[VIDEO] Introducing The Oris ProPilot X Caliber 400

Oris are set to welcome their latest in-house caliber 400 to their ProPilot family for the first time with the ProPilot X Caliber 400. The newest ProPilot is more than simply adding the new movement to an existing watch, the latest ProPilot X features a totally new design for the collection, including some funky dial colors, a svelte case, and an origami style bracelet design straight from the ProPilot X Caliber 115. The latest collection stretches the boundaries of what we expect from a pilot’s watch, and does so in typical Oris fashion. 

The ProPilot X Caliber 400 is a bit of a dual personality watch, with a new dial design language that says “I’m subtle, yet sophisticated” competing with a case and bracelet design language that says “get in losers, we’re going to buzz the tower”. It’s a pilot’s watch that’s clearly subverting the typical pilot watch expectations. But first, some facts.

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The new ProPilot X Caliber 400 is launching in three dial colorways: grey, blue, and salmon. Each is quite distinct and brings a unique flavor to the watch. The case and bracelet are constructed of titanium and receive satin and bead blasted finishing. It measures 39mm in diameter, and a hair under 12mm in thickness. It wears beautifully on the wrist thanks to the shape and dimensions of the case, however the bracelet is constructed in a way that can be less than compliant in terms of movement. 

What do we think of when it comes to pilot’s watches? Big triangles at 12 o’clock, tachymeters, a full index of the minutes around the dial, onions crowns, maybe even a drift angle calculator thrown in for good measure… you will find none of these on the ProPilot X Caliber 400. This is a clean, minimal take on the genre that you might not even place as a pilot’s watch at a glance. A pilot watch in name only, perhaps. There are no numerals around the dial, opting instead for thin stick markers with small hashes marking off each minute, and a set of thin broadsword hands operating in the middle. Only a date aperture at 6 o’clock breaks up the harmony of the otherwise serene dial landscape. 

The dial colors are each unique, and can take the watch in very different directions. The grey dial with black accents offers the most aggressive look, and pairs a bit more naturally with the case and bracelet design. In contrast, the bright salmon dial features white accents, and brings a softness to the overall aesthetic despite its harsh geometric surroundings. The blue is probably the safest route here, with the best legibility of the bunch and a neutral feeling not found in the others.

The case, paired with the integrated end-link of the bracelet, are a myriad of flat surfaces that scatter focus. There are some odd transitions that happen near the knurled bezel, creating some visual tension as it leads into the dial. The bracelet is transformer-esque in look and feel, and while it’s comfortable, it does have trouble flexing with movement off the wrist. 

Inside you’ll find the now familiar Oris caliber 400, which gets all the bells and whistles we discussed when it was introduced last year. The key takeaways are pretty simple, high levels of anti-magnetism, 5 days of power reserve, and a 10 year warranty (when you sign up for a free MyOris account). All good stuff that’s easy to find value in. It is visible through an exhibition caseback. This movement is proving adept at living in a very pleasant range of cases and designs, and fits neatly within the confines of this ProPilot X. 

In total, the ProPilot X Caliber 400 is a surprising release in a number of ways, mostly for the manner in which it pushes the concept of the pilot’s watch into unexpected areas, and clearly crosses into a grey area of the genre to the benefit of being more broadly accessible to day to day wear for most of us, who aren’t pilot’s, I presume. Likewise, the colors are bold and expressive against the stark case design. Truth be told, this is a tough watch to make heads or tails of, and that dichotomy will likely split fans of the ProPilot. It’s a chance, and for that I applaud Oris. 

This ProPilot is great on the wrist, offers a high level of practicality, and will sure stand apart in a crowd. What more do you really need? The Oris ProPilot X Caliber 400 will be available this month, and will start at CHF 3,900. Oris.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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