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    

Very Rare Oris Titan Tt1 Titanium Automatic 25j Chronograph Pro Divers WatchOris Big Crown Date Pointer Automatic Men's Watch (excellent Condition) ServicedOris Tt1 Blue Face Oris Carlos Coste Cenote Limited Edition Titanium Divers Mens 674-7655-7184mb Superb Gold Plated Gents Oris Star Automatic Vintage Watch Nos And BoxOris Big Crown Small Second 27 Jewels Automatic Pointer Date WatchOris Pointer Date Mens Watch Midsize AutomaticOris Williams F1 Team Automatic Day Date WatchOris Tt1 Divers Date Mens Watch Oris Bc4 Blue Eagles Limited Edition Automatic Men's Watch 653-7631-4684lsOris Divers Titan 'c' Date Automatic Titanium Mens Watch 643-7637-7454Oris Tt1 Divers Date Mens Watchmodel 733.7533.85.55.rs Needs RepairOris Men's Vintage 7400 Big Crown Pointer Date Automatic Watch 17 Jewels Sa 574OrisMens Vintage 1970s Oris 7317 Automatic Gold Plated 25 Jewel Wrist WatchOris Stainless Steel 25 Jewel Regulator Dive Watch 7502 No ReserveOris Williams F1 Team Aoutmatic Day Date Watch Ref:635-7613-4174mOris Big Crown Gold 2 Tone 17 Jewels Automatic Pointer Date WatchMen's 17 Jewel Oris Wristwatch, Gold Plated, Shock ProtectionOris Date Func 18kgp & St.steel Automatic Silver 2tone Dial SkeletonRare Oris Wrist Alarm Cricket Arabic Dial Mens Gold # 418-7307 Watch $1Vintage New Old Stock, Oris Hand Winding Gents Dress Wristwatch, Swiss MadeOris Williams F1 Team Aoutmatic Daydate WatchOris Mens WatchVintage Oris Automatic 25 Jewels 6450 Day Date Automatic 648 Kif Cal. WorksOris Frank Sinatra Automatic Watch Swiss Made Sapphire CrystallsOris Williams F1 Team Aoutmatic Daydate WatchOris Aquis Titanium Chronograph Grey Dial 7655-72Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 01 754 7628 4364-07 8 20 78 Wrist Watch For MenOris T1 Titanium Automatic Dive Watch, Authentic, Box And PapersOris Big Crown 17 Jewels Automatic Pointer Date WatchOris Williams F1 Team 7634-47 Automatic Mens Diver Day Date 7634-47 WatchAuthentic Oris Williams F1 Team Watch Stainless Steel Day/date AutomaticMen's Oris 7533 Automatic Diver Date Wrist Watch~ No BraceletVintage Oris Special 17 Jewels Women's Watch (excellent Condition) ServicedVintage New Old Stock, Oris Hand Winding Gents Wristwatch, Swiss MadeOris 633 See Thru Stainless Steel Automatic Date Men's Watch & Box & BookletOris Tt1 1000 M Bezel And Insert Oris "pointer" Vintage Ladies Hand Wind WatchVintage Longines Automatic Swiss Made Watch Gold Plated CaseRare Vintage Or Is Pointer Date Mid Size Steel Manual Winding Watch 1950 - 60'sVintage Oris Executive Ultra Flat Men's Watch (mint Condition) ServicedVintage Oris Mens Watch Cal. 451 Swiss Made For Parts RepairVintage 1960's Men's Analog Oris Watch Self Wind Swiss Made Automatic Glow HandsOris Bc3 Air Racing Limited Edition 01 668 7647 7184-set Wrist Watch For Men1960s Gents Oris Watch Spares Or RepairVintage-oris By Cuervo Y Sobrinos-habana.- Manual Wind-ca.1950.-very Nice.- Oris Pro Diver Titanium Chronograph Black Dial Men's Watch 674 7630 7154, MlVtg Lot 3 Mens Wind Up Wrist Watches Oris Calendar Zales For The Blind Weinbros Vintage Oris 15 Jewel Pocket Watch For Repair Cal 421 Rare Vintage Oris 17 Jewels Swiss Made Watch BeautifulMechanical Oris Winding 17 Jewels Analog Watch Men's Made Swiss. Band Leather.Vintage Oris Star Gentlemans Automatic WristwatchOris Bc3 Advanced Day Date Lume Dial 01 735 7641 4766-07 5 22 56bVintage Mechanical Oris Winding 17 Jewels Analog Watch Men's Made SwissGenuine Vintage Gents Men Oris 17 Jewels Winding Wrist WatchRare Or Is Anti-shock Pointer Date & Sub-dial Mid Size Manual Winding Watch 50'sOris Automatic Ladies Wristwatch - Ref 7483Vintage Mechanical Oris Analog Winding 17jewels Wa Men's Swiss (leather Band)Vintage Oris 17 Jewels Hand Winding Swiss Made Watch Water And Shock Resistant