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Thread: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

  1. #1
    Master
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    A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Apologies for the pics chaps, they ain't great. My first foray into reviewdom too.

    I bought this one about ten years ago – my first ‘proper’ watch. It was in a jeweler, Terrence Lett, in Witney, West Oxfordshire, where I was living at the time. They’d lost the Oris franchise and were selling the remaining stock off cheap. I’d always liked Orises, so it was too good to miss. I bit the guy’s arm off – one for me and one for my ex-wife.

    I’m embarrassed to say I know very little about these – and a web search doesn’t really turn up much of any use. Any Orisisti in the parish who can tell me more?

    Mine is still in fine shape, runs well indeed – all the more so as it’s just been serviced by The Watch Doctor in Tring. They repaired the screw-down crown (how excited was I when I found out it had one of those!)

    It's one of the few mechs I'll wear on the tennis court - it just exudes a sort of "I'm so well-hewn from a block of solid stainless that a few bashes aren't going to hurt me!"



    27 jewel self-winding movement, waterresistant to 50m and the case, according to the back (which is sapphire) the case is all stainless steel.



    It still keeps exceptional time years after I bought it, and it gets more compliments than almost any other watch I have.


  2. #2
    Grand Master boddah's Avatar
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Still looking good after a decade of wear :D
    "I looked with pity not untinged with scorn upon these trivial-minded passers-by"

  3. #3
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Which is more than can be said of the owner after four of 'em :D

  4. #4
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Nice - I like those classic designs from Oris, and they do as well - the Big Crown pointer date has been around for decades, as far back as 1938 in terms of general appearance.

    There has been a stack of variations on the Big Crown theme since the early '80s when Oris went back to putting purely mechanical movements in its watches (it had a bad time in the 70s as a Swatch-owned company which positioned the brand somewhere below Tissot, kind of like a Swatch for older people). Your one, with a small-seconds subdial, is one of many - the small-second version was used as the basis for a several limited-ed versions in the late 90s. Some had the big crown, some had standard crowns.

    A couple of jewellers in London lost their Oris franchise a few years ago and were knocking out unsold Big Crowns and Classics for half-price, and I'm kicking myself for not taking advantage; £200 for a new watch whose equivalent now costs well over £700...
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  5. #5
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Oris Big Crown watches are excellent value and mine was the first NEW mechanical watch I purchased. Some years ago Oris were advertising regularly in the Sunday colour supplements where I was impressed with the design. My "big crown" has been moved on to another owner after being in my collection for ten years.

    Cheers

    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  6. #6

    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Funnily enough I have been wearing my big crown for the last few days. It was my first Mechanical watch and was given to me as a leaving to university gift. I wore it every day during my degree, and still like to get the old faithful out now and again. They are well made and it has never let me down.


  7. #7
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    I think that Oris are maybe still suffering from the fact that at one time they used pin pallets instead of jewelled pallets in their "in house" escapements. But TTBOMK these days they use all ETA based jewelled pallet movements. Pin pallets were used mainly in "cheap" watches but apparently Oris pin pallets were better quality than most and compared very favourably with jewelled pallets.

    Cheers

    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  8. #8
    Grand Master
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Quote Originally Posted by sundial
    I think that Oris are maybe still suffering from the fact that at one time they used pin pallets instead of jewelled pallets in their "in house" escapements. But TTBOMK these days they use all ETA based jewelled pallet movements. Pin pallets were used mainly in "cheap" watches but apparently Oris pin pallets were better quality than most and compared very favourably with jewelled pallets.
    That's a good point. And it's a shame that after Oris demonstrated that it could produce a pin-pallet movement capable of the same performance (if not longevity) as a jewelled-pallet movement, they ended up being bought by the competition that held them down for so long (not being permitted to make jewelled-pallet movement), and stuffed then even down at the bottom of the market, making cheap'n'cheerful low-end quartzes. Kind of the Swatch of their day. After 12 years of this, there was an MBO and they went back to making purely mechanical watches. And now we have the Pro Diver :)
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  9. #9
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    I like that bezel, almost snake/worm like in appearance.

  10. #10

    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Still looking good ,thanks for sharing . :bounce:

  11. #11
    Master
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    I have two Oris watches, first a Big Crown Pointer Date

    And a Big Crown Diver.

    Ooooops, sorry make that three, my seldom worn Rectangular.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Re: A very short review and a bit of a question - Oris Big Crown

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu
    I like that bezel, almost snake/worm like in appearance.
    It's called a ''Coin Edge'' bezel.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    Apologies for the pics chaps, they ain't great. My first foray into reviewdom too.

    I bought this one about ten years ago – my first ‘proper’ watch. It was in a jeweler, Terrence Lett, in Witney, West Oxfordshire, where I was living at the time. They’d lost the Oris franchise and were selling the remaining stock off cheap. I’d always liked Orises, so it was too good to miss. I bit the guy’s arm off – one for me and one for my ex-wife.

    I’m embarrassed to say I know very little about these – and a web search doesn’t really turn up much of any use. Any Orisisti in the parish who can tell me more?

    Mine is still in fine shape, runs well indeed – all the more so as it’s just been serviced by The Watch Doctor in Tring. They repaired the screw-down crown (how excited was I when I found out it had one of those!)

    It's one of the few mechs I'll wear on the tennis court - it just exudes a sort of "I'm so well-hewn from a block of solid stainless that a few bashes aren't going to hurt me!"



    27 jewel self-winding movement, waterresistant to 50m and the case, according to the back (which is sapphire) the case is all stainless steel.



    It still keeps exceptional time years after I bought it, and it gets more compliments than almost any other watch I have.

    I remember seeing these in a jewellers in Chester in the 1990s. I remember thinking at the time that I really liked these.

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