Oris Calibre 110
Oris introduces a 10-day power reserve movement with a non-linear power reserve indication to mark the company’s 110-year anniversary and 110 years of movement manufacturing.
Their dream was to produce the best possible watches at the best possible price. They employed talented watchmakers and skilled craftsmen, and adopted industrial processes in order to deliver their vision. They wanted to pioneer and innovate, to create reliable timepieces that would bring many years of pleasure.
The company grew fast, quickly establishing a reputation for producing watches that delivered exceptional quality and value. By 1910 Oris employed 300 people, and by 1936 it had factories in Holderbank, Como, Courgenay, Ziefen, Herbertswil and Bienne to accommodate its rapid expansion. Oris built houses for its employees and ran bus services into work to transport those who lived as far away as Basel, 25km to the north.
From the outset, Cattin and Christian made it their mission to master the many complex manufacturing stages of the watchmaking process, and to make Oris a company capable of developing its own pocket watch movements.
By the time war broke out in Europe, Oris had established itself as one of the leaders in quality Swiss timepieces. During the war, with its distribution network stymied, Oris turned to producing clocks, which led to the ground-breaking 8-day power reserve model launched in 1949. At that stage, the company produced more than 200,000 watches and clocks a year.
The post-war Boom
After the war, the company continued on an upward curve. By 1970, it was one of the world’s 10 largest watch companies, employing more than 800 people and producing 1.2 million watches and clocks a year. The continous development of new manufacture movements was key for the company’s development.
That same year, Oris was sold to the General Watch Company, a subsidiary of ASUAG Group, which would eventually become the Swatch Group. But the boom was not to last as the Quartz Crisis kicked in, almost killing off the traditional Swiss watch industry. The influx of cheap quartz watches from the Far East decimated the global mechanical watch market.
Portmann and Herzog were entrepreneurs and set about revitalising their company. Herzog travelled the world observing emerging trends and discovered that in influential markets like Japan mechanical watches were resurgent. He convinced his colleagues to drop the quartz strategy that had been forced upon the company by the group, and within a few years Oris has made its last quartz watch, focussing instead on mechanical innovations.
Oris is recognised by the Red Rotor, which symbolises a passion for traditional watchmaking, and is universally acknowledged for its commitment to producing quality mechanical watches at sensible prices.
The brand strapline is real watches for real people, which serves as a mantra to the designers and watchmakers who work in the same Hölstein factory where the company was first established 110 years ago.
In 1938, Oris developed Calibre 373, the pointer calendar, which became a signature for the company. In 1982, following the management buy-out, Dr Portmann and Herzog reintroduced the pointer calendar and used it as the symbol of Oris’s revival.
In 1968, Calibre 652 became the first pin-lever escapement movement to be certified by the prestigious Observatoire Astronomique et Chronométrique in Neuchâtel. Two years later, in 1970, Oris produced its first chronograph, the hand-wound Calibre 725.
In 1982, Oris decided to cease development of its own calibres, and to focus instead on module development. These modules were designed and developed in-house, while assembly was outsourced to third parties like ETA and later to Sellita, ensuring the Oris philosophy, a constant since 1904, was preserved.
A series of groundbreaking module developments began in 1988 with Calibre 418. It featured a mechanical alarm with a pure, sonorous tone that took months of painstaking development to perfect.
Oris followed this in 1993 with a range of upgraded movements with in-house developed features, including small seconds, date windows and a pointer date. In 1995, Oris took another step forward by producing its first regulator movement, Calibre 649. One of Oris’s most ambitious movements was Calibre 581, a complication that first appeared in 1996. It had subdials for pointer day, pointer date and second time zone indications, plus a moonphase and a central seconds hand. In 1999 came the first Pointer Day, Calibre 645.
In 2013, Oris moved the game on again with the launch of Calibre 761, known as the Pointer Moon. It became the world’s first mechanical watch capable of showing both the lunar cycle and the tidal range, essential indications for divers.
To mark its 110th anniversary, Oris is proud to announce Oris Calibre 110, the first mechanical movement developed from the ground up by Oris for 35 years. A hand-wound calibre, it features a 10-day power reserve and a patented non-linear power reserve indication.
These two complications have never come together before. Uniting them provided an exceptional challenge for Oris’s in-house team of watchmakers and designers, who worked with Swiss technical specialists and with L’École Téchnique Le Locle on the project over a period of 10 years.
The result is a milestone in mechanical watchmaking. It has been achieved using a combination of industrial techniques and engineering. Each calibre will be hand-assembled and tested in Oris’s Hölstein factory by our expert watchmakers, some of whom have worked with us for over 40 years.
But for Oris, a 10-day power reserve in itself was not enough, which is why Calibre 110 also has an Oris-patented non-linear power reserve indication. The display at 3 o’clock on the dial indicates the amount of power remaining in the barrel from 10 days down to zero. At the top of the scale, the notches representing the days are close together; at the bottom they are further apart. As the power is released, the hand moves clockwise around the scale, slowly at first, and then more quickly as the notches become more spread out. This gives the wearer a far clearer indication of how much power is left in the watch as the moment to wind it approaches.
More than that, it demonstrates Oris’s exceptional know-how and horological ambition, both of which are the fruit of 110 years of mechanical watchmaking experience.
The Calibre 110 will appear in a new watch, the Oris 110 Years Limited Edition, from CHF 5,500 in steel, and CHF 14,800 in solid 18-carat rose gold. There will be 110 pieces in 18 carat rose gold and 110 pieces in stainless steel. These will be delivered in April, 2014.
- Calibre 110, first movement fully developed by Oris for 35 years
- Hand-wound, 3hz, 21,600vph, single barrel
- 34mm diameter
- 10-day power reserve, patented non-linear power reserve indication at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock
- 177 parts, including 40 Jewels
- Bridges feature edges polished and bevelled by hand
- Multi-piece case construction in 18-carat solid rose gold or in stainless steel with polished surfaces. Water-resistant to 3 bar
- Sapphire crystal top glass with antireflection coating inside
- sapphire crystal case back
- Opaline-silver colour dial with applied indices and numerals
- Polished nickel hands
- Dark brown Louisiana croco leather strap on rose gold version; black Louisiana croco leather strap on stainless steel version
- Luxurious wooden box with a metal insignia
- Swiss Retail Price CHF 5,500.00 (SS), CHF 14,800.00 (18-ct RG)