For the longest time Oris believed its first watch to enter circulation had been the “Big Crown 1938”. But, it turns out they were wrong. That’s what happens when you’ve got a large back catalog and have been around for 100 years.

Image courtesy of: Oris

Image courtesy of: Oris

Because as it turns out the first Oris watch to be manufactured and released to the public, was the “Oris Big Crown 1917”. The brand has been digging further and further into their past catalogue for many of their more recent releases, like the: “Royal Flying Doctors Service” and “ChronOris Date”, among others. But, they may have just hit the farthest back they could go with this pilot’s watch inspired by an archival piece. This style of pilot watch even pre-dates the flieger-style watches, which is German for aviator watches and were produced during the 1940’s for the German Air Force.


The 40mm case is made of stainless-steel with a solid caseback that has an engraving with the company’s original name and logo “OWC – Oris Watch Company”; plus the limited edition number of each individual piece. The “OWC” logo was typically reserved for the 18k gold watches produced by Oris, but they included it here to mark this timepiece as special, in their catalogue.


Image courtesy of: Oris

Also featuring small stubby lugs that provide a nice wrist fit and a time-setting onion-shaped crown, reminiscent of those seen on many modern “pilot” watches released by the Zenith horology brand. Water-resistance on this timepiece can reach up to 50 meters (164 feet).

Image courtesy of: Oris

Image courtesy of: Oris

One of the most unique features on this watch is its mechanical movement. Oris has equipped this timepiece with a standard Sellita SW 200-1 base movement, which is more than adequate enough to display the hours and minutes. But, Oris went the extra mile by further developing this movement in a creative way, while also being loyal to history.


Sellita SW 200-1 base movement * Image courtesy of Wikipedia

So, they developed a pin-lever movement, which means there is no need to pull the crown in order to adjust time. Instead you can simply press down on the pin seen on the case at the 2 o’clock positon and turn the crown; just like it was done 100 years ago.


Image courtesy of: Oris

Time is exhibited on a silver dial with a grain texture and faux-patina colored serif-styled Arabic numerals. Followed by a black charter ring, which serves to display the minute index markers.


Image courtesy of: Oris

All pointed out by blued cathedral-style hour and minute hands with matching faux-patina, as seen on the Arabic numerals. The hands and all the Arabic numerals have been fitted with matching faux-aged SuperLuminova, for an enhanced legibility and to reinforce the desired vintage look on this particular piece.


Image courtesy of: Oris

Oris Big Crown 1917

This “Oris Big Crown 1917” (Ref#: 01 732 7736 4081-Set LS) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 732 with 26 jewels and 28,800 vph. Based on the original Sellita SW 200-1 movement. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 38 hours, when fully wound.


Image courtesy of: Oris

This timepiece comes with two different brown leather straps included to use: a classical strap with metal pins and a cuff-style strap. This a limited edition watch of only 1,917 produced pieces, the exact number of the year they are honoring 1917.

MSRP: $2,600.00 USD

Oris - Ref- 01 732 7736 4081-Set LS_box.tif

Image courtesy of: Oris

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Oris, Big Crown, 1917, Flieger, Aviation, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az