Oris Calibre 111 - 5 minutes on the wrist
Over one year ago, a bit before the 2014 edition of Baselworld, we were among the first ones to introduce you to Oris and its Caliber 110. Since then the Swiss brand has finally entered the restricted-access realm of those manufacturers that conceive their movements in-house. Oris reached such an important milestone in its history thanks to the introduction of something that, in my own opinion, most brands would also need to look at when they decide to design new movements, both in terms of the unique technical solutions found and of the type of architecture selected too. The Oris Calibre 111 represents the natural evolution of the Oris Calibre 110 limited edition, a timepiece created to mark the 110th birth anniversary of the Swiss brand. Oris has always been famous for its good quality/price ratio but ,with the creation of the Oris Calibre 110, along with the 111, it has definitely gone a step further.
From an aesthetic and technical point of view, the Oris Calbre 111 brings with it the addition of the date window and I have also read in different articles that some unspecified improvements to the base calibre 110 have been carried out too (please keep in mind that continuous improvements are always underway when a new caliber is born). Are you wondering what the meaning of the first sentence of this paragraph is? If you take a look at the case back depicted in these pictures and you are a bit familiar with Oris and its timepieces, you will immediately realize that the brand has come up with a manual wind movement, something that is quite unusual in today's world, where every other industrial brand is virtually used to release automatic calibers only.
Those who truly love watches like winding their wristwatch by themselves, despite it being something a bit boring from time to time. It is needless to say that the beauty and style of a manual wind caliber cannot be compared to those of a standard automatic caliber and Oris knows that too well. The Swiss brand is among those manufacturers that are less addicted to over-branding or over-marketing and its timepieces are renowned for its robustness and for being geared towards those who, no matter what kind of watch they are into (being it a pilot's, a diver's or a classic watch) are constantly demanding high performance standards and real features from their timepiece. The Oris Calibre 111 ensures a massive 10 days' time of Power Reserve granted by a single barrel.
Through a patented non-linear indicator placed on the dial, the user can easily visualize the amount of Power Reserve still available and, when the hand speeds up towards the indicator's empty mark, he is also reminded that he needs to wind the watch soon. The style of this timepiece is sober, pure understatement with a touch of sportiness achieved through the non-linear indicator with its red mark and, from afar and to a non-experienced eye (or to an addicted to monopusher chronos as I am), it might even look like a two-register single push-piece chrono.
The Oris Calibre 111 comes in a variety of models and not just in the gold version that we have reviewed on here (which is actually the only one we have been able to get our hands on.) The stainless steel version (which is for sure the best seller of them all) retails at 5,300 CHF, a price that reflects the technical efforts made by Oris to gain access to the world of in-house watchmaking. I personally would have kept the price under the 5,000 CHF threshold, so as to help a good quality watch with a good brand awareness to become even more popular in a market saturated with brands with a bigger price index and a stronger brand awareness, although they cannot actually boast a mechanical movement as refined and original as this one is. To conclude, let me add that this very same movement has also been applied to the Oris Big Crown Pilot, a cool and modern pilot's watch that we are going to review very soon.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter