Straighten Up And Fly Right With The Oris ProPilot X With Solid Dials
Like many of us, I had anticipated new additions to the Oris ProPilot X range for a while. Before this, there had only been a single model in this collection since its inception in 2019. Well, OK, if you count both the titanium bracelet option and the leather strap, there were two. That all changed with the new ProPilot X Calibre 400. However, this trio of new models was probably not what anyone expected. The ProPilot X Calibre 400 receives three dial variants in 39mm titanium cases. With Calibre 400, the ProPilot X goes automatic with a date function at 6 o’clock. Let’s dive in and dissect what else this non-limited edition brings to the fray.
Before I get into it, I am interested in understanding why our readers love mechanical watches so much. And I am being specific about the mechanical part. There is the simple joy of machined parts working in harmony — gears interacting with springs to deliver a functional outcome relevant to our needs. Yet, for me, the pleasure of mechanisms goes further than that. In this increasingly connected world, there’s a positive feeling one gets when disconnecting. The joy of missing out (JOMO) seems counteractive to social intuition. Now, I’m no evangelical technophobe. For instance, my electric blinds have Bluetooth, my fridge has Wi-Fi, and I’m pretty sure my electric razor has a personal vendetta. However, when I’ve had enough of technology, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a country walk with only boots and a wristwatch.
Departing the digital world
Don’t worry; I’m not a naturist and tend to avoid bringing attention to myself. Instead, I rid my pockets of my phone, wireless headphones, and anything with a computer chip. It’s refreshing to distance myself from digital habits and take the natural world in. I appreciate the outdoor environment, but I also have a mechanical watch that not even Jeff Bezos has access to. I listen to the ticking heart as the birds sing and watch as the sunlight disperses across the dial and unlocks colors indoor lighting cannot. At this moment, I feel relief as the unbearable weight of responsibility is lifted. It’s this very sensation that Oris captures with its watches. There are very few mainstream manufacturers that can boast an entirely mechanical lineup
Even Patek Philippe and F.P. Journe cannot claim an aversion to battery-powered quartz watches. Oris can and demonstrates its continued commitment to the art of the mechanism. Calibre 400 is a testament to that, with a five-day power reserve and a deviation of +5/-3 seconds per day. Since October 2020, the Calibre 400 has steadily increased its presence in the Oris line-up. Kicking off with the crowd-pleasing Aquis was the right move, but now the more avant-garde watches are getting the treatment. Even so, I’d never anticipated the ProPilot X to go automatic. In 2019, Oris ushered in the first release of the then-new model line. The manually-wound ProPilot X has a ten-day power reserve with a substantial mainspring barrel. With such a significant caliber, a large 44mm titanium case comes along to contain it. Its skeletonized construction incorporates the dial indications and is one with its movement, especially in the industrial gray tone.
Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400
For the ProPilot X’s expansion, the range gets a dose of color in more minor 39mm cases. While the general shape of the turbine bezel and modern bracelet remains, the smaller form factor appeals to a broader audience. It’s a shame that the original Calibre 115 is no longer the star of the show, but Calibre 400 is a worthy follow-up. The gray is in keeping with the original wind-up model, but the blue and salmon colors take the PPX to uncharted territories. Of the three, the gray version is possibly my favorite with its dark luminescent hands, date disc, and indices. The blue version has a navy shade and might be the most popular, but the salmon dial is the headline grabber. It’s a vibrant shade of papaya orange that I’ve yet to witness in person, but I hope to do so very soon.
The ProPilot X is a modern interpretation of a pilot’s watch
With such a departure from the core ProPilot X, we must remind ourselves this is a pilot’s watch. It’s right there in the name, but the “X” denotes this collection as a reinterpretation of a pilot’s watch. See the ProPilot line-up for more traditional pilot’s watches with legible dials and outsized hands. Is the new ProPilot X Calibre 400 for me? I admit Oris dive watches are my Achilles heel. By bringing in the Calibre 400, the ProPilot X has the chance of standing up to the Aquis and Divers Sixty-Five. Yet, my preference still resides with the brand’s dive watches. Nevertheless, this update could be a good springboard for the special editions and collaborations that Oris is well-known for.
The ProPilot X Calibre 400 is available now with a titanium bracelet and a seatbelt-style “LIFT” clasp. It has a 100m water resistance thanks to the screw-down knurled crown and toughened sapphire crystal on both sides. The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 is a non-limited edition for CHF 3,900. If you’re keen to learn about the watch, there is a mobile application available on Google Play and the App Store. In this game, you control a gear avatar as it whirls through side-scrolling levels of different areas of a watch movement. Search “ORIS’ The Joy Of Mechanics” on your smart device and download it for free. If you strive for a high score, there is a real-world prize at the end. But you’d have to download it to find out. To learn more about these ProPilot X watches, follow the link to the Oris site here.
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