In 1938, Oris came out with its first pilot’s watch, made with a bigger crown to aid airmen who could easily adjust the time while wearing their leather gloves. It was one year prior to the second World War, so the timing was perfect. Today, the Swiss watchmaker has debuted what just may be the ultimate pilot’s watch for the modern-day.
Debuting at Watches and Wonders 2022, the Oris Propilot X Calibre 400 was built on the tenet that the mechanics of watches should be seen and understood, proposing that this is, in fact, the reason why people still love mechanical watches so much. The see-through sapphire glass on the case back depicts the watch’s unique movement, highlighting a timepiece that’s made to appeal from both the front and the rear.
First unveiled two years ago, Oris’ in-house Calibre 400 movement takes the ball bearing system of a typical automatic movement — what some people see as its foible — and replaces it with a low-friction slide bearing system, which will thus lead to less wear and tear on the movement and gives Oris the confidence to offer a 10-year warranty on its performance. Adding to the movement’s premium nature are the twin barrels that allow for a five-day power reserve and the robust anti-magnetism, as it’s constructed with over 30 non-ferrous components such as silicon, yielding a resistance to magnetic fields up to 2,250 gauss.
The watch comes in at a perfect 39mm, with an angular case and streamlined bracelet constructed from lightweight titanium. A turbine-style bezel (which is mimicked on the case back) surrounds the dial, of which there are three to choose from in blue, gray, and the standout salmon. The bracelet also features a unique, spring-loaded clasp that adds a bit of functional whimsy to the watch. In many ways the perfect modern pilot’s watch, Oris’ Propilot X Calibre 400 retails for $4,300 and is available now from the brand’s online store.