Guys from the Swiss watchmaking brand Oris have recently presented their new timekeeper that comfortably combines a nicely executed, old-fashioned chronograph with a number of trendy features. Belonging to their Artix series, the watch is rather predictably called Oris Artix GT Chronograph automatic (Ref. 674 7661 4434) and is not only equipped with a trendy black ceramic bezel, but also features a very nice linear “progress bar”-style small seconds indicator.
Although timekeepers that are powered by the good old ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic caliber often look boringly identical to each other with their standard tri-compax layout and the same rudimentary calendar, the new watch somehow manages to look quite unusual thanks to the aforementioned linear seconds indicator.
Neatly placed at 9 hours, it seems to be equipped with a retrograde mechanism that moves a red-painted disk from zero to 60 seconds until it completely fills the thin aperture and then immediately jumps back to restart its cycle. Since the aperture is really thin, you get an almost perfect illusion of a gradually filling, digital-style progress bar.
Simple, but beautiful or, at least, entertaining. The illusion is broken only at the very end of the cycle when you can clearly see that the aperture is emptied not instantly, but gradually in a little bit anticlimactic fashion. Well, making a faster jump would probably require a lot more energy and a lot more comprehensive set of modifications to the mechanism making the watch prohibitively expensive (and with MSRP of $3450 it is not terribly affordable either) for the brand whose specialty is entry-luxury products, not high-end ones.
Another interesting thing about the timepiece is the black ceramic bezel. Engraved with a 60-minute “timer” scale and sporting “Mohs 7” and “1150Hv” inscriptions to prove exceptionally high scratch resistance of the material, the bezel is also fit with a black rubber strip that makes it easier to grip and rotate when needed.
Predictably, the watch shares its alternately brushed and polished stainless steel body with the currently available Artix Chronograph.
Being whole 44 millimeters in diameter, the case is also quite thick at around 15 millimeters, but not excessively so (well, for a sports watch).
The chronograph push-pieces, as well as the setting crown look somewhat vintage, but are clearly easy to operate being large enough even for guys with thick fingers.
This particular ref. 674 7661 4434 model comes equipped with a black rubber strap, but I also hope that there will be a more elegant version on a black leather strap or a steel bracelet. It would be totally awesome.
Oris Artix GT Chronograph Automatic (Ref. 674 7661 4434) specification
Price: $3450 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, linear small seconds module developed by Oris, Swiss Made
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Black ceramic, engraved
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Hour markers: Applied, accompanied by luminous dots
Hands: Luminous, steel
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap; Stainless steel fold-over clasp with safety release, branded
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective