With the introduction of the Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111, Oris expanded their popular pilot's watch collection to include a model with an in-house caliber. It has a 240-hour – or 10-day – power reserve and sets itself apart even further with its functionality and simple elegance.
Pilot's watches have played a significant role in a large portion of Oris's over 100-year history. The models found in the Swiss manufacturer's Big Crown collection, in particular, have been winning over fans since their debut in 1938. The name "Big Crown" comes from their oversized crowns, which are easy to use even when wearing pilot's gloves.
The Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 holds a special position in the Big Crown family. To date, it is the only Oris pilot's watch to feature an in-house movement developed entirely by the company itself.
Prices largely depend on your choice of band. If you're looking for a particularly elegant watch with a dark brown band made from Louisiana crocodile leather, be prepared to spend about 3,900 euros.
The ProPilot Calibre 111 with a stainless steel bracelet has a sportier feel. One of these watches runs for just under 3,900 euros. Versions with a textile band are the most affordable at slightly less than 3,800 euros.
Oris built their in-house movement 111 into the ProPilot Calibre 111. This movement is an upgraded and industrially manufactured version of the 2014 in-house Oris caliber 110 , which was created to celebrate the company's 110th anniversary. That the caliber 110 was the first movement developed in house by Oris in 30 years makes it all the more special.
Both movements are hand wound, have a stop-seconds mechanism, and impress with their 10-day power reserve. This exceptional longevity is made possible by the extra large barrel, which contains a spring made of an improved alloy to guarantee long-term stability.
What sets the caliber 111 apart from the 110 is its ability to display the date in addition to the central hour and minute hands, a small seconds dial, and a power reserve indicator. Both the window for the date and the small seconds dial are located at 9 o'clock.
The patented power reserve indicator at 3 o'clock is non-linear. This means that the more time has elapsed, the more accurate the display becomes. This method allows you to determine almost to the hour when your watch needs to be rewound. Its design resembles that of a fuel gauge in the cockpit of an airplane, giving the blue or anthracite-colored dial the appearance of a proper pilot's watch. The overall straightforwardness is only enhanced by the hands, indices, and numerals coated in SuperLuminova.
The watch's beating heart is packaged in a 44-mm satin-brushed stainless steel case that is water resistant up to 100 m (10 bar). Despite its large size, it still maintains an air of delicacy. This is likely due in large part to the thin, fluted bezel that simulates the blades on an airplane turbine. Oris chose double domed sapphire glass with an anti-reflective coating inside to protect the dial. A screw-down mineral glass case back, through which you can view the in-house caliber at work, completes this watch.
The ProPilot Calibre 111 can be worn with a textile band in olive green or black, a stainless steel bracelet, or a brown crocodile leather band. Every band comes equipped a the patented stainless steel fold-over clasp, which looks like the buckle on an airplane seat.
All in all, the Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 is a typical Oris watch. There are no frills, all the functions are well thought out and sensible, and it has a functional and elegant outer appearance.