When it comes to tradition, few Swiss watchmakers can beat Oris. After all, the 100-plus-year-old manufacturer only produces mechanical movements, which makes the firm a dinosaur in a world in which electronic movements are commonplace. Its entry into the wristwatches arena was late and somewhat tentative—in 1925, Oris took its pocket watches and retrofitted them with buckles. As for chronographs, Oris didn’t offer one until 1970, when the Chronoris was introduced.

But several things have set the watchmaker apart from its competitors. First was its early interest in creating a timepiece that would be accessible to more than just the wealthiest customers. To that end, Oris pioneered electroplating techniques so it could manufacture and market gold-plated watches that would be less expensive than solid gold ones.

As with the electroplating, Oris is admired for keeping much of its work in house. In the 1930s, the company built its own watch escapements by hand rather that outsourcing that task as many of its competitors did. It even hardened its own brass, to insure that components made from the metal would last a good long time before wearing out. As a result, watches with its 601 movement—with automatic winding and power-reserve—from 1952 are much sought-after by collectors, as are timepieces featuring the 645 movements from 1966.

Another thing that sets Oris apart is it’s more than passing interest in the arts. We expect watchmakers to strike marketing deals with racecar drivers, aviators, and sportsmen. Oris has done all that, and the company has a fine collection of diving, driving, and aviation watches to prove it. But how many watchmakers feature photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe in their advertising? In the early part of the 21st century, Oris even created a series of wristwatches to honor jazz greats from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker to Miles Davis.

Still, those alliances seem conventional compared to the company’s recent collaboration with Bob Dylan. Today, if you go on the Oris website, you can watch a video of Dylan’s 1965 film that accompanied “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” which is probably not the first piece of music that comes to mind when thinking about Swiss watches. The limited edition Dylan watch, a handsome rectangular stainless-steel number with the date in the 6 o’clock position, even includes a greatest-hits CD and a Hohner Marine Band harmonica.

Maybe, as the song says, “you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows,” but it’s still nice to have a watch on your wrist to tell the time.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Oris Mens WatchRare Vintage Oris Pointer - Calendar Watch, Serviced, BeautifulOris Williams F1 Team Aoutmatic Day Date Watch Ref:635 7613 4784rOris Bc3 Advanced Day Date 42mm Men's Automatic Swiss Made WatchOris Formula One WatchOris Williams F1 Team Day Date Automatic Men's Watch 635 7560 4165 Mb2014 Oris Artelier Day Date Steel 45mm Watch 645-7596-4051 Box & DocsVintage Oris Super Mans Gold Watch No ReserveOris Classic Mens WatchOris Williams F1 Team Day/date Automatic Ref. 7560 Men’s WatchRare Men's Oris Automatic With Day & Date Carbon Fiber Dial W/box No ReserveOris 17 Jewels Anti-shock Pointer Date WatchOris Classic Modern AutomaticVintage S/s Oris Mans Watch No ReserveOris Ladies Vintage 7464 Big Crown Pointer Date Automatic Watch & Display BoxAwesome Man's Oris 7594 Automatic WristwatchLimited Edition.: Oris F1 Williams Schumacher Titanium Chronograph Automatic MenVintage S/s Oris Mans Watch No ReserveOris 7523 Swiss Made Automatic Watch 25 Jewels Front Sapphire CrystalOris Vintage Military Style WristwatchOris Rectangular Titan Chronograph Automatic Mens Watch 25 J 674-7625-7064-mbOris Bc4 Blue Eagles Limited Edition Automatic Men's Watch 653-7631-4684lsOris Chronoris Black/orange Dial 01 672 7564 4154-set , Full SetGenuine Oris Goldplated Wristwatch Spares And RepairsOris Titanium 46mm Carlos Costa Limited Ed. 1000m Dive WatchOris Bc4 "der Meisterflieger" Men's Aviation Chronograph Watch 649-7632-4164lsOris Artelier Small Second Date 01 623 7582 4054-07 8 21 73 Wrist Watch For MenOris Pointer Date Cal. 574 Automatic Ref. 7403 Men’s WatchOris Men's Flight Timer Wristwatch Oris F1 AutomaticPre-owned Oris F1 Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel WatchAuthentic Rare Mens Oris, 32mm "big Crown Pointer Date" Automatic, 17jewels Authentic Mens Oris 0173576514764 Tt1 Williams F1 Team Automatic WatchOris Pointer Sub Second Gold & S/s Midsize Automatic Watch!Oris Tt1 38mm Rubber Strap Mens Or Womens WatchOris Bc3 Big Crown Black Dial Auto Date Chrono Ss Sport Watch New In BoxOris Winding 17 Jewels Swiss Men's Watch~bid To Win~no Hidden PriceUnusual Vintage Oris Super Mans Gold Watch No ReserveOris Wrist Watch Alarm Chrome Excellent 418 7307 SwissVintage Oris .gold Plate .caliber 392 Kif. Working Well. Swiss Made.Vintage Oris Twin Date Mans Watch No ReserveOris Gentlemans Wristwatch. Mechanical - Hand Winding - 15 Jewels. Circa 1965.Five Watch Heads Eta 2390, 2451 .felsa 1560. Peseux 320. Oris 392 For SparesVintage Gents Wristwatch Oris Mechanical Watch Spares Or Repair 454 Kif SwissOris Wristwatch 7j Movement Cal 67124mm Watch Rubber Band Silicone Strap.bracelet&s/s Buckle For Oris Tt1 F1 ChronOris Anti - Shock Gentlemans Mechanical Wristwatch. Circa 1960.4 Early 1980`s Gents Watches For Spares / Repairs, Oris, Montine , Swiss, EtcOris Winding 17 Jewels Swiss Men's Watch~bid To Win~no Hidden PriceOris Bc4 Retrograde Day With Box & Papers30 X Vintage Mechanical Watch Movements Inc. Rotary / Roamer / Avia / OrisOris Vintage Gold Plated Gents Watch 31mm AcrossLadies 7jewel Chromium, Deco Style Oris Watch.Vintage Men's Oris Watch2 Vintage Oris Military Men's Wind-up Wristwatches For Restoration No Reserve Vintage Oris Piepan Dial Winding Mens Watch