In for Review: The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date in Bronze
Those of you who have been following us for sometime now may know that I am in love with the Big Crown Pointer Date. Ever since my first Redbar event which happened to be an Oris event where I got to see this watch hands on, I have been smitten. In recent years Oris have continued to iterate on this beautiful watch, and every iteration since has only served to further my love for it.
My first encounter of the BCPD and it was love at first sight...
The Big Crown Pointer fascinates me because of, well, the clue is in the name. A frequent conversation in the watch world is the annoyance of every collector for any brand who puts a date window basically anywhere on a watch. A date window at 4:30 makes the dial look unbalanced, a date at 12:00 obscures or results in the movement of a brands logo, and any other position of a date window sparks similar complaints. That being said, if the date is read using a fourth hand, that to my mind dispels any of this tedium.
The Big Crown Pointer Date has been a main stay of the Oris collection for a few years now. The watch was first introduced in 1938, as one of the earliest examples of watch dedicated specifically for pilots. The latest generation that I have been lucky enough to get my hands on has been in the Oris catalogue since 2018, and was introduced to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the original model. The model now comes in two sizes, 36mm and 40mm, featuring design queues such as cathedral hands and, of course, the pointer date hand to give a whiff of vintage inspired nostalgia.
Oris Bear had to make an appearance! What a fantastic background...
The pointer date is a relatively uncommon complication, but given the aforementioned conversations that litter watch meet ups around date window placement, seems unusual. Whilst it is still just as easy to tell the date using a hand, I struggle to think of many common examples of it being used outside of the Oris. The Big Crown Pointer uses, as I touched upon, a fourth hand to tell the date. The date is split into 31 increments around the outer ring of the dial, between the chapter ring and the indices. At a glance, you would be forgiven for not noticing it, but the charming red half moon at the end of the fourth hand draws your attention.
An incredibly charming dial and complication...
In terms of movement, as you may expect, cannot be any old time and date movement. The Big Crown Pointer uses a modified Sellita SW200-1, a slight variant of the very famous and frequently used SW200. Oris re-work this movement in order to add the pointer date function, and as a result have renamed it the Oris 754. It provides a 38-hour power reserve offering a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. It also features the trademark red rotor, visible through a lovely display case back.
The version of this watch that I originally fell head over heals for was the blue dial in steel on a matching steel bracelet, but Oris have iterated this model in quite a view different ways, the most striking way being in the version I have spent some time with, which is cased entirely in bronze, even extending to the bracelet. Whilst I fell in love with the steel and blue dial version due to the out an out beauty of the dial, the bronze version has captivated me due to the case.
Bronze is a very interesting case material. On first look it is clearly not gold, it has a warmth and almost a dullness that certainly sets it apart. But what I adore about this watch is that after a period of wear, no two Pointer Dates in bronze will look the same. Due to me only having this watch for a relatively short period, the patina I saw was not dramatic to any extent, but as you can see from the photos below, they can get pretty crazy, through natural wear or perhaps some additional intervention.
Whilst these examples are Diver's 65's, this gives you an idea of what can happen...
Whilst the patination does detract from the sheen of the case, it does certainly add character. I would though recommend regular cleaning (Lemon juice and baking soda does the trick) to keep it looking respectable. Just like an old pair of leather shoes, the patina gives character but you still want them to look polished!
This version has really taken me... and whilst as I mentioned the steel and blue dial still captivates me, this version is doing a very good job at knocking it off the pedestal that I hold it on. Once again this is another fantastic release from a brand who honestly have not released a bad watch from what I have got my hands on.
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