By now you’ve all seen and heard the fanfare surrounding Oris’ latest release—the sharp and structural Big Crown ProPilot X 115 that exploded across the internet recently. A heavily produced launch in Manhattan (the country’s unofficial heart of watch collecting), drawing in a large volume of social media personalities and media ensured that the ProPilot X 115 garnered ample attention, and all told the resounding feedback has been positive. Visually speaking this piece is a significant departure from Oris’ more tool-focused aesthetics, and the more I’ve looked at it the more impressed I’ve become. The new titanium-cased beast is a great exercise in going bold without color, and at least visually it’s one of the better skeletonized pieces I’ve seen all year. When it comes to movement skeletonization, things will only go two ways—fantastic, or horribly wrong—and thankfully Oris landed firmly in the former category.
Though aesthetically this is an all-new watch, the piece isn’t really new-from-scratch in some respects. Those familiar with the brand will be familiar with the caliber 11x line, specifically the several variations of in-house manufacture movements which all boast a 10-day power reserve. To create the 115, the brand went back to the original base design of the caliber 110, which also used subdials for running seconds and power reserve indication. From there the skeletonization process began, and as you can see the majority of components in the caliber needed to be either redesigned or finished using a different process to suit the planned aesthetic of the new release.
A closer inspection also reveals a repositioning of its running seconds subdial when compared to the 110—a move that actually returns the running seconds indication to the location of the caliber’s seconds wheel. In the 110, additional gearing was used in order to create symmetry on its dial, which wasn’t necessary with the ProPilot X 115. Though starting from an existing base in terms of basic caliber engineering, developing this piece was no small undertaking, and is deserving of much more credit than the countless “here’s a new dial” releases we see day-in and day-out.
There’s a lot going on beneath the sapphire crystal of the ProPilot X 115, but we can’t ignore the overall aesthetics of its case and bracelet that tie the rest of the package together. Unlike so much else from the Oris catalog these days, the brand went for a much more edgy and futuristic design with this piece. You can still see the essence of the ProPilot line shining through, especially in the ridging that is applied in the same form on its bezel as it is on its rehaut, caseback, and crown. Its bracelet is also distinct in the fact that its outer links taper in thickness, following the profile that comes off of its end links. Though not extensively covered during the launch, the ProPilot X 115 is also available on a perforated leather rally strap, though it maintains its prominent end links.
And now we’re left with the one big question—what will this bad boy cost? The ProPilot X 115 has been listed at $7,600 USD, which is no small chunk of change. Granted it doesn’t face much in the way of competition, but that’s still a big chunk of coin when looking at a brand whose sweet spot for most releases is under $3k. If we look at this piece solely from a product execution standpoint it’s pretty easy to justify its price. Where else can you get a 10-day power reserve watch in titanium with a skeletonized caliber? You’ll have to spend more than double on the Hublot Meca-10, and that will only come on a rubber strap.
Frankly, I really hope this piece is a commercial success for Oris, because the more the brand keeps doing with its in-house manufacture capability, the more interesting watches we’ll see coming down the pipeline in the years to come. The only question is how many collectors and enthusiasts will be able to wrap their heads around dropping that kind of coin on an Oris. Only time will tell.