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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just received this watch today and I thought I'd do a small review providing some impressions and some information I could not find prior to having the watch in my hands. My copy has the blue dial and is on a bracelet. I bought the watch from a grey market dealer in the UK and it took 6 weeks to receive.

As this is a watch that's billed as a tool watch for professional pilots, I will be reviewing the watch from that perspective. I'm an ATP rated professional pilot, albeit part time, but I at least do a fair amount of professional pilot work per year. I realize most people who buy this watch won't be using it in that regard, but perhaps the perspective will offer a bit of useful information to those who don't.

I will probably add some pictures later on, but I don't have any yet. There's a few people here who have this watch, so there's quite a few other pictures to be found on this site. Most of the specs can be found on the Oris web site, so I won't list those other than to say the weight of the watch on the bracelet unsized is 180g. I have a 7in wrist and removed 3 links for sizing. I don't know what the max size is, but I suspect someone with a very large wrist might not be able to fit the bracelet without some additional links. The links are pin and collar. The instruction manual doesn't provide instructions for removing links and directs you to have this done at your dealer. I did this myself, but I have the experience and tools to do it. If you don't, I'd definitely recommend having this done professionally.

Sized to my wrist the watch is quite comfortable, although I've only been wearing it a few hours. The head of the watch feels a bit heavy so it could use a bit of balance between it and the bracelet. This is a very minor complaint as it still feels excellent overall. The links are true double articulating 3 piece links which adds to the comfort of the bracelet. The milled clasp works flawlessly. There is a single push release on the side, inside which holds the clasp firmly in place and releases easily. Locking is by pressing in and the lock is crisp and firm. As it's pretty easy to release I suppose it may inadvertently release at times, but time will tell if this is a problem. I suspect it won't be.

The entire watch case and bracelet has a fine brushed finish in keeping with its propilot design. The sun gets very intense inside the cockpit in the flight levels and you definitely don't want anything on a watch to be polished and causing harsh reflections. I could not find any flaws whatsoever with the finish and my impression is it's very well done.

The diameter of the case is 44mm making it a rather large watch. Naturally some people may be put off by the size, but this is really in perfect keeping with a true pilot's watch. Personally I would not want a pilot's watch to be much smaller than this one. Despite my average 7" wrist, to me the watch looks exactly as large as a pilot's watch should. The large dial along with the layout and decent sized hands translates into an extremely legible watch in all lighting conditions which is at least as good as any other I own despite the date, small seconds dial, and power reserve indicator. I assume the lume is BGW9 as there's a blue tint to it. Only the hour indexes, minute, and hour hands are lumed and there appears to be a lot of it, so the dial is very legible in the dark. A small complaint I have is there's no lume on the second hand. There are certain things you need to time down to the second as a pilot. So even though the indexes are only every 5 seconds, some lume on them and the seconds hand would have been appropriate. So not really a big deal, but something I would have included had I designed the watch. The date is in a very unusual position at 9 o'clock. It's hard to read in anything but the best lighting conditions and will take some getting used to in order to find it. Personally I'm not big on the date complication for any watch and I would have been just as happy had they not included one.

Naturally this is a manual wind watch. The crown is screw down which is generally not what you want with a manual wind watch, but with a 10 day power reserve this is perhaps not such a concern. The crown itself is excellent. It grips very well and unscrewing it to the wind position feels very smooth. The winding action is far better than any watch I've ever owned. I dearly love the winding action on ETA 6497/6497 movements with a big crown. With that movement you will get a very strong click you can both feel and hear which provides a pleasing feedback as you wind it. However that movement has a 2 day power reserve. As satisfying as it is, I don't think I'd like it as well winding it 5 times more. The winding action on the 111 is much more subtle in terms of feel and sound, but it still feels extremely precise and smooth. There's an overwind clutch at the maximum wind which is a feature not many manual wind movements have.

Perhaps the biggest unknown and concern I had with this watch is isochronism. With a 10 day power reserve the big question I had was how accurate is the watch going to be across that range. To help answer that question I put the watch on my timegrapher at specific intervals as I wound the watch. I'll provide details starting backwards at the 10 day mark.

At the 10 day point the timegrapher reported +2 s/d averaged from 5 positions from +6 to -1. Highest beat error observed was .3ms in the crown up position. All other positions were .1ms or 0. The traces in the horizontal positions were completely clean with an occasional spurious dot in the vertical positions. Amplitude measured 280-310 with a default lift angle of 52, but I'm pretty sure that's not the correct lift angle. If anyone knows the correct one, let me know.

