Where nostalgia and innovation meet.
Now that 2023 is in full swing we are starting to see what the luxury watch community has been working on. One of the early announcements has come from Oris and it is a doozy. Allow me to introduce you to the Oris Big Crown 473 and the all-in-house hand-wound movement.
The Oris Big Crown is arguably the most iconic collection for Oris (at least it’s my favorite) and has been the focus of some great limited and special edition pieces. Until 2014 Oris used Sellita or ETA movements in the Big Crown but in a push to create something truly special Oris decided to focus on developing special in-house movements for the Big Crown and other key Oris collections. The first of these Calibres was the 110 which saw use in many of the Pro Pilot and Artelier watches. In 2019 Oris's first in-house skeletonized movement the 115 was introduced. The 115 is still being made but best of luck to the collector trying to acquire one (seriously if you think getting a Rolex is tough try getting a hold of one of these). In 2020 the Calibre 400 was introduced by Oris and was used in a great deal of Aquis. Now it’s 2023 and watches collectors have gotten used to seeing Oris surpass themselves year after year. Wow us Oris.
And wow they did they, Oris is now treading where the giants of watchmaking have walked. The 473 is a serious watch deeply refined from every angle, but we’ll get to that. The first and obvious place to start is the movement. First, it’s hand-wound so there is no rotor, and is extremely resistant to magnetism meaning that the watch will keep excellent time. The power reserve on this watch is a whopping 120 hours. On the caseback there is a power reserve indicator letting you know just how much time you have before you will need to wind it.
The other really amazing refinement of this watch is the butterfly strap. This may seem small and inconsequential but it adds to the not only finished look of the watch and also allows the wearer to make small adjustments to the size without ruining the leather. Every little detail of this watch is really a showcase of Oris’s attention to detail. The case is 38” and the buckle and strap aren’t thick or oversized compared to the size of the case resulting in a finished product that just looks and feels so great.
As for price, this watch is available for $4,400. Now you can get similar-looking watches for around 2,000 but they will have either a Sellita or Eta movement. You are also getting the 10-year warranty that comes with all Oris in-house movements. The weakness of the simplicity of this watch is also its strength. There are some who will see this and nod their heads and say “that’s nice but I can get a similar look from a Fossil or Timex”. Absolutely no shade on those brands, my first watch was a Timex but as with most luxury brands shy away from the big labels and overall showiness and instead focus on creating an excellent product.
When you break down the Oris 473 and everything that goes into it while comparing it against brands that share space with Oris the price of the Big Crown 473 makes sense. There are brands out there that have a similar focus on in-house movements but are starting to cut corners on case design, materials, and other things of that nature. Oris on the other hand has either doubled down on design and manufacturing standards or kept in place the things that are working well for them. This is in perfect step with Oris’s overall goal to create luxury quality swiss watches for every person from every walk of life.
I think this watch appeals to people for different reasons. There are people who will go after this watch because they collect the Oris Calibres, which is awesome that’s a great collection to have. Others are drawn to the complexities of the movement itself and that's a major factor for them when they are adding to their collection. This watch will be added to my collection because of pure nostalgia. I remember when I was 8 or so watching my grandad wind his watches and get them ready for his week. That’s what I love the most about the 473, it appeals to so many people for so many reasons. Oris encourages people to “Go their own way” to express their love for watches in ways that are unique to them.
We here at Laura Z Tai in Lancaster PA are extremely proud to be able to offer this fantastic brand to Collectors in the area as a certified dealer. These watches are on their way to us as we speak directly from Switzerland and will be here to see in person on the 22 of January. If you are in the Lancaster, Harrisburg, or Reading area please schedule an appointment and we will be happy to introduce you to this amazing brand if you haven’t seen them before or to help you find your next piece if you are a collector.