Recently, after a research in the company’s Hölstein archives, it was discovered that Oris first made watches for pilots in the early 1910s. Until this discovery, Oris believed that its first pilot’s watch was the Big Crown of 1938, an iconic piece of design named after its oversized crown that still informs the company’s aviation-inspired watches today.
One catalogue featured a pocket watch with a Blériot airplane engraved on its case. Louis Blériot, the French pioneer aviator, successfully completed the first flight across the English Channel on July 25, 1909. The same research uncovered what appears to be Oris’s first pilot’s wristwatch, and also one of its first wristwatches. The round, brass-cased watch had a big crown, an aluminium dial and a pin-lever movement, and was essentially a pocket watch with wire loop lugs soldered to its case. This was common practice during the First World War as officers looked for practical ways of wearing watches and as aerial warfare developed.
Model: Oris Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition
Ref. No. 01 732 7736 4081 LS, Ø 40.00mm
Limited to 1,917 pieces
Automatic movement Oris Cal. 732, based on Sellita SW 200-1
Time adjustment via pusher at 2 o’clock
Polished multi-piece stainless steel case and crown
Water-resistant to 5 bar
Bubble-curved sapphire crystal domed on both sides with anti-reflective coating inside
Screwed stainless steel case back with embossed original ‘OWC’ Oris Watch Company logo and engraved limited edition number
Silver dial with printed numerals filled with Super-LumiNova®, blued steel hour and minute hands filled with Super-LumiNova®
Brown leather cuff strap with stainless steel pin buckle
Set includes leather travel pouch and additional leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle
Swiss retail price CHF 2,400
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