Oris 110 Years Limited Edition

Angus Davies provides an in-depth review of the new Oris 110 Years Limited Edition, with an impressive power reserve of 10 days, which is exceptional for a timepiece fitted with a single barrel. Moreover, this limited edition watch features an ingenious patented non-linear power-reserve indicator.

This detailed review of the Oris 110 Years Limited Edition includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

It is often said that “power corrupts”. Invariably, this statement accompanies discussion about politicians embroiled in financial “shenanigans” and political back-stabbing. Indeed, it is ironic that Members of the British Parliament are referred to as “Honourable” when their conduct appears to contradict this description.

Returning to my original question, “Does power corrupt?” Based on the aforementioned example, one would tend to answer in the affirmative. However, perhaps Oris has turned this notion on its head. Its latest model, the 110 Years Limited Edition, harnesses much power within one single barrel and yet proffers a notable honesty with its clean dial and freely disclosed movement.

The Swiss watchmaking company, based in Hölstein, is celebrating its 110-year anniversary in 2014 and, a few months ago at Baselworld, the brand released a limited edition model in recognition of this milestone.

The Oris watchmakers and designers worked in collaboration with various specialists and L’ École Téchnique in Le Locle to create a new in-house movement. This is the first clean-sheet movement design from Oris for over 35 years. Its significance cannot be overstated. Indeed, the financial investment to bring this movement to fruition will have no doubt been huge.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

There are two key attributes of this watch, firstly it has an exceptional 10-day power reserve from the aforementioned single barrel. Moreover, it has a patented non-linear power reserve indication, something I will return to later.

The dial

As the nomenclature implies, this is a limited edition model with just 110 pieces being produced in stainless steel and the same number in rose gold. I admit to being “high-maintenance” and so it was inevitable that the more costly and incredibly beautiful version in pink hued noble metal would garner my attention the most. Both versions are supplied with an opaline-silver dial with applied indices and numerals that match the chosen case material.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The lancine-shaped hour and minute hands have an air of classicism. They are simple to read and feature luminescent fill along part of their profile, enhancing ease of read off in restricted light.

Rectangular shaped applied hour markers feature in all positions save for 3, 6 and 12 o’clock. The Arabic numerals positioned at 6 o’clock and noon are sans serifs and have a neoteric note. While the contemporary character of said numerals differs from the traditional aesthetic of the hands, everything coalesces wonderfully.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

At 3 o’clock, the power-reserve indicator resides. Close examination of the scale reveals that this is no ordinary power-reserve indicator. The scale of the indicator is non-linear. If you examine the scale depicted at maximum state of wind, the integers are arranged closer and every two-day interval is marked with accompanying Arabic numerals. However, as the energy within the spring barrel becomes depleted, the scale becomes exaggerated, showing each day’s energy over a bigger area. It makes perfect sense. The state of wind on a hand-wound watch is most critical near the point of exhaustion. Indeed, this is one of the best power-reserve indicators I have ever seen.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

On the opposite side of the dial, at 9 o’clock and occupying a slightly smaller area, is the small seconds display. The scale encircling the small seconds display is marked with Arabic numerals against a snailed ring. The subtle details on the dial are delightful and heighten the appeal of the design language employed.

Framing the dial is a chapter ring, employing a tasteful blend of black strokes and gold pearls.

The case

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The rich rose gold case measures 43mm in diameter and looked resplendent on my arm. The case is highly polished, reinforcing the sense of luxury but without appearing overbearing. Moreover, the case styling is not too traditional but wisely avoids the overtly avant-garde. I use the word “wisely” quite deliberately, for Oris has created a watch that celebrates a landmark in its history and has prudently eschewed extreme styling which in years to come could look passé. The tastefully muted aesthetics should ensure the 110 Years Limited Edition retains eye appeal for many decades to come.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

An exhibition case back accords a spectacular view of the in-house movement. Oris has chosen to fit an extra-wide sapphire crystal which virtually shows the full 34mm diameter of the Calibre 110 in full Technicolor glory.

The movement

The Calibre 110 features an interesting mix of hand craftsmanship and machine applied surface treatment. The bridges feature an industrially applied vertical brush decoration, whereas the anglage is applied by hand and polished to a mirror-like sheen. The resultant appearance is very pleasing to the eye and whilst I adore traditional Côtes de Genève motif, I do like the unusual appearance of the movement on this timepiece.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The barrel cover dominates the dorsal view of the movement. It is very large, harnessing the incredibly long mainspring which measures 1.8m. The machine applied circular graining on the barrel cover was a tad disappointing. I would have liked Oris to have employed snailing, a spiral-shaped motif, to the barrel cover, further accentuating its appearance. However, it is a small criticism in what has to be described as a very pretty movement.

One particular detail which stands out is the screw-head located adjacent the index adjuster on the balance. It delivers, a very simple, but neat means of regulating the balance and should prove easy for a competent watchmaker to adjust. I accept this probably identifies me as a “horological geek”, but it is subtle details such as this which enhance the ownership of a timepiece and confers years of pleasure.

Closing remarks

The Oris 110 Years Limited Edition is decidedly more upscale than the majority of the models within the brand’s catalogue and in the form of the rose gold variant, it costs a not inconsequential sum of £9950.00 (RRP as at 4.6.2014). However, with an impressive array of attributes this model certainly has much to offer.

Oris has openly declared that some movement decoration is performed “using honest, industrial principles”. I admire the transparency shown by the company about where it has employed economies. The result is a handsome timepiece which upholds the brand’s reputation for offering value for money whilst delivering a movement which is pleasingly presented.

Oris 110 Years Limited Edition in rose gold - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Ref: 01 110 7700 4081 (stainless steel)

Based on looks alone, the gold version is my favoured model. However, setting aside horological lust for one moment, the stainless steel model offers great value at £3750. Based purely on logic, this should be the variant to pick, assuming you listen to your head rather than your heart. But, I still love that gold model the most….

Irrespective of which model you ultimately select, the Oris 110 Years Limited Edition is blessed with timeless design language, an in-house movement and is priced competitively. The long mainspring accords a very impressive power reserve and the ingenious patented non-linear power-reserve indicator provides a further point of differentiation.

Is the Oris 110 Years Limited Edition powerful? Yes, but with its many attributes candidly shown, the probity of this model is beyond reproach. If only Oris made politicians, I might feel more disposed to vote on election day.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Oris 110 Years Limited Edition
  • Reference: 01 110 7700 6081 (rose gold)
  • Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 43.00 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; non-linear power-reserve indicator
  • Movement: Calibre 110; self-winding movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz); 40 jewels; power reserve 10 days; 177 parts
  • Strap: Dark brown croco leather strap presented on an 18-carat gold pin buckle
  • Price: £9950 (RRP as at 4.6.2014)
  • Limited Edition: 110 pieces in rose gold (also 110 available in stainless steel)

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