BY ERIK SLAVEN
The Big Crown Pointer Date is among the most popular models from Oris. To reinforce its commitment to a sustainable environment, the watchmaker has collaborated with the Swiss sustainable deer leather producer, Cervo Volante. This is part of the brand’s “Change for the Better” campaign and the collection brings fresh gradient dial colors and a conservative 38mm case. Cervo Volante is based in Zurich and specializes in shoes, jackets and accessories made from Swiss deer hides. A highly regulated culling of around 15,000 wild deer in Switzerland occurs each year to manage populations and protect the land.
Founded in 2017, Cervo Volante takes the waste from culled deer (specifically the skins) and transforms it into high-end, durable products. Everything comes from wild deer populations with no factory farming or breeding involved, so the resulting leather is among the most sustainable of its kind. Kadri Vunder Fontana, a biotechnology engineer and Conny Thiel-Egenter, a biologist with a specialty in wildlife management and nature protection, are the company founders with a singular vision – sustainability. Only two Swiss tanneries remain and are used to process the leather using vegetable tanning processes without chemicals. Almost nothing goes to waste as imperfections are rarely discarded and even celebrated as a reference to life.
The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date goes back to 1938 when pilots required an oversized crown that could be used with gloves. Signature features included oversized Arabic numerals, cathedral hands and an extra central hand that pointed to the date around the dial’s perimeter. There was an absence of the model for some time, but the design returned in 1984 and has become a major collection for the brand. There have been some contemporary variants, but these new models are true to the traditional styling.
The 38mm diameter is unusual for the series, but has been used with a handful of others. However, this new collection is the first to feature the traditional case design with the knurled bezel at the 38mm size. Thickness is 12.5mm and lug-to-lug measures 45.7mm. Gradient dial colors include grey, blue or green, and the classic cathedral hour and minute hands are filled with Super-LumiNova, along with the Arabic numerals and indices. The central hand that points to the peripheral date has a red tip for the grey dial, but the other two are color matching (green or blue). A domed AR sapphire crystal protects the dial, while a sapphire exhibition case back displays the automatic movement. Water-resistance is rated at 50 meters.
Powering the watch is the Oris 754 caliber, based on the Sellita SW-200 workhorse. It has 26 jewels, beats at 4Hz with a 38-hour power reserve. The movement is nicely finished yet undecorated, but features the brand’s classic red rotor that’s very eye-catching. It’s also been modified to accommodate the pointer date and features hacking seconds, instantaneous date and date corrector. Other models have an in-house movement (Oris 403 automatic), but the Sellita is very reliable, accurate and well-proven, and helps keep the price in check.
The unlikely star of the show is the strap, which again is made from sustainable deer leather from Cervo Volante. Colors include dark brown, oak brown or cognac, and come with the always appreciated quick-release levers (no tools required). Each watch will be delivered with a travel pouch and cardholder, also made from Cervo Volante leather. These models are not special editions and retail for CHF 1,850 each, and are available now.
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