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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

Oris

Oris watchesIn the minds of watch fans today, the name of Oris is synonymous with the mechanical watch. This didn’t just happen by accident, of course.

At the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, when the “normal” watch consumer was becoming more educated in the ways of mechanical watches, the small watch company Oris, hailing from Holstein in the hinterlands of Basel (one od the few factories in German-speaking part of thr Switzerland), registered the growing demand and reacted immediately. The Oris heads were able to call upon a rich fund of historical models reaching back to 1904 that all seemed to have something speacial about them, One need only think about the hand-winding alarm watch outfitted with the AS Caliber 1730 and its carefully modernized 1950s design that was obviously so much to the taste of an antire generation of mechanical-watch consumers with its moderate price that, for a while. the demand for it seemed almost hysterical. That sparked, in a manner of speaking, the beginning of Oris’s career. Strongly fueled by the catchy slogan, “It’s high mech by Oris”, and with just the right mixture of nostalgically designed watches, slightly modified movements, and incredibly low prices, Oris’s position on the market was continually pushed upward. At first the cases were designed with the 1940s in mind and seemed a bit old-fashioned, but today they are stylred more contemporarily, and the watches themselves have also been outfitted with some remarkable technical innovations.

Secure in its good nose for the likes and dislikes of its clientele, Oris presented models like the Pointer, with an unusual sweep calender hand, the Complication, and Rectangular. The Worldtimer models, sporting a dial train exclusively developed for Oris, proves that the company also has the technical competence to modify ETA base movements immensely. And let’s not forget the overly large crown on some models, a characteristic that has practically become Oris’s trademark over the last decade. In keeping with this, the company named an entire line Big Crown, now known in its abbreviatedfrom BC. Certainly a large part of the appreciation that Oris presently enjoys has to do with the serious interest of the clientele in their “high mech ” watches.

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