The Holy Faith In Mechanics: How Oris Has Kept Watchmaking Traditions

The Holy Faith In Mechanics: How Oris Has Kept Watchmaking Traditions
The Holy Faith In Mechanics: How Oris Has Kept Watchmaking Traditions

Video: The Holy Faith In Mechanics: How Oris Has Kept Watchmaking Traditions

Video: Who's Who of Watchmaking: MB&F 2022, November
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- In 1981, you became the owner of a company that was once the largest watchmaker in Europe. Have you decided to keep the “face” of the brand or start from scratch?

- One of the points of that deal was the final closure of its own production and a complete transition to the ETA mechanisms. But my partner Rolf Portman and I had a deep faith in mechanics and therefore we were modifying third-party calibers with our modules. For example, we have designed a date and day of the week hand indicator and a non-linear power reserve indicator. But we always remembered that in its history the Oris manufactory created 273 calibers, so in 2014, in honor of its 110th anniversary, they released a movement entirely developed by our craftsmen in Helstein. Many of the parts for it, however, were made by suppliers on our special order.

- Are you not going to return the full manufacture of calibers one day?

- I don’t think so. It's still too expensive. Once upon a time, 600 people worked in our factories, and today only 65 work in Switzerland.

Oris watches Artelier Caliber 112
Oris watches Artelier Caliber 112

Oris Artelier Caliber 112 © Oris Press Archive

- How did you manage to find a sales market for your mechanics in the mid-1980s?

- You will not believe - in Japan. It would seem that the quartz revolution came from the Land of the Rising Sun, but it was there that there were many young people who adored mechanics: they liked that the clock was ticking, that it could be wound, that it was possible to examine the mechanism. So our first market was Japan, where Oris watches were sold in fashion boutiques or accessory stores. Then, in the late 1980s, London-based designer Paul Smith bought our watches and began selling them in his fashion boutique near Covent Garden, saying that they were very much in line with the style of his collections.

- How does the 112 caliber that you presented this year differ from its predecessors?

- It also has a date window and a non-linear power reserve indicator, and the stock itself is 10 days. As for the new complications, a second time zone was added, combined with a dual day / night indicator in the form of sun and moon. All functions can be operated with one crown.

Oris watches Carl Brashear Limited Edition
Oris watches Carl Brashear Limited Edition

Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Watch © Oris Press Office Archive

- Oris is known for limited edition watches dedicated to outstanding people. Who became this year's hero?

- The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition honors the memory of Carl Brashear, the first African American to become a senior submariner in the United States Navy. He is featured in the film Man of Honor, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. He had to overcome a lot in life - racial prejudice, injury, leg amputation, so the history of this watch is very emotional. For the hull, we chose bronze, from which a sealed diving helmet was made - over time it will become patina. The model will be produced in a series of 2,000 pieces.>

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