Oris takes off with the Propilot Altimeter


Oris has revealed its new Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, a rugged tool watch filled with innovative solutions.

The 47mm stainless steel watch has been designed with pilots, mountaineers, explorers and research scientists in mind and houses not only an Oris automatic movement but a Swiss mechanical barometric altimeter and barometer movement as well.

The complex integration on components led to Oris having to overcome a number of challenges with patented solutions; the first of which was the need for an ultra lightweight altimeter hand due to the small size of the altimeter mechanism inside. Oris developed a laminated carbon fibre hand, seven times lighter but 10 times stiffer than the average watch hand.


Another challenge was how to protect the inner workings of the watch from moisture when the altimeter is activated. Oris patented a new altimeter adjustment and venting crown, which prevents moisture from entering the watch using a membrane made of PTFE, which creates a vapour barrier.

Two crowns are using to adjust the functions of the watch, a conventional time and date winder crown at the two o’clock position and a screw-down altimeter adjuster at the four o’clock. The altimeter of the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter can measure altitude up to 15,000ft or 4,500m, with models available with scales in either metric or imperial.

The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter will be available from September. On a metal bracelet the watch will retail for CHF 3,500 (£2,306).

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