Oris Big Crown, With New In-House Calibre 473

It’s a rare thing when a Swiss brand launches a new Calibre of movement. Mostly the entire Swiss watch industry tends to update and tweak their movements, which largely resemble the same mechanical and auto movements – as regards the fundamental engineering – from say 25 or even 55 years ago.

There is a good reason for this approach; one, it keeps R&D costs down and secondly many would argue that a wristwatch movement doesn’t need to be reinvented. Those who have tried making movements that run on fancy liquids being pumped, or overly complex double tourbillons, often tend to sell very few examples of their ground breaking tech.

In short, the customer isn’t demanding that the wheel is reinvented. There’s always an Apple watch if you love new whizz bang tech just for the sake of it.

So a new mechanical movement isn’t huge news from Oris, but it is welcome, especially as it can last for 120 hours and has a handy power reserve gauge built-in. Useful touch.

It also has moderately attractive jewels, which you can view alongside the power gauge via the see-thru caseback. Fine, but some blue screws or fine finishing on the plate might have been carried out too.  The dial is kinda old school, little bit railway watch, with a sub-dial and a red date hand.

This is a £3700 wristwatch after all, customers deserve to feel like they have invested in something special. Consider how stunning a Christopher Ward Bel Canto in purple is at £2995 for example. Yes, it uses a stock Sellita movement, but the dial is a work of art, a real conversation piece. Then there’s the chiming mechanism. This is what I mean about the Swiss saving on R&D yet still charging premium prices.

It isn’t good enough and really the Cal 473 Big Crown should retail at £2700 not another grand on top, even with a ten year guarantee.

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