Oris watchmakers have over 100 years of experience in producing fine Swiss mechanical mastery. Their comprehensive range of intricately designed instruments for time reading offer high precision, quality, reliability and style. Oris watches consist of a dynamic blend of diving, aviation and motor sport inspired pieces. Their philosophy of success revolves around the iconic red rotor symbol which is hot stamped onto all of their masterpieces. Supporting unique creations, Oris timepieces are defined by the brand themselves as “real watches for real people”. Here we take a look at the history of the iconic Oris watch.
1904 marked the year of Oris’ discovery by founders Paul Cattin and Georges Christian at Holstein in Switzerland. Oris takes its name from a nearby brook situated in a valley close to its original watchmaking base. By the year of 1906 the first out of ten manufacturing and assembling plants was erected in Holderbank. By 1911 the Oris team was flourishing. With over 300 employees, living accommodation was built as the company expanded over the next few years to become the biggest employer in the area.
1925 – 1949
From 1925 onwards Oris began the simple constructing of the bracelet buckle and the opening of its first electroplating factory was launched. The transition from the pocket watch to wristwatch began and Oris became established as manufacturers of reasonably affordable watches for the everyday man. In the year of 1937 the first dial factory for Oris opened followed by the brand’s in-house escapement which was mastered just a year later. In 1944 Oris’ gold plating was recognised globally for its exceptional high quality. In 1949 Oris’ water resistance was recognised and became a popular selling point.
The year of 1952 marked another milestone for Oris’ success. The development of the 601 mechanical movement was launched – a movement renowned for its exceptional reliability which is still very much in demand to this day. In 1968 Oris were rewarded with a distinction level chronometer certification for their exquisite movements. Inspired by the Japanese trendsetters, Ulrich Herzog, the new CEO of the company traveled to the country regularly to seek influence for the Oris pointer calendar.
As many years of continual success followed, the calibre 581 was later developed in the year of 1991 to feature moonphase display, date display, second time zone, and week day display. In 1996 strong connections were cemented with the world of Jazz through a sponsorship secured for the Oris London Jazz Festival. In 1999 the Big Crown collection was launched with open, clear and reasonably large dials, a set of dynamic features and a satin finished stainless steel case.
In the year of 2000 Louis Armstrong was commemorated for his strong influence in the Jazz industry with two limited editions from Oris. Just three years later Oris signed an agreement to become an exclusive watch partner to the BMW Williams F1 team. In 2005 the watchmakers extended their sponsorship becoming an on-car sponsor and launching a number of limited editions to mark this milestone.
In 2006 Oris watches became associated with world-record diver Carlos Coste as the brand sealed a partnership not only with the professional free-diver but also their ever-evolving expertise in the divers watch world which remains at the forefront of mechanical watch innovation. Since then the brand have gone on to
refine their skills further with the release of the famous Aquis Depth Gauge which uses a mechanism built into the side of the sapphire crystal glass, allowing for water to enter the watch as a unique form of technology to measure water depth. In 2007 the Oris logo featured on the Williams F1 racing cars to secure their long line of successful motorsport-infused watch designs. In 2008 Oris announced a sponsorship deal with a new aviation partner. The daredevil pilots from the Blue Eagles Helicopter Display Team went on to support Oris’ unparalleled success in aviation inspired pieces.
In the year of 2009 Oris revealed their patent for the Rotation Safety System. The valuable new safety element to Oris’ divers watches was an invaluable innovation for the success of both their maritime and nautical inspired Swiss mechanical timepieces. In 2010 the Oris BC3 collection underwent further aesthetical developments. The masculine infused dials were a unique look, enclosed by solid stainless steel structures for ultra-tough resilience. This year Oris have continued in their successful journey with further developments from their motor sport collections. The new Audi Sport watches offer a sleek GMT function with a collection of Oris’ finest patented technologies and high grade materials for mechanical instruments that deliver high precision and cutting edge design.
The entire Oris collection can be explored here.