Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter

by Johnny McElherron
$1,000 - 9,999, Oris

Oris add a new and highly useful model to their portfolio, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter.

Is it me or are wristwatches getting even more useful? You may remember the ingenious hand-wind “Génie” wristwatch unveiled by Breva which combined timekeeping abilities with altimeter functionality. Now Oris have created a similar device, still powered by mechanics and not micro-chip, and – they have even managed to slip in some kinetic winding, making their ProPilot Altimeter the first automatic mechanical Altimeter wristwatch.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter

The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter has two crowns on its case side. The crown at 2 o’clock is for time and date adjustments. The second crown, located at 4 o’clock operates the altimeter function. By unscrewing the crown to “Position 1” air is allowed into the case to enable the system to be calibrated. By pulling out the crown to “Position 2” the current height can be set. Once calibrated, the current altitude is displayed via the yellow indicator, and the corresponding air pressure via the red indication. By now you may have noticed the scale at the dial edge which displays the altitude, measured up to 15,000 feet or 4,500 meters, and the smaller scale just towards the inner dial which displays air pressure, both provide easy to read indications at a glance, and both give this new model a very professional appearance.

In designing the ProPilot Altimeter, Oris have thought of every detail. When the crown has been pulled out to allow operation of the system, a red ring around the crown base alerts the wearer that the waterproof capabilities of the case has been compromised; during operation, a PTFE vapour barrier prevents moisture from entering into the case – and, no matter which type of measurement you prefer, feet or meters, Oris have even thought of that too and will release two models, one with the scale in feet, one in meters.

All Oris watches are distinguishable by a no-frills approach to design and the ProPilot Altimeter maintains a clean readable dial despite its compendium of unusual indications. The white Arabic numerals which are painted onto the black dial have been given a liberal coating of Super-LumiNova to ensure clarity after dark and although the vivid yellow and red dial accents are functional, they do give a superb contrast to the dial arrangement. The stainless steel case measures 47mm across and features a coin-edge bezel. Water resistance is to 100m. Inside, the Oris automatic mechanical Cal. 733, based on a Sellita SW200 movement provides a power reserve of up to 38 hours.

Earlier this year Oris sent forth a confident statement of intent to the industry when they presented their first in-house movement in 35 years. The addition of the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter model to their superb portfolio, which adds automatic winding to this new genre, must surely be the icing on the cake for what has already been a momentous year thus far for Oris.

The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter watch with the feet scale is ref. 733 7705 4134 TS and with a meter scale it is ref. 733 7705 4164 TS. The watches will be priced at 3,300 Swiss Francs on a strap, and 3,500 Swiss Francs on the bracelet.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Johnny McElherron


    Johnny McElherron was busy minding his own business as a successful company director, when one day he fell in love with watches. So deeply that soon after his eureka! moment he established The Watch Press as a vehicle where he could indulge his passion with gusto. What his eye beheld he would write about, in his own unique style, and in time his work penetrated through to numerous national and international mainstream and online publications. Today Johnny creates engaging content for watch industry clients, and in 2014 joined forces with the highly respected watch industry specialists Delos Communications, with whom he works to provide Delos clients with high quality content to ensure no part of their company message gets lost in translation.