Oris, an independent watchmaking brand, has officially presented its 2011 Big Crown X1 Calculator (ref. 01 675 7648 4264-Set 5 23 77) “aviator.” Featuring the traditional coin-shaped bezel and an easy to read dial, the new model doesn’t look particularly original, but it still makes a nice impression with its high build quality and attention to even the smallest details.
Well, I guess most of you have already noticed that the watch has a certain “Breitling” smell about it.
The source of the (not unpleasant) odor is, of course, the fluted bezel and the slide rule that makes the X1 Calculator very much alike the legendary Breitling Navitimer and other aviators from the great “winged B”.
I can’t say that I like the similarities, but let’s get down to business.
According to official info, the watch will be supplied in an oversized 46 mm stainless steel case with attractive grey gunmetal PVD treatment. On an average wrist, this oversized monster takes almost all available space and the long lugs are not helping at making the problem any less glaring. On the other hand, if you are looking particularly for this kind of effect, you may actually like this timekeeper since it, unlike many competitors, doesn’t look like it was artificially inflated: all elements of the case and dial look proportional to each other.
The dial, while certainly overloaded with info, brilliantly performs its main function –telling time– thanks to a pair of huge hour and minute hands.
On the black background of the central part of the dial, they look contrast and strike the eye with white Superluminova.
Unfortunately, Oris still can’t afford an in-house caliber of its own and definitely doesn’t want to bother itself with buying “history” hand-wound chronograph movements, so they simply equipped the timekeeper with the tried and true ETA Valjoux 7750 ebauche.
The movement, which is only slightly decorated, is known for its reliability and serviceability, so the choice is practical, if not original.
More than that, with a list price of $3950 USD, the X1 is expensive, but the price is, at least partially, justified by the automatic caliber that Oris used to power this new model: it is not that easy to find a watch that is animated by one of those legendary 775x workhorses instead of the usual combination of an inexpensive ETA (or Sellita) three-hander with an add-on complication model that not only makes the whole product more, well, complicated to service, but also makes it overall less reliable.
Oris Big Crown X1 Calculator (ref. 01 675 7648 4264-Set 5 23 77) specification
Price: $3950 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Decorated winding rotor with Oris logo
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, day of the week, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel; grey gunmetal PVD
Size: 46.00 mm
Lug width: 23 mm
Case height: 15.50 mm
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Leather strap with contrast stitching and PVD-treated pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective