October 14, 2014 @ 11:45 AM

Oris release new calibre to celebrate 100-year anniversary

New Calibre 110 sets another milestone for the watchmaker's legacy


New Calibre 110 sets another milestone for the watchmaker's legacy
 
The Oris story begins in the quiet Swiss town of Hölstein in the Jura Mountains, some 110 years ago. Two watchmakers, Paul Cattin and Georges Christian, arrived in the town looking to set up their own watch company. They purchased a recently closed watch factory and called it Oris, a name they took from a neighbouring stream. 
 
Their dream was to produce the best possible watches at the best possible price. They wanted to pioneer and innovate, to create reliable timepieces that would bring many years of pleasure.
By the time war broke out in Europe, Oris had established itself as one of the leaders in quality Swiss timepieces. During the war, with its distribution network stymied, Oris turned to producing clocks, which led to the ground-breaking 8-day power reserve model launched in 1949. At that stage, the company produced more than 200,000 watches and clocks a year.
 
After the war, the company continued on an upward curve. By 1970, it was one of the world’s 10 largest watch companies, employing more than 800 people and producing 1.2million watches and clocks a year. The continuous development of new manufacture movements was key for the company’s development.
 
That same year, Oris was sold to the General Watch Company, a subsidiary of ASUAG Group, which would eventually become the Swatch Group. But the boom was not to last as the Quartz Crisis kicked in, almost killing off the traditional Swiss watch industry. The influx of cheap quartz watches from the Far East decimated the global mechanical watch market.

Oris was greatly affected by the downturn, but continued to pursue its vision, despite the circumstances. In 1982, the company’s General Manager Dr Rolf Portmann and Head of Marketing Ulrich W. Herzog staged a management buy-out and broke away from the group, and Oris Watch Co SA became Oris SA. 
To mark its 110th anniversary, Oris is proud to announce Oris Calibre 110, the first mechanical movement developed from the ground up by Oris for 35 years. A hand-wound calibre, it features a 10-day power reserve and a patented non-linear power reserve indication. These two complications have never come together before – giving Oris’s in-house team of watchmakers and designers, working with Swiss technical specialists and L’École Téchnique Le Locle a 10 year challenge, resulting in a milestone in mechanical watchmaking.
 
Unlike many movements with comparable power reserves, Oris Calibre 110 uses a single-barrelled system. Inside this barrel is a mainspring that would stretch to 1.8 metres if unravelled. Reducing this in size so it fits into a single barrel, without making the calibre over-sized. The watch has been tested to ensure the power is delivered evenly throughout its 10-day cycle.
 
But for Oris, a 10-day power reserve in itself was not enough, which is why Calibre 110 also has an Oris-patented non-linear power reserve indication. The display at 3 o’clock on the dial indicates the amount of power remaining in the barrel from 10 days down to zero. At the top of the scale, the notches representing the days are close together; at the bottom they are further apart. As the power is released, the hand moves clockwise around the scale, slowly at first, and then more quickly as the notches become more spread out. This gives the wearer a far clearer indication of how much power is left in the watch as the moment to wind it approaches.
Oris has taken a deliberately industrial approach to producing this unique movement. While Calibre 110’s edges are all hand-bevelled and hand-polished, the bridges’ large surfaces retain their untouched industrial beauty. Calibre 110 is a fine watchmaking movement produced using honest, industrial principles, and fits with the Oris philosophy of making sensibly priced luxury Swiss watches.
 
More than that, it demonstrates Oris’s exceptional know-how and horological ambition, both of which are the fruit of 110 years of mechanical watchmaking experience.

 

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