At the 1 day point the timegrapher reported +3 s/d averaged from 5 positions from +12 to -8. The traces from the horizontal positions were still clean, but all vertical positions had extremely erratic traces certainly due to much lower amplitudes. Beat error was still quite good in the horizontal positions, but pretty much indeterminate in the vertical positions.

In between the 1 and 10 day positions there was significant improvement at the 4 day mark with only small improvements after that. How this will translate to performance on wrist remains to be seen. I would expect anything beyond the 4 day point to be quite good with possible inconsistencies beyond although it may very well be no noticeable difference. At any rate what I'm seeing on the timegrapher for now relieves the concerns I had. As the new movement breaks in things could change for the better or worse.

Overall I'm very impressed with this watch. I will have no problem wearing this in the cockpit and I think in just about every regard it's as close to the ideal pilot's watch as you can get.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
After 24 hours on wrist the watch is running just shy of +2s/d which is exactly what the 5 position average on my timegrapher was. The lume is quite legible all night long. Unfortunately the date doesn't click over at midnight and instead does the gradual indexing from one day to the next over the course of a few hours. Not a big deal, but I still would have preferred the click.

_DSC1254.jpg
 

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Congrats ! Awesome review as well - you touched on things that, IMO, most others wouldn't have thought of.
 

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Really nice watch---I love how legible it is. I am curious however. I'm not a pilot so I don't know these things so apologies for the basic question--but what makes this a pilot watch? Seems like this term is used for lots of different watches with lots of different features.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

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Really nice watch---I love how legible it is. I am curious however. I'm not a pilot so I don't know these things so apologies for the basic question--but what makes this a pilot watch? Seems like this term is used for lots of different watches with lots of different features.
I'm not a pilot either, but on this particular model, I can tell you that the bezel design is meant to represent the fan blades of a modern turbofan (jet) engine.

Other than that though, I'm note sure why "pilot's" watches are pilot's watches..... Hopefully the OP can educate us :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Really nice watch---I love how legible it is. I am curious however. I'm not a pilot so I don't know these things so apologies for the basic question--but what makes this a pilot watch? Seems like this term is used for lots of different watches with lots of different features.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
There’s no certification or other standards of which I’m aware. Some of the pilot watch attributes to this watch are no polished surfaces, large dial with large highly legible indices, larger high contrast hands, large Arabic hours, chevron at 12 o’clock, large crown that’s easy to grip even while wearing gloves. You also get purely aesthetic features such as a bezel styled after turbofan blades.

Oris has been making pilot watches almost since there have been airplanes. Much of the styling of this watch goes back to their earliest models.
 

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Forgive the ignorance - what's the chevron intended for ?
It's to help with orientation--so when you look at your watch, you know immediately which side is up, especially at night. You'll see on a lot of Flieger watches there isn't even a "12"--it's just a triangle. Obviously, this isn't a problem anymore since we won't be wearing these watches into flight combat over the skies of Britain, but it's a visual remnant of that period and need.
 
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Glad to see another blue cal. 111, mine says hello.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
It's to help with orientation--so when you look at your watch, you know immediately which side is up, especially at night. You'll see on a lot of Flieger watches there isn't even a "12"--it's just a triangle. Obviously, this isn't a problem anymore since we won't be wearing these watches into flight combat over the skies of Britain, but it's a visual remnant of that period and need.
I'd say there's still some usefulness to it. Aircraft instruments are designed to be read as part of a scan. When flying in instrument conditions you are continuously scanning your instruments being mindful not to fixate on any one of them. As such certain instruments have visual cues that make them easier to read at a glance with the idea being the more you have to think about what you are seeing, the less time you have to process other things. So having a visual cue at 12 o'clock makes reading the watch at a glance easier. The effect is subtle and not really something you consciously think about, but it's still serves a purpose.

What makes a good pilot's watch is one you can derive what you need from it at a glance. This goes beyond legibility or at least expands on the idea. Some which are designed with this in mind have different things which can be derived quicker. For instance German flieger watches produced later in the war had the B dials which featured predominate minute indices. The reason being those pilots were quite often navigating by dead reckoning so minutes were very important. As radio aids to navigation became more prevalent there was less of a need for a prominent minute indexing system because nobody is navigating by dead reckoning anymore, at least out of necessity.

AFAIK Oris pilot's watches always had minute indexing as secondary if they printed any at all so this wasn't universal with all pilot's watches. Some still retain this with modern watches either for nostalgia or because some pilots still prefer a prominent or at least more distinct minute indexing. The current issue of the Rolex Air King is an example.
 

