BY ERIK SLAVEN
Watches & Wonders is upon us and the latest Oris ProPilot X really sets the bar for affordable sports watches. It’s dressed in full titanium, comes with an in-house, 5-day automatic that exceeds the minimum COSC accuracy standard and is highly antimagnetic. And it happens to be one of the best looking pieces in the watchmaker’s portfolio. Oris has been making pilot’s watches for over a hundred years, so the wheel isn’t being reinvented here, but the best of the brand’s design and engineering prowess really come together in a series of three watches that won’t hit you with sticker shock.
The case is well sized at 39mm in diameter and should work with most wrists, and the titanium build keeps it very light for all day comfort. There’s a combination of sandblasted and satin finishes, and the bezel has the classic ProPilot pattern that resembles a turbine. It’s much sportier than a fluted bezel and the like. The titanium crown screws down and is partially guarded by extensions in the case, and water resistance is rated at 100 meters. The titanium bracelet isn’t technically integrated, but it does have that aesthetic and gives the piece an angular, stealthy edge as it steps down from the lugs. The angled outer links continue this look. It also features the patented “LIFT” system and is easy to swap for a different strap. A domed sapphire crystal protects the dial with anti-reflective coatings on both sides, while a titanium case back with a sapphire exhibition window displays the in-house movement.
Three dial colors are available – grey, blue or salmon – and all have a matte, textured finish. The grey dial has black accents, while the blue and salmon dials have white, and all stick indices are coated with Super-LumiNova. This is a departure from most ProPilot models that have large Arabic numerals. The silver hour and minute hands have Super-LumiNova inserts as well. A date window sits at 6 o’clock and continues the color scheme with a black background on the grey dial and white on the other two. This piece follows in the footsteps of the Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 155, which was a skeleton watch from 2019 with the new, in-house Caliber 115. The “X” in the name recalls NASA’s experimental X-planes used to test extreme designs and technologies (and speed). The watch is inspired by aviation and next generation designs, rather than simply designed for pilots like a standard ProPilot model.
The heart of the watch is the Oris Caliber 400, which is an in-house creation that comes with several high-end features. For starters, it exceeds the COSC accuracy standard at -3/+5 seconds per day (COSC must be -4/+6 seconds per day). It also has a silicon escapement and 30 non-ferrous and anti-magnetic parts, making it highly magnetic resistant (tested at an exposure to 2,250 gauss).
The rotor also replaces the common ball bearing system with a unidirectional, low-friction slide bearing system. It’s a less complex and more efficient design, and Oris is so confident with the Caliber 400 that it’s offering a full 10-year warranty. Service intervals are limited to 10 years as well, which is a testament to the efficiency and wear resistance of the design. The movement has 21 jewels and beats at 4Hz, and twin barrels provide 120 hours of power reserve (a full 5 days). It’ll be running strong even if left for an entire weekend. This isn’t the first Oris to carry the Caliber 400 (models like the Aquis Date have it), but it’s an exceptional design from this independent Swiss brand.
The Oris ProPilot X Caliber 400 (ref. 01 400 7778 7153-07 7 20 01TLC) retails for CHF 3,900 or USD 4,300. That’s a bargain considering the innovative in-house automatic and stylish, titanium design. Owners that register with MyOris will receive the full 10-year warranty, which is quite a guarantee. Watches are available from April 2022. Visit Oris here.