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    

Stunning Big Crown Oris Commander Automatic 644 Military Style Midsize WatchExcellent Oris Diver 300m, Automatic 733,date,ss,men'sOris Flight Timer 2 Day Date Big Crown Pilot Swiss Automatic WatchMen's Oris Tt1 Diver's Automatic Titanium Watch 01 733 7594Oris Divers Titan 'c' Small Second, Date Titanium 47mmOris Tt1 Titanium Professional Regulator Auto 1000m Diver Men WatchOriginal Mens 1950s Vintage Oris Date Calender Pointer WatchOris Blue Aquis (newest Diver) Big Crown Swiss Automatic (+custom Leather Band!)Oris Miles Tonneau Chronograph Daydate Automatic Watch Ref:675 7532 4061Oris Pro Diver Titanium Chronograph Black Dial 1000m/3281ft Diver Watch Oris Aquis Ceramic Date Ref 01 733 7653 4155-07 8 26 01pebMen's Oris Tt1 Day-date 2000 Stainless Steel W/ Box And Papers No ResOris Tt1 Titan Titanium Divers WatchOris Pointer Date Silver Case Automatic 25 Jewels Big CrownOris Tt3 Chronograph Black Rubber Strap Men's Watch 674-7611-7764rs Msrp $3975Oris Automatic Day/date Moonphase Watch 7433bOris Automatic Power Reserve WatchOris Tt1 Divers Model 7533p Wrist Watch For MenVintage Oris 7471 Tonneau Date Man's Stainless Steel Lattice Dial Automatic 27jOris Bc4 "der Meisterflieger" Men's Aviation Chronograph Watch 649-7632-4164lsOris Military Dial Bc3 7500 25 Jewels Automatic Very Soild Good Lumibrite V/g/cMens Oris 7546 Artelier Day Date MoonphaseOris Crown Big Xxl Military Pilot 43m Pointer Date Automatic Gents Swiss Watch Unisex Oris Watch Automatic Day-date 7501 Stainless Crystal Rubber Band SwissOris Pro Diver Titanium Chronograph Black Dial 1000m/3281ft Diver Watch Authentic Men's Oris Classic Date Automatic Black Dial Watch 01 733 7594Vintage Oris Shock Resistant 17 Jewels Men's Watch (great Condition) ServicedVintage Gents Gold Plated Gents Oris Waterproof Dress Watch Cal 392Vintage Oris Red Pointer Date Calendar Watch With Cal 704 Manual MovementOris Big Crown Propilot Altimeter Watch With Feet Scale In Case/box With ManualOris Big Crown Date Stealth (newest Style!) Pilot Diver Swiss Automatic WatchOris Big Crown With ChronographOris Bc3 Air Racing Silver Lake Edition Day/date Automatic WatchUnusual 1945 Services Navigator Oris 292 Vintage Pilot Style Midsize Retro WatchOris Vintage 17 Jewel Manual Wind - For Spares Or RepairRare Vintage Oris Pointer - Calendar Watch, Serviced, BeautifulOris Big Crown Date Stealth Grey Automatic Men's Luxury Watch 733-7629-4263lsJoblot 8x Vintage Watches Poljot Accurist Sekonda Oris Spares/rep Rolled Gold NrOris AutomaticMint Military Dial Oris 15j Cp/ss W'prf Cased Gents Watch 1940/50's+new StrapVintage Gents Men Oris 17 Jewels Incabloc Winding Swiss Wrist WatchVintage Gents Men Oris 17 Jewels Incabloc Winding Swiss Wrist WatchVintage Oris Winding 17 Jewels Swiss Men's Watch~~lot355-a826Oris Swiss Men's Wind-up Watch 4u2fix, No Reserve.Genuine Vintage Gents Men Oris 17 Jewels Incabloc Winding Wrist WatchVintage Siro (oris Watch Co) Wrist WatchLadies Vintage Oris Wristwatch. Fully Working And Original Box..Genuine Vintage Oris Hand Winding 17j Swiss Made Men's Watch - Working 100%Vintage Oris Winding 17 Jewels Swiss Men's Watch~~lot144-a942Vintage Oris Winding 17 Jewels Swiss Men's Watch~~lot355-a831Oris Mens Swiss Automatic Stainless WatchGenuine Vintage Oris Hand Winding 17j Swiss Made Men's Watch - Bid And WinVintage Oris Special, Unbreakable Mainspring, Hand Winding, 17 Jewels1950's Vintage Oris Military "pointer Calendar" 583 Kif Manual Winding WatchGenuine Vintage Oris Wristwatch Cal 654 Kif For Spares Or RepairVintage/retro Oris, Citizen, Roamer, Montine, Sekonda & More. Watch Joblot.Oris Stainless Steel & Rose Gold Bracelet Brand New Unused 19mmVintage Oris Special, Unbreakable Mainspring, Hand Winding, 17 JewelsVintage Oris Mens Wristwatch,waterproof, Antishock 10 Microns Gold Plated.Swiss “oris” Man’s 48 Mm Open Face Pocket Watch. 81y