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I just received this watch today and I thought I'd do a small review providing some impressions and some information I could not find prior to having the watch in my hands. My copy has the blue dial and is on a bracelet. I bought the watch from a grey market dealer in the UK and it took 6 weeks to receive.

As this is a watch that's billed as a tool watch for professional pilots, I will be reviewing the watch from that perspective. I'm an ATP rated professional pilot, albeit part time, but I at least do a fair amount of professional pilot work per year. I realize most people who buy this watch won't be using it in that regard, but perhaps the perspective will offer a bit of useful information to those who don't.

I will probably add some pictures later on, but I don't have any yet. There's a few people here who have this watch, so there's quite a few other pictures to be found on this site. Most of the specs can be found on the Oris web site, so I won't list those other than to say the weight of the watch on the bracelet unsized is 180g. I have a 7in wrist and removed 3 links for sizing. I don't know what the max size is, but I suspect someone with a very large wrist might not be able to fit the bracelet without some additional links. The links are pin and collar. The instruction manual doesn't provide instructions for removing links and directs you to have this done at your dealer. I did this myself, but I have the experience and tools to do it. If you don't, I'd definitely recommend having this done professionally.

Sized to my wrist the watch is quite comfortable, although I've only been wearing it a few hours. The head of the watch feels a bit heavy so it could use a bit of balance between it and the bracelet. This is a very minor complaint as it still feels excellent overall. The links are true double articulating 3 piece links which adds to the comfort of the bracelet. The milled clasp works flawlessly. There is a single push release on the side, inside which holds the clasp firmly in place and releases easily. Locking is by pressing in and the lock is crisp and firm. As it's pretty easy to release I suppose it may inadvertently release at times, but time will tell if this is a problem. I suspect it won't be.

The entire watch case and bracelet has a fine brushed finish in keeping with its propilot design. The sun gets very intense inside the cockpit in the flight levels and you definitely don't want anything on a watch to be polished and causing harsh reflections. I could not find any flaws whatsoever with the finish and my impression is it's very well done.

The diameter of the case is 44mm making it a rather large watch. Naturally some people may be put off by the size, but this is really in perfect keeping with a true pilot's watch. Personally I would not want a pilot's watch to be much smaller than this one. Despite my average 7" wrist, to me the watch looks exactly as large as a pilot's watch should. The large dial along with the layout and decent sized hands translates into an extremely legible watch in all lighting conditions which is at least as good as any other I own despite the date, small seconds dial, and power reserve indicator. I assume the lume is BGW9 as there's a blue tint to it. Only the hour indexes, minute, and hour hands are lumed and there appears to be a lot of it, so the dial is very legible in the dark. A small complaint I have is there's no lume on the second hand. There are certain things you need to time down to the second as a pilot. So even though the indexes are only every 5 seconds, some lume on them and the seconds hand would have been appropriate. So not really a big deal, but something I would have included had I designed the watch. The date is in a very unusual position at 9 o'clock. It's hard to read in anything but the best lighting conditions and will take some getting used to in order to find it. Personally I'm not big on the date complication for any watch and I would have been just as happy had they not included one.

Naturally this is a manual wind watch. The crown is screw down which is generally not what you want with a manual wind watch, but with a 10 day power reserve this is perhaps not such a concern. The crown itself is excellent. It grips very well and unscrewing it to the wind position feels very smooth. The winding action is far better than any watch I've ever owned. I dearly love the winding action on ETA 6497/6497 movements with a big crown. With that movement you will get a very strong click you can both feel and hear which provides a pleasing feedback as you wind it. However that movement has a 2 day power reserve. As satisfying as it is, I don't think I'd like it as well winding it 5 times more. The winding action on the 111 is much more subtle in terms of feel and sound, but it still feels extremely precise and smooth. There's an overwind clutch at the maximum wind which is a feature not many manual wind movements have.

Perhaps the biggest unknown and concern I had with this watch is isochronism. With a 10 day power reserve the big question I had was how accurate is the watch going to be across that range. To help answer that question I put the watch on my timegrapher at specific intervals as I wound the watch. I'll provide details starting backwards at the 10 day mark.

At the 10 day point the timegrapher reported +2 s/d averaged from 5 positions from +6 to -1. Highest beat error observed was .3ms in the crown up position. All other positions were .1ms or 0. The traces in the horizontal positions were completely clean with an occasional spurious dot in the vertical positions. Amplitude measured 280-310 with a default lift angle of 52, but I'm pretty sure that's not the correct lift angle. If anyone knows the correct one, let me know.

