The quartz crisis of the 1970s shifted the watch industry in a lot of ways. For one, digital timepieces were taking over, as they were cheaper to make and more apropos of the era. Also, many of the Swiss brands that survived despite holding on to traditional watchmaking got swept up by larger firms, and emphasis on in-house calibers gave way to outsourced movements.
Founded in 1904, Oris had over 270 in-house movements under its belt prior to the quartz crisis. Yet, from the 1970s up until a decade ago, the brand’s production of unique mechanisms was put on pause. That all changed in 2014 when the company launched the first in-house product as part of its Movement Creation Program with the manual Calibre 110. And in 2020, the Calibre 400 powered the brand’s first in-house automatic watch in decades.
Today, Oris celebrates ten years of the Movement Creation Program with its first release of the year, the Big Crown Calibre 473, which also debuts its tenth in-house movement, a hand-wound caliber that took four years to develop. Using the base of the Calibre 403 automatic, the new manual movement improves the anti-magnetism and has five days of power reserve, as indicated by a detailed meter display visible through the exposed caseback. Encased in the 38mm stainless steel housing, the beautiful, vintage-inspired turquoise dial features hours and minutes hands, a red-tipped hand that points to the date along the outer ring, and a small seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock spot.
Debuting in 1938, the Big Crown hasn’t gotten an in-house manual movement in over 40 years. The Big Crown Calibre 473 is now available from Oris’ website for $4,400.