The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date has always been a signature model of the brand since it was first released in 1938.
Through the years of continuous production and the many variations, this model has always had, as evidenced by its name, a signature big crown, a feature that made it easier for pilots to manipulate it for time setting while wearing gloves, as well as the relatively uncommon pointer date function.
It was a design of its time, yet purposeful and popular enough to be tweaked along the way in its many incarnations. It was also a key model that helped to save Oris from extinction during the quartz crisis when it was reintroduced into the brand’s collection in 1984.
With this latest variant, we see this iconic and important model being updated for the future.
We covered the launch of Calibre 400 last year, an in-house movement that promised to give watch buyers additional performance and reliability with its standout features of a 5 day power reserve, antimagnetic protection and 10 year warranty.
This new Big Crown Pointer Date carries a variant of this Calibre 400, and is named the Oris Calibre 403. Now Calibre 403 has actually appeared before in a Big Crown Pointer Date, and that was in a 250 piece limited edition variant called the Hölstein Edition 2021 that had a grey dial, that came out in June 2021.
The new Big Crown Pointer Date under discussion here in this article, is actually a non-limited version, and comes with a dark blue dial. Aside from the movement, it also takes on many of the new design traits that the Hölstein Edition 2021 introduced for this model.
Overall, the aesthetic is more contemporary. The first thing that fans will notice is the lack of the coin edge bezel that has been seen on the model in recent times. In fact, it’s replacement, a flat polished bezel, is closer in appearance to the first 1938 model. The dial as well, is flat, unlike recent models that had a domed dial, as is the sapphire crystal. Another feature reminiscent of the 1938 model – a small seconds complication, courtesy of Calibre 403, now appears, replacing the recent models with centre seconds hand. Lastly, the size of this model is down 2mm to 38mm, a welcome departure from the larger 40mm size of previous models.
One specific feature over the Hölstein Edition 2021 that this non-limited model has is a visible caseback view of the new Calibre 403. The Hölstein Edition 2021 had an engraving of the Oris Bear, which is nice, but fans of the new movement will be able to see it in all its glory, which is probably one of the most entertaining things to do when owning this watch.
Oris has certainly been making good on their promise to slowly introduce the Calibre 400 and its variants into the various product families, and it’s great to see it turn up in their most iconic, and vintage flavoured model.
Its in this watch that I believe you get the best of the old and the new. The details of the dial such as the white Arabic numerals against the blue background, the small seconds sundial that is much smaller in proportion to the whole dial area, and the red tipped pointer date hand are elements that you can feel are “old” or “vintage” inspired. Yet somehow everything looks more modern and less distorted because everything is flatter now.
Overall the execution is nicely balanced because Oris hasn’t strayed too far in either direction. Even the addition of the “5 Days” text on the dial, indicating the 5 day power reserve of the Calibre 403, is nicely restrained.
The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Calibre 403 is available to buy now at Oris dealers worldwide.
Case: 38mm wide multi piece stainless steel case, Double domed top glass sapphire, with anti-reflective coating inside, screw down crown.
Dial: Blue with luminous material indices and numbers printed with Super-LumiNova®, hands filled with Super-LumiNova®
Water resistance: 5 bar
Movement: Oris Calibre 403, self-winding with centre hands for hours, minutes and date, small seconds at 6 o’clock, fine timing device and stop-second, 120 hours power reserve, Accuracy -3/+5 seconds a day (within COSC tolerances)
Strap: Black leather with quick strap change system
Extra features: Highly anti-magnetic. Extended 10 year Warranty with MyOris sign-up. Applies to watch and movement. (10-year recommended service intervals, fiveyear recommended water-resistance check)
Swiss retail price: CHF 3,100 – Available November 2021