More than 75 years after Oris made its first pilot’s watch, the company announces the launch of the most innovative pilot’s watch in its history – the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, the world’s first automatic mechanical watch with a mechanical altimeter.
The new Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter is the latest in a long line of Oris pilot’s watches, stretching back to 1938. It represents an innovation pioneered by Oris in its Hölstein factory, and the world’s first and patented automatic mechanical watch with a mechanical altimeter.
This new pilot watch demonstrates Oris’s exceptional watchmaking know-how and horological ambition, both of which have been built up over 110 years of watchmaking history.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter has been developed entirely by Oris to serve as a high-performance instrument for pilots, mountaineers, explorers and research scientists, who work at altitude.
Its sturdy 47mm multi-piece stainless steel case houses an Oris automatic movement, and a Swiss mechanical barometric altimeter and barometer movement.
One of the biggest challenges facing Oris engineers was the design of the altimeter hand itself. Making the altimeter mechanism small enough to fit inside a wristwatch meant the hand had to be extremely lightweight, but stiff enough to avoid tolerances and therefore inaccurate readings. The solution was to create it from laminated carbon fibre, making the hand seven times lighter, but 10 times stiffer than the average watch hand.
Another challenge was how to protect the inner workings of the watch from moisture when the altimeter is activated. Oris patented a new altimeter adjustment and venting crown, which prevents moisture from entering the watch using a membrane made of PTFE, which creates a vapour barrier.
The above mentioned aspects are covered by an Oris patent i.e. the multi-function adjustment venting crown, the co-axial layout of the watch and altimeter movements, including a skeletonised movement holder, and the carbon fibre altimeter hand.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter has two crowns. The crown at 2 o’clock is a conventional crown to adjust the time and date, and to wind the watch as necessary (the automatic movement has a 38-hour power reserve).
A second screw-down crown at 4 o’clock operates the altimeter. When screwed down into ‘Position 0’, the altimeter is inactive and the watch is water-resistant to 10 bar. The altimeter is activated by unscrewing the crown into ‘Position 1’, indicated by a red ring.
When the crown is pulled out into ‘Position 2’, the altimeter can be calibrated. Once set, the watch shows the current altitude via the yellow indicator, and the corresponding air pressure via the red indicator.
The altitude scale is around the outer dial ring; it can measure altitude up to 15,000 feet or 4,500 metres (two models have been produced, one with a scale in feet, one in metres).
The air pressure scale is recessed between the altimeter scale and the central dial. Once the altimeter is no longer required, the crown can be returned to Position 0 by screwing it down, resealing the watch case and ensuring it is once again water-resistant to 10 bar.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter is available with Feet or Metre scales.
Model: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter
733 7705 4134 TS/LS/MB: Feet Scale version with textile, leather or steel strap
733 7705 4164 TS/LS/MB: Metre Scale version with textile, leather or steel strap
Oris automatic mechanical movement Calibre 733, basedon SW200 with date window at 3 o’clock
Integrated Swiss mechanical barometric altimeter and barometer movement
Dimensions: Ø 25.60 mm, 11 1/2’’’
Centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date window, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
Vibrations: 28’800 A/h, 4 Hz
Power reserve: 38 hours
Multi-piece stainless steel case
Case diameter: 47mm
Lug width: 23mm
Sapphire crystal domed and with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Screwed stainless steel case with special engravings
Screw-in stainless steel crowns. Patented Oris altimeter adjustment and venting crown, incl. a PTFE vapour barrier
Water-resistant to 10 bar/100m
Black dial with printed Arabic numerals filled with Super-LumiNova®, same as hour and minute hands
Altimeter hand made from laminated carbon fibre
Textile strap with stainless steel folding clasp
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter is available in three different textile straps: grey, green and black
Also available with leather strap or metal bracelet
Swiss Retail Price
CHF 3,300 with textile strap, CHF 3,500 with metal