ticking by the time Monday rolls around.

Case

The case measures 43mm wide by 49.5mm lug-to-lug. It’s 13.2mm thick measured from the case back to the center of the domed sapphire crystal. On paper, the watch—which is meant to skew dressier—is on the larger side for the style, but the sub-50mm lug-to-lug length definitely tempers the way it wears on the wrist. And measurements aside, the case shape is really sleek and ergonomic, with soft  lines and curved lugs that hug the contours of the wrist. It’s not only a visually pleasing design, it’s also one that feels balanced when worn.

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The case is sleek and ergonomic.
This hand-cranker has a great crown.

The crown at three also measures large, coming in at around 7.4mm by 2.5mm. It’s nice that it doesn’t stick out too far past that case, so that when you bend your wrist you don’t get poked by the crown, yet it’s tall enough to be very tactile. And because of the fine coin edge, it’s also very easy on the fingers, which is really important if you have to turn the crown 300-plus times.

A great fit on a 7-inch wrist.

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Dial

The dial is stepped, with a recessed minutes/seconds track placed along the outer edge of the dial. Along this track at every interval of five is an applied dot marker. Moving toward the center, you have the primary dial in a deep anthracite gray finished in a very subtle sunburst grain. There’s a primary index of applied numerals (at six and 12), full-length stick indices (at one, five, seven eight, 10 and 11), and half-length stick indices (at two and four). Right at nine is a date window that cuts into a large sub-seconds dial. At three and eating into the two and four is the massive power-reserve indicator, which is arguably the focal point of the dial.

The grey sunburst finish is incredibly dynamic.
The large power reserve with a splash of red draws the eye.

I really like the way the designers at Oris played with and incorporated the complications on the dial. The sub-seconds is actually a recessed ring in the main dial, and it features concentric circles (which create some separation from the main dial) and printed white numerals and sticks. In that is a cutout for the date window.

Jumping now to the opposite end of the dial, the power-reserve indicator is fashioned in a similar manner. It’s a recessed semi-circle with concentric circles and printed numerals (zero to 10). Inside the semi-circle is a printed gauge broken up into 10 sections, with two sections at the very bottom split between red and gray to denote the power reserve winding down. The rest are a light, matte grey.

The power reserve indicator is the focal point of the dial.

There are four hands on the dial. The hours/minutes set, and the two tapering needles at the sub-dial and power reserve indicator. The primary handset is two large alpha hands featuring centers painted with luminous material. As a matter of personal preference, I would have preferred no lume here. Lume unfortunately makes the hands appear a tad less impactful during the day. Plus, this is not a watch that begs to glow in the dark.

On the wrist, the large dial really packs a punch. There’s no two ways about it—this is a stunning watch to wear daily. The way all the different levels and finishes on the dial play with the light had me randomly staring at my wrist to simply admire the intricacies of the design. I can’t say that about every watch I have reviewed.

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Bracelet

The bracelet is a nine-link stainless steel band with an integrated butterfly clasp. It’s a very elegant design with a pleasing taper, starting at 23mm at the lugs and going down to 18mm at the clasp. The flow of the taper lines up with the lines of the lugs, which gives the whole thing a pleasing, almost-integrated look. Now, the bracelet is a touch too blingy for my tastes to be worn everyday, but I can’t deny that it looks good. It’s also very comfortable when worn, even on wrists a bit more hirsute. I think the ideal pairing for this watch is a medium-brown calfskin or crocodile strap, the latter being an option offered by Oris (though I always think you should get the bracelet since there are plenty aftermarket leather straps available). The 23mm lug width is a tad annoying, but you won’t have too much of an issue finding an appropriately sized strap.

Conclusion

While it’s certainly not cheap at almost $6,000, you cannot deny that the Artelier Calibre 111 is chock full of value. Boasting a robust, technically-impressive in-house movement, the 111 has proven that Oris can comfortably swim in the deep end of the pool with some of the other Swiss giants. I may be overstating the importance of the movement here, but it really is the star of the whole show, and it makes this a watch certainly worthy of consideration. Of course, one cannot deny that at the price point, there is of course some worthwhile competition, competition that also offers in-house expertise should that matter to you. Either way, the Artelier Calibre 111, and by extension its successors, should be on your radar. Oris.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
ryvini
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