The captivating watches in the BC4 collection from the Swiss company Oris feature aviation-inspired looks and numerous functions. These include a vertical crown for operating the rehaut, regulators, and watches with three time zones or 24-hour displays.
Pilot's watches have occupied a special place at Oris since its founding. The Big Crown models are the most well known, but the watches from the BC4 collection have also won the admiration of watch enthusiasts around the world. The look of these watches is reminiscent of the displays in the cockpit of an airplane, with their black dials and white numerals and indices. The case is slightly angular and has four hexagonal screws on the front, lending it a kind of industrial charm.
Another factor in the success of the Oris BC4 models is the incorporation of special functions. In addition to chronographs and regulators, this collection also includes watches with retrograde day displays, three time zones, pointer dates, and 24-hour displays.
|Model||Reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|BC4 4E RHFS Limited Edition||01 674 7616 4284-Set||3,200 euros||Chronograph, limited run of 1,000 pieces|
|BC4 Chronograph||01 674 7616 4154-07 8 22 58||1,590 euros||Chronograph function, date|
|BC4 Flight Timer||01 690 7615 4164-07 5 22 58FC||1,450 euros||Three time zones, date|
|BC4 "Der Meisterflieger"||01 749 7632 4194-Set LS||1,200 euros||Regulator, date|
|BC4 Blue Eagles Limited Edition||01 653 7631 4684-Set||1,000 euros||24-hour display, limited run of 1,969 pieces|
The first thing that stands out on this 43-mm stainless steel watch is the knob that towers over 2 o'clock. Sitting parallel to the dial, this knob is actually a vertical crown, as Oris named it, and operates the inner rotating bezel. You can set the Flight Timer's three time zones using this vertical crown.
This brings us to the most important feature of this watch: This Oris BC4 is capable of displaying three different time zones simultaneously. This is achieved using the main hands in the middle, a subdial at 3 o'clock, and the inner bezel. The hour hand of the main display can be set an hour forward or backward using the two pushers at 4 and 8 o'clock. The watch also features a date display at 6 and a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock. Prices for the BC4 Flight Timer are around 1,450 euros.
The BC4 Chronograph is available in case sizes of 45 and 42.7 mm. These models differ in more than just size. The larger of the two has a case, crown, and pushers covered with a black DLC coating, whereas the smaller one has a stainless steel finish. Additionally, the 42.7 variant is equipped with a tachymeter scale, while its bigger sister has a telemeter scale.
The Oris Caliber 674, based on the ETA 7750, ticks in both watches. Furthermore, they both have a small seconds dial at 9, a date display at 3, and 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 12 and 6 o'clock respectively. Regardless of which case size you choose, you can buy a BC4 Chronograph with a leather strap for just under 1,400 euros or with a stainless steel bracelet for around 1,600 euros.
In the 42.7-mm BC4 Small Second Pointer Day, you can find an Oris specialty: a day display that is realized using a central hand. The Swiss manufacturer uses the Oris Caliber 645 in this watch, which is based on the ETA 2836-2. The watch also boasts a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock and a date display at 3 o'clock. It is available with a leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet. Either version will cost you about 1,350 euros.
The BC4 Small Second is largely similar to the Pointer Day. The only differences are the lack of day display and that its case is covered with a black DLC coating. Beyond that, the same movement powers this model and it has the same small seconds dial and day display at 9 and 3 o'clock, respectively. A BC4 Small Second in very good condition comes in at around 1,650 euros.
The BC4 "Meisterflieger" is an example of a regulator, meaning it displays the hours, minutes, and seconds separately on the dial. In the case of the "Meisterflieger", the minutes take the prominent position in the middle while the hours are located on a subdial at 3 o'clock and the small seconds dial sits at 9 o'clock. The date display is housed in a window at 6 o'clock and the inner rotating bezel features a count down scale that is operated using the vertical crown. The BC4 "Meisterflieger" is almost 43 mm in diameter and comes with either a leather or stainless steel band. Expect to pay 1,200 euros for one of these timepieces.
One example of a limited-edition model in the BC4 collection is the BC4 4E RHFS. This watch had a limited run of 1,000 pieces and is dedicated to the eponymous French special forces helicopter battalion. While technically identical to the BC4 Chronograph, this model has a case covered with a matte gray PVD coating. It also features the logo of the French army on its small seconds dial and the colors of the French flag on the tip of the second hand. Be prepared to spend about 3,200 euros for this collector's item.
The BC4 Blue Eagles Limited Edition was created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Swiss helicopter aerobatic team with the same name. It had a limited run of 1,969 pieces. Its 45-mm case and dial with a 24-hour display set it apart from its sister models. The inner rotating bezel can also be used to display a second time zone, which can be set using the vertical crown. The small seconds dial sits at 9 o'clock, and the date display is located at 3. The case back is covered in a black DLC coating not found on the rest of the case or on the crowns, giving this timepiece a nice two-tone finish. Prices for a BC4 Blue Eagles Limited Edition in very good condition start at around 1,000 euros.