On the Oris kiosk at BaselWorld 2014 there was an air of excitement, or maybe it was an almost tangible sense of pride and satisfaction. Not only did the independent company from Hölstein have a new collection of novelties to present at the worlds most important watch fair, this time they had brought something altogether more significant to show the world.
Making its debut this year was a whole new calibre, the Oris Calibre 110, and its arrival means a lot to this company because it marks a return to what they used to do very well in times gone by. The Oris Calibre 110 you see is their first in house manufacture movement in almost 35 years. No wonder they are feeling upbeat.
Oris Calibre 110 – It’s been a long time
It is worth bearing in mind that since their inception in 1904, and prior to the cost reducing decision to source their ebauches from large outside sources at a time when the entire industry was feeling the squeeze thanks to the far reaching and often cataclysmic effects of the quartz era, Oris had breathed life into almost 230 different calibres in its time so although Calibre 110 is a new departure for the company today, it is really a return to an old hunting ground where they had enjoyed much success in their earlier history.
Oris have always represented very good value for money while still producing high quality timepieces with their own distinct character, and have achieved this by mostly dispensing with unnecessary frills or fancy. In keeping with this sensible approach which is typical of the brand, the movement has not been embelished with Côtes de Geneve or other exotic finishing, yet still in a simple brushed finish, the result has that reassuring confidence which suggests it is something quite special.
Oris Calibre 110 – A welcome return
To introduce the new movement Oris unveiled a new model in the classic style and available in 43mm rose gold or stainless steel case options, both with transparent exhibition caseback. The limited edition watch which compliments the Oris Artelier collection, and simply named the Calibre 110, combines a wide silver dial and narrow bezel which gives the watch a nice sense of space and porportion. The two registers for the power reserve and small seconds are prominent at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, and although they are not diminutive, neither are they so large that they in any way detract from the visual.
Fully wound, the Calibre 110 boasts an impressive ten days reserve of energy which they have managed to extract from a single barrel with a 1.8 metre spring and as it approaches the final 36 hours, the power reserve pointer gains momentum as it moves into the red prompting a recharge of the manually wound movement.
With the Calibre 110, Oris have a very attractive watch with bags of appeal. They are back with a confident statement of intent as they get back to what they used to do very well in the past. However will the new watch be a big seller? Well, yes and no: it will sell out for sure, but with only 110 examples in steel and the same in gold that means that the first Oris manufacture calibre in a generation will be a rare sight, and the edition will probably be quite collectable too if you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on one.
Oris Calibre 110 – Price
The Oris 110 Years Limited Edition ref. 01 110 7700 4081 in steel will retail for 5,500 Swiss Francs, and the ref. 01 110 7700 6081 in 18k rose gold will retail for 14,800 Swiss Francs. Each version is limited to just 110 pieces.