When it comes to tracking multiple time zones on a watch, you’ve got quite a few options.  You of course have GMT complications (with an additional hand on the dial), world times (with all the time zones showing up), simple 12-hour bezels that can allow you track another time zone, as well as watches that show the time in a subdial.  That’s what we have here with the just-announced Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer.

Now, in our February Oris review I looked at a more traditional GMT-equipped model, and I came away impressed with the overall look and feel of the watch.  On this Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer, a lot of the elements that I liked have continued forward – a solid case design (with the knurled bezel and crown), a great handset, and the seat-belt style buckle and deployant clasp on the textile strap.

While there are a lot of similarities to the Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer is different in very big way.  For starters, instead of the central GMT hand, you’ve got the second time zone showing up in the subdial at 3 o’clock.  Ok, that’s feeling sort of standard, as is the date window and the day/night indicator.  Let’s ask a question, though.  How is it that you set that time on the subdial?

Often, on watches like these, you would have some pushers.  And, in fact, the original version of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer (released back in 1997) had just such an arrangement.  Here, however, you control things with the bezel.  Twist it clockwise a bit, and the hour hand moves forward an hour.  Twist it counter-clockwise, and it goes back an hour.  Now, for all you mechanical watch folks, you just became nervous, because what if you move the hour back across midnight (Say, from 1 AM to 11 PM)?  Have no fear – Oris specifically built their module to be able to handle that without causing any problems.

That module sitting on top of the ETA 2836 movement to enable the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer to do it’s thing sparked a good bit of conversation for our team.  In short, we like seeing this sort of cleverness, and it’s refreshing to see a clever innovation like this that manages to clean up the case lines while hiding it’s technical wizardry in (almost) plain site.  If you’d like to pick one up, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer is available now at a price of $3,600 (on the textile strap with that clever buckle) or $3,850 on a steel bracelet (or crocodile strap).  This is another strong entry from Oris, and we’re hoping to see one in person soon.  oris.ch

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer
  • Price: $3,600 (textile strap), $3,850 (bracelet or crocodile strap)
  • Who we think it might be for: You want to a watch that does clever mechanical things without the cleverness being obvious
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? I still find myself preferring GMT hands to this style, so probably not
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be:  The day-night indicator feels almost like an afterthought
    What spoke to me the most about this watch: The bezel-controlled hour hand adjustment

Tech Specs from Oris

  • Automatic movement Oris Cal. 690, based on ETA 2836-2, with adjustable hour hand for local time, subsidiary second time zone with hour and minute hands and day and night indicator (home time) at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock. Date window at 3 o’clock with patented backward date adjustment function
  • Coin-edged rotating bezel with polished top ring for local time adjustment.  Local time hour hand moved forwards or backwards by turning bezel clockwise or anti-clockwise
  • Multi-piece stainless steel case and screw-in security crown. Water-resistant to 10 bar/100 metres
  • Sapphire crystal domed on both sides with anti-reflective coating inside
  • Screwed stainless steel case back with transparent mineral glass
  • Anthracite dial with sunray pattern and Super-LumiNova® printed numerals.  Polished nickel hour and minute hands filled with Super-LumiNova®. White small seconds and second time zone hands
  • Dark brown Louisiana crocodile leather strap with Oris-patented buckle for stageless length adjustment. Alternatively available with dark brown or grey calf leather strap, with stageless length adjustment buckle, or stainless steel metal bracelet with stainless steel folding clasp
  • Swiss retail price CHF 3,600 with Louisiana crocodile leather strap or metal bracelet, CHF 3,400 on calf leather strap
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Last Update: August 18, 2017