Bronze has a big place in watchmaking. Especially on dive watches because the metal has a long history of nautical usage. So, the fact that Oris have produced many bronze timepieces like the Divers Sixty-Five Cotton Candy is no surprise. In fact, they like the material so much they’re using it again, on the new Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze.
The basic style of the watch is the same. It has a 41mm diameter case with the typical ProPilot bezel, which has a form of angled fluting. The major difference is of course the fact it’s made of bronze. That means it will gain a patina over time to become truly unique, with a distinctive weathered look. Not everyone likes that fact about bronze, but if you want your pilot’s watch to really show the thousands of miles you’ve travelled then it makes some sort of sense.
However, it’s not just the case which has changed, because the dial has also had minor tweaks. It still has highly legible Arabic numerals in stark white with plenty of lume against a dark, matte dial, but the minute track has had a change of colour. Instead of matching the white of the numerals, it’s now a golden colour to match the bronze case. It’s a small change but a welcome one that really ties everything together.
As for the movement inside, that is also a staple of the ProPilot Big Date collection. Oris call it the Oris 751 automatic calibre, but in reality, it’s just the Sellita SW220-1. The 38-hour power reserve isn’t spectacular and since Oris have shown that they can produce stellar movements of their own, it’s a tad disappointing. However, it does keep the price down.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze is £1,650 and comes on a Ventile fabric strap. It’s not a watch that will change your world but it’s a nice addition to the range. Diehard fans of bronze will rejoice and everyone else can stick to stainless steel without an issue. Personally, I think the watch suits the earthier tones of the case, it gives it a faint khaki field watch vibe.
Price & Specs:
Model: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze
References: 01 751 7761 3164-07 3 20 03BRLC
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 12.40mm height, bronze case, black dial
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Oris 751 calibre (base: Sellita SW220-1), automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Green Ventile®
More details at Oris.