A History of Mechanical Innovation

Throughout its 110-year history Oris has pioneered mechanical movement innovations.  

Between 1904 and 1981, the company developed 229 in-house calibres. In 1938, Oris developed Calibre 373, the pointer calendar, which became a signature for the company. In 1982, following the management buy-out, Dr Portmann and Herzog reintroduced the pointer calendar and used it as the symbol of Oris’s revival. In 1968, Calibre 652 became the first pin-lever escapement movement to be certified by the prestigious Observatoire Astronomique et Chronométrique in Neuchâtel. Two years later, in 1970, Oris produced its first chronograph, the hand-wound Calibre 725. In 1982, Oris decided to cease development of its own calibres, and to focus instead on module development.

These modules were designed and developed in-house, while assembly was outsourced to third parties like ETA and later to Sellita, ensuring the Oris philosophy, a constant since 1904, was preserved.

A series of groundbreaking module developments began in 1988 with Calibre 418. It featured a mechanical alarm with a pure, sonorous tone that took months of painstaking development to perfect. Oris followed this in 1993 with a range of upgraded movements with in-house developed features, including small seconds, date windows and a pointer date. In 1995, Oris took another step forward by producing its first regulator movement, Calibre 649. One of Oris’s most ambitious movements was Calibre 581, a complication that first appeared in 1996. It had subdials for pointer day, pointer date and second time zone indications, plus a moonphase and a central seconds hand. In 1999 came the first Pointer Day, Calibre 645.

Going backwards to change the World

Then in 1997, Oris developed Calibre 690, a worldtimer based on ETA 2836-2. Oris’s in-house module was a revolution, never seen before in the watch industry. It allowed the wearer to adjust local time in one-hour jumps, using plus and minus push buttons on the side of the case. More than that, it could also adjust the date backwards if the time zone adjustment took the wearer back a day. This function has been imitated since by other brands, but Oris was first.

A Tradition Revived

After Calibre 690, Oris turned its attention to case designs and material innovations. Then in 2009, after a steady stream of technical innovations, Oris introduced its first 24-hour pilot’s watch, powered by Calibre 653, which had a 24-hour dial. A year later, Oris presented its first retrograde date, Calibre 735.

In 2013, Oris moved the game on again with the launch of Calibre 761, known as the Pointer Moon. It became the world’s first mechanical watch capable of showing both the lunar cycle and the tidal range, essential indications for divers.

Oris Calibre 110 and 111 – A World first Combination

In its 110-year history Oris has proved time and again that it is one of the world’s most innovative watch brands. It was the founding partners’ dream to produce high-quality watches at an excellent value for the money, and that spirit continues to inspire and motivate the company today. Not only that, but Oris has always maintained a tradition of developing useful watches with functions that serve a practical benefit for their owners.

In 2014, three and half decades on from the launch of its last in-house calibre and the year of its 110th anniversary, Oris unveiled Calibre 110, a hand-wound movement with a unique combination of complications. Its 10-day power reserve and non-linear power reserve indicator, delivered through a single barrel, solidified Oris’s reputation as an innovator, and also announced to the world that the independent Swiss watch company was back in the business of developing movements from the ground up again.

New for 2015, Calibre 111 continues the story. In recent years, Oris has invested heavily in resources that will help re-establish its proud watchmaking tradition, giving it the scope to industrialise the watchmaking process. Calibre 110 was limited in production to 220 pieces – Calibre 111 components are manufactured with individual tools in larger series in cooperation with the most advanced micro-technical enterprises in Switzerland.


  • Oris Artelier Skeleton

    Oris Artelier Skeleton

  • Oris Classic Date

    Oris Classic Date

  • Oris Artelier Date Diamonds

    Oris Artelier Date Diamonds

  • Oris Big Crown Complication

    Oris Big Crown Complication

Discover the collections

Oris is available in our boutique in Lucerne or upon appointment.