The good ship ‘Bronze Watches’ might have said for most watch companies (even Panerai) these days, but one company is still hitting the waves with everything it’s got. Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot is a tool watch designed to be bashed about and worn daily with little regard for its condition. It’s also highly legible and quite dashing with its simplistic design. Let’s take a closer look.
Flashy dials and reflective frills are not at the top of the agenda when it comes to a watch for aviation, which must be deadly accurate and also easy to read at a glance. The dial of the Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze (catchy name) is matte black, as is tradition for pilot’s watches. The hands come with a layer of white SuperLumiNova, and the hour numerals are made from a solid block of it and then applied to the dial for a longer glow. There’s even SuperLumiNova on the end of the seconds hand. The date window at 3 has white text, although I don’t think it has SuperLumiNova applied. The Oris logo and other details on the dial are printed in orange to not disrupt the viewing of the time.
The case measures 41mm x 12.4mm and comes on a green Ventile strap with a bronze clasp. It features a matte finish all around, except for the bezel and the crown, which feature grooves cut in such a way they almost resemble the blades of a turbine to my eye.
Inside the watch is a Sellita SW 220-1, which Oris calls a calibre Oris 751; apart from the red winding rotor Oris applies to all its movements, I don’t know what the difference is between the two. It has a 4Hz beat rate and 38-hour power reserve, though.
This is not a limited edition piece and is available from Oris dealers now for a price of CHF1950.