The Oris Motor Sport collection has a new model in its watch-driveway this year. The Oris Williams Engine, Date is the newest in the Williams series that partners with the company known for its motorsports Formula 1 racing team.
The Williams Engine, Date features a partially skeletonized dial in a 42mm stainless steel case that references the engineering firm’s colors and car design elements. This is a break from the other watches under the partnership which includes chronographs and other simple three-hand watches.
The Williams Formula 1 team, based in the U.K., has ranked in the top tier of teams in a sport that has been around since 1950. Although the U.S F1 racing might not be as popular as NASCAR, it has made its mark in a few U.S. races in the last few years.
My first impression reviewing the images of the watch was its striking lines and finish. It reminded me of the Oris BC3 models, even though this dial design is a little busier. The 42mm case has a polished bezel while the rest of the case is brushed with a screwed, stainless steel display back. Its lugs are narrow compared to the dial dimension but integrate nicely into the stainless steel bracelet or rubber strap.
Looking through the flat, sapphire crystal, the dial’s most prominent features are the 9 and 3 applied Arabic numerals that define the primary time reference, while the rest of the hour indicators are typical markers. The 9 and 3 almost look like hands wrapped around the steering wheel with the rest of the dial representing a driver’s view into the dash display. To the right of the 3, is the large, stainless steel railroad-style crown and, like the other big crown models; it will give you plenty to grip.
The anti-reflective coating inside the sapphire crystal removes the glare of the semicircular slots cut into the dial from 10 to 2 o’clock and two other slots between 4 and 8 o’clock positions. These slots enhance the depth of the dial and pay respects to instrument panel similarities on the F1 vehicles. You know the look, right? It’s just like the car you drove to Starbucks today.
The hour and minute hands are black with white Super-LumiNova, while the second hand is blue with a white tip. The blue is also repeated at the base of the date window. Both color uses mimic the Williams F1 brand colors and are more subtle in the reference to Williams than in previous versions. Those versions boldly displayed Williams on the dial. I presume this change will make the watch more appealing to those who don’t follow F1 races. Instead, this model simply lists “Oris” at 3 o’clock and “Automatic” at 9 o’clock.
The movement is the Oris Caliber 733, which is based on the on Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. Sellita’s Swiss roots and business is built on providing movements just like ETA’s pervasive 2924-2 automatic movement, which is what the SW200-1 copies. Oris uses these 26 jewel movements and enhances them with its distinctive red rotor. On this model, the red offers exceptional contrast between the black, anthracite base, which is clearly seen through the mineral crystal back.
The movement is capable of at 38 hour power reserve, with a 100m water resistance, hack set and quick set for the date. All these are pretty standard features to look for in watches at this price point.
Although I didn’t see or wear this watch, other similarly priced Oris watches have a substantial weight and adequate comfort to them. The rubber strap comes with stainless steel folding clasp, which is also available with the stainless steel bracelet. Regardless, the price-point for this watch seems in line with others and represents a decent value for the features.
The watch will list at CHF 1,400 or about $1,440 US. oris.ch
- Brand & Model: Oris Willliams Engine, Date
- Price: CHF 1,400 or $1,440 US
- Who we think it might be for: This is for the automotive-themed fans who know or support motorsports.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I like the Oris brand but am not a fan of this partialy skeletonized dial.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I would consider either exposing more or less of the movement. The lack of symmetry in the dial bothers me.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I like the use of color through the second hand and date window.
- Brand Model: Oris Willliams Engine, Date
- Movement (technology): Automatic movement Oris Cal. 733, based on SW200-1, with date at 6 o’clock, hack set
- Size of case diameter (mm): 42mm
- Height of case: Not listed
- Weight: Not listed
- Case material: Brushed and polished stainless steel
- Case Back: Screwed stainless steel case back with see-through mineral crystal
- Crown: Stainless steel
- Crystal/Glass material: Flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside
- Water resistance (m/ft/atm): 100m
- Strap/Bracelet material: Black rubber strap with stainless steel folding clasp.
- Illumination: Super-LumiNova
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