Pre-Owned Picks — Discontinued Oris Watches
This week, I am checking out some intriguing watches from Hölstein’s premier independent. Yes, I am talking about the plucky soloist Oris. In its heyday, Oris was outputting up to 1.2million watches and clocks per year. The onset of the low-cost and reliable quartz timepieces from Japan in the ‘70s and ‘80s, however, took a toll on the brand.
The choice was either to follow the herd and produce quartz with a Swiss twist or, like so many Swiss watch-makers, fold and fade into obscurity. For a time, Oris did produce a range of quartz pieces. But fortunately, a management buyout in 1982 changed the fate of Oris. The brand became Oris SA and swore never to make a quartz-operated wristwatch.
While the output could never be as significant as it was in the ‘60s, Oris’s cheerful designs and positive mantra are much beloved in the watch community. Especially with the introduction of the Divers Sixty-Five in 2015. But that is not to say the transitional era had nothing but boring watches. Quite the opposite, in fact. And today I will attempt to prove this with a varied list of Pre-owned Oris Picks.
All watches are pre-owned and picked from Chrono24. Every week we pick a few pre-owned watches from Chrono24, the largest market place for wristwatches in the world — watches that we love ourselves, or think they will be interesting to you. So, to be clear, we picked the watches, Chrono24 only send us the images without their watermark and in a proper resolution.
First up is the inaugural chronograph from Oris released in 1970. A few of you may be squinting at the dial, wondering, “Where are the chrono sub-dials?” Well, this particular chronograph can only track the elapsed time within sixty seconds. The pusher at the 2 o’clock position starts, stops and resets the central seconds hand. The layout is geared towards short, timed events such as a sprint or pit stop.
While the chronograph function may have limited usability, the watch also features an internal rotating bezel with a sixty-minute scale. You could advance the minute scale with the crown at 4 o’clock after each minute interval if you did so desire. In either case, it says something to own the first chronograph by Oris. And it is not without significant brand context as you will see later, it is not the only motorsports-themed watch on the list. These are relatively rare, but here is a listing on Chrono24.
Oris World Time
Next up is one of the first executions of Oris patented World-Timer complication. This movement was introduced in 1997 and maintained the twin-pusher adjustment of the local hour hand for 20 years. That was until the Big Crown ProPilot shifted the world-time controls from external pushers to a rotatable bezel.
Rose gold Oris watches are not something you see often…
I knew I wanted to include one of the original world-time models with twin-pushers near the lugs. But trawling through Chrono24, I came across this full gold world-timer. Rose gold Oris watches are not something you see often. There have been a few, however — even recently with the Carysfort Aquis. But the combination of one of the original world-timers in a rose gold case is something classic with a unique complication. The listing claims the model is from 1998 and is “New Old Stock”. However, there are some scuff marks on the case-back that are worth questioning. The plaque overlaps the bezel at 6 o’clock with the edition number out of 250.
Oris Audi Sport Limited Edition
I said the Chronoris was not the last motorsports watch in my picks, and here is the proof. Motorsports season is finally underway with the first race of the 2020 Formula One season, albeit behind closed doors, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Oris was a title sponsor of the Williams F1 team for many years. With Oris’s increased focus on conservation efforts, the connection to gas-guzzling race cars contradicts this ethos. The same goes for Audi Sport, but this was more to do with Audi leaving Le Mans during the Volkswagen “diesel-gate” scandal. Funnily enough, Audi dominated Le Mans in the 2000s with the pioneering turbodiesel engines.
Oris now partner with conservation efforts, rather than gas-guzzling race cars
This sporty racing chronograph is not exactly vintage but comes from a period in Oris’s history that we may not see for a very long time. The running seconds track horizontally, which balances nicely with the logo at the 3 o’clock position. The red accents and racing strap complete the racing vibe and a limited number of 2,000 pieces is worth a look on Chrono24 here.