Oris

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Oris Headquarters in Hölstein, Switzerland, since 1904
© Oris

Oris is a Swiss watch manufacturer.

Foundation

Oris was founded in 1902 under the brand name Lohner & Nägelin in Hölstein as a local watch factory. In 1903 the company registered the brand name Oris. In 1904 Paul Cattin and Georges Christian took over the factory and till 1960 manufactured only watches with pin-lever escapement (Roskopf movement). As early as 1930 the daily production reached about 7000 watches. They were sold to Europe, New Zealand, South America and China.

After 1945 the company successfully participated in chronometer tests of the Swiss testing laboratory and till 1958 received approximately 1,500 chronometer certificates for its wristwatches.

In the sixties Oris was one of the ten largest watch manufacturers in Switzerland. In the quartz crisis at about 1970, which hit manufacturers of mechanical watches, Oris was taken over by the ASUAG.

Emphasis on traditional mechanical watches

Ulrich W. Herzog, since 1978 at Oris and since 2001 managing director
© Oris

In 1982 the Oris SA was re-established under the leadership of Dr. Portmann and in partnership with Ulrich W. Herzog. It was one of the very first manufacturers who completely emphasized on traditional mechanics. The dials of the watches were sometimes intricately guilloched and together with the curved hands were significantly inspired by classical examples. With the slogan "High Mech" the importance of traditional mechanics was emphasised, in contrast to quartz technology, which in those days was still present even in the luxury segment. A complex, freely distributed catalog book documented history and technique of traditional watchmaking mechanics and positioned the brand clearly in this area. With this strategy it had success even in Japan. Among the classics of the brand is the model Big Crown, a pilot's watch with oversized crown, allowing the pilot to operate even with leather gloves.

Reorientation on masculine sports watches

At the end of the 1990 years the company with the new model series XXL and a TT1 reorientated towards large, heavy and conspicuous sports watches with masculine design. The model range was widely changed, and only the current version of the Big Crown still contains echoes of the earlier style. In order to increase their awareness one invested in new product lines, and a strong corresponding advertising. New distinguishing mark was now the red rotor of the mostly ETA-based automatic watch movements, which was visible through the transparent caseback. One of the most prestigious projects is the newer model TT1 Meistertaucher (Master Diver) - it is waterproof up to depths of 1,000 meters.

Since 2003 Oris occurs as a sponsor of the Formula 1 team Williams. In honor of Ralf Schumacher and the Williams F1 team a limited edition was launched. The watches of this edition included a carbon dial bearing the signature of Ralf Schumacher. A used part from the gearbox or the engine of an F1 car was added to each watch.

The sale of shares of the different continents reflect the success of the brand in the East: Europe 40%, Asia 47%, 9% Americas, Oceania 3% (in 2009). Since the Financial Crisis from 2007 Oris, relative to other providers, increases also much on the German market.

Overview of the Collection

The Oris collection includes the ranges Motor Sports, Aviation, Diving and Culture. In the latter, there are classic models as well as the series Miles, designed for famous jazz musicians, which is complemented by a special model for Bob Dylan.

Oris WilliamsF1 Team Skeleton Engine Date
© Oris

Motor Sports

Aviation

Diving

Culture

Special Editions

Address

Oris SA
Ribigasse 1
CH 4434 Hölstein

Tel. +41-61-9561111
Fax +41-61-9512065

Weblinks

  • Oris, official website