BRONZE AGE
Watch Time|September - October 2020
Following the current trend, Oris has encased its design icon, the Big Crown Pointer Date, in warm bronze — not only the case but the bezel, the namesake big crown, and even the dial. We tested the watch in real-life situations.
Martina Richter

Bronze, a metallic compound based on a minimum of 60 percent copper, is one of the first alloys to be created and used by humans. These days it’s a popular material for watch cases, and just about every brand has bronze models in its portfolio.

But admittedly, you have to like how this material changes color to appreciate it. Bronze reacts when exposed to air. This causes its surface to oxidize over time but has no effect on the properties of the material such as durability and resistance to corrosion. The color change simply marks the passing of time. What other material could be better suited for products that reflect time’s passage? Especially when it’s a timepiece like the Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date, our test watch, which has a design that alludes to its past.

In 1938, Oris introduced a watch with an oversized crown that could be operated by pilots wearing gloves. It also featured large Arabic numerals and arrow-shaped markers to enhance legibility, a fluted crown, and an arrow-shaped hand with a red tip to indicate the date. The Big Crown Pointer Date watch became an established part of the Oris history and was never taken out of production. For more than 80 years, it survived all the ups and downs, social upheavals, numerous trends, and fads, and has been regarded as a trademark of the Oris brand. In fact, without this timelessly beautiful timepiece, Oris may not have achieved its current reputation as a high-quality, independent Swiss watch brand.

Bronze Marks Oris’s Industrial Philosophy

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