While we’ve reviewed a number of different Oris watches over the years, but I think I’ve settled into my favorite of the bunch coming from their aviation-oriented ProPilot lineup. While I find myself partial to the GMT-equipped one (reviewed here), there is very much an argument to be made for the simpler Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date.
While that GMT I referenced had all sorts of things going on with the dial, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date is positively restrained. The same can’t be said for the name of the watch, but such is life. On the dial side, you’ve got the generously-sized main hands (that are reminiscent of propellor blades), a needle-thin seconds hand, some text, and of course that big date window.
In other words, it’s a cleanly uncluttered dial. Just what you need, and not much more. The use of the flat black – for dial, date disc, and seconds hand – means that things can blend together, and you can just focus in on the contrast of the white against it. In other words, just like a good pilot watch design should do. Unlike many pilot watch designs, the case on the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date is not overly large, at 41mm. Given how thin the bezel is, it actually feels like a smaller watch than that might suggest.
For as thin as a bezel as it is, I do like seeing the angled machining they do on it. When combined with the grooves on the larger crown, it almost puts one in mind of the enmeshing of a pinion gear and ring. Not that these two elements actually touch on the watch, but it’s the essence of it there. It lends a touch of raw “mechanicalness” to the watch, really.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date comes paired onto their superb textile strap, closed up with their seatbelt-latch inspired clasp. I’ve been a fan of the look for some years now, though this time around it didn’t seem to be as comfortable as my memory was indicating. Perhaps rose-colored glasses? I do know, without a doubt, it was not as comfortable as the bracelet on this Oris, but that’s taking things to a completely different level.
That’s but a minor quibble. Wearing the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date around the home office worked just fine. The textile strap definitely gives things a casual feel, which is perfectly fine for summertime weather. Or, frankly, even jeans and sweater weather. The very nature of a three-hander lends itself well to daily wear, and the large date window is a cinch to read at a glance (and a treat to watch flip over as you set the time). So, whether or not you care about the aviation ties in the design of the watch, I think a good many people would be quite pleased to have the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date buckled onto their wrist. oris.ch
- Brand & Model: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date
- Price: $1,550
- Who’s it for? You want a clean three-hander with a date display that doesn’t require your reading glasses (or a cyclops on the crystal)
- Would I wear it? Absolutely
- What I’d change: I’m just wondering if that bracelet from the Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 could be developed in steel and adapted to this watch
- The best thing about it: The dial, the dial, the date window, and the dial
Tech Specs from Oris
- Reference: 01 751 7697 4164-07 5 20 17FC
- MATERIAL: Multi-piece stainless steel case
- SIZE: 41.00 mm, 1.614 inches
- TOP GLASS: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
- CASE BACK: Stainless steel, screwed, see-through mineral glass
- OPERATING DEVICES: Stainless steel screw-in security crown
- WATER RESISTANCE: 10 bar
- INTERHORN WIDTH: 20 mm
- NUMBER: Oris 751, base SW 220-1
- DIMENSIONS: Ø 32.20 mm, 14 1/4’’’
- FUNCTIONS: Centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds, enlarged date window, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
- WINDING: Automatic winding, bi-directionally rotating red rotor
- POWER-RESERVE: 38 hrs
- VIBRATIONS: 28’800 A/h, 4 Hz
- JEWELS: 26
- MATERIAL: Black dial
- LUMINOUS MATERIAL: Numerals and hands Superluminova BG W9
- Strap: Grey textile strap, stainless steel folding clasp