At the 1 day point the timegrapher reported +3 s/d averaged from 5 positions from +12 to -8. The traces from the horizontal positions were still clean, but all vertical positions had extremely erratic traces certainly due to much lower amplitudes. Beat error was still quite good in the horizontal positions, but pretty much indeterminate in the vertical positions.

In between the 1 and 10 day positions there was significant improvement at the 4 day mark with only small improvements after that. How this will translate to performance on wrist remains to be seen. I would expect anything beyond the 4 day point to be quite good with possible inconsistencies beyond although it may very well be no noticeable difference. At any rate what I'm seeing on the timegrapher for now relieves the concerns I had. As the new movement breaks in things could change for the better or worse.

Overall I'm very impressed with this watch. I will have no problem wearing this in the cockpit and I think in just about every regard it's as close to the ideal pilot's watch as you can get.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111
Outstanding review! I don't think I have ever read a review that concentrated so much on isochronisim! As a student in watchmaking school we hear that term used non stop, it is interesting to hear it in the wild, so to speak. It is also interesting to hear you describe the torque curve of the mainspring thru your timegrapher results at different periods throughout the life span of the winding you do. Top marks for the review my friend, loved it!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Outstanding review! I don't think I have ever read a review that concentrated so much on isochronisim! As a student in watchmaking school we hear that term used non stop, it is interesting to hear it in the wild, so to speak. It is also interesting to hear you describe the torque curve of the mainspring thru your timegrapher results at different periods throughout the life span of the winding you do. Top marks for the review my friend, loved it!
Isochronism is a bigger issue with those who wear hand winding watches and was a particular concern of mine with this watch due to the screw down crown and massive power reserve. Both of those things mean most aren’t going to want to wind this watch every day. So how well is this watch going to perform at the mid and lower ends of the reserve? I still don’t know for sure what the answer is, but the timegrapher results make me optimistic. If it does perform well then it’s a pretty remarkable achievement for Oris when they designed the 11X series of movements.
 

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Isochronism is a bigger issue with those who wear hand winding watches and was a particular concern of mine with this watch due to the screw down crown and massive power reserve. Both of those things mean most aren’t going to want to wind this watch every day. So how well is this watch going to perform at the mid and lower ends of the reserve? I still don’t know for sure what the answer is, but the timegrapher results make me optimistic. If it does perform well then it’s a pretty remarkable achievement for Oris when they designed the 11X series of movements.
I am just glad it won't have the old school steel mainspring, it will have an alloy mainspring. But it should be expected, if my education thus far on mainsprings and physics pans out, that you should have some speed up when it is first fully wound, then a long flat spot in the curve, then a bit of a drop off near the end. It probably has about a 10 and a half day, but they limit it to 10 days so you don't experience that drop off. I'll bet the chronometry is wonderful! If it is anything like rolex, when it comes time for a new mainspring they will just replace barrel and all, I believe alot of companies are doing that, problem with that is that when replaced the watchmaker should disassemble, clean, oil properly and look for excessive end shake and side shake anyway, lol!
 

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I am just glad it won't have the old school steel mainspring, it will have an alloy mainspring. But it should be expected, if my education thus far on mainsprings and physics pans out, that you should have some speed up when it is first fully wound, then a long flat spot in the curve, then a bit of a drop off near the end. It probably has about a 10 and a half day, but they limit it to 10 days so you don't experience that drop off. I'll bet the chronometry is wonderful! If it is anything like rolex, when it comes time for a new mainspring they will just replace barrel and all, I believe alot of companies are doing that, problem with that is that when replaced the watchmaker should disassemble, clean, oil properly and look for excessive end shake and side shake anyway, lol!
Well if this watch is fully wound up then it gets around 12 days PR before stopping but they say 10 days PR because the accuracy goes bonkers during the last 2 days ( 11 and 12 ). Also if you see the dial the PR is not linear and there is red indicator on the PR for the last 2 days with larger gap to indicate to the wearer to wind the watch on a priority basis as the accuracy might be impacted. The sweet spot as you have rightly said lies between 4 to 8 days but generally tends to even out from start to finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The subject came up about the 11x accuracy, so I thought I'd do an on-wrist check for the first 3 days off a full wind. At just under 5 seconds this comes out to just under 1 2/3rds seconds per day fast. Pretty hard to beat for an auto, and I doubt there's too many hand wind watches which can top that without winding.


 
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