Oris Artelier Calibre 112
The Oris Artelier Calibre 112 includes an in-house movement, power-reserve indication and a GMT display. Angus Davies spends a few days in the company of this very handsome timepiece, gleaning much about the ownership experience it confers.
This detailed review of the Oris Artelier Calibre 112 includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Sir John Acton once remarked “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Certainly, there have been instances where politicians have not used ‘power’ for the greater good, but chosen to employ the means at their disposal to serve their own unsavoury ends. There are also examples where powerful figures in the shadows of commerce have ruthlessly exploited their employees and other stakeholders, grotesquely enriching themselves in the process.
High performance cars, equipped with powerful engines may well accelerate from 0-60 mph in a few nanoseconds but, in their wake, they push out dollops of CO2, consume vast amounts of the earth’s resources and leave passersby suffering tinnitus and asthma.
On the face of it, ‘Power’ doesn’t get a good press, however, there is a flip side.
Using power for good
In watchmaking, a prodigious power reserve is considered a virtuous trait, conferring an impressive level of autonomous operation.
A moment of absentmindedness on the part of the wearer can often result in many hand wound watches coming to a halt, necessitating time-consuming adjustment thereafter. However, those timepieces blessed with vast reserves of coiled-spring energy will tolerate a few days of wearer forgetfulness. The Oris Artelier Calibre 112 impressively harnesses 10 days of wound power within its sole spring barrel. This is a watch imbued with much power.
The power held within the confines of the Calibre 112 proves a fitting metaphor for the heightened power and autonomy of Oris, the Swiss watch brand from Hölstein. Since the company became independent, approximately 30 years ago, it has predominantly relied on other parties to supply it with movements e.g. ETA, Sellita et al.
In 2014, Oris released its first in-house movement since becoming independent, the Calibre 110, coinciding with its 110th anniversary. Since then, the maison has released the Calibre 111 and, most recently, its third in-house movement the Calibre 112.
Prior to independence, Oris ‘developed 279 in-house calibres’. Now, with the advent of this recent trilogy of movements, Oris has acquired a greater degree of self-determination. Indeed, with increased vertical integration, Oris has heightened its own power within the sphere of horology, delivering greater choice for fans of affordable fine watches.
Oris offers would-be wearers a choice of dial colours and case materials. Moreover, the brand also offers the possibility of a ‘Louisiana croco leather strap’, in various hues, or a 9-rows stainless steel bracelet. I requested a press sample with a silver opaline dial, steel case and steel bracelet, eager to establish the reality of Oris Artelier Calibre 112 ownership.
The silver opaline dial exhibits a gentle, softly spoken demeanour. However, by cleverly employing a quiet tone there is no reverb, allowing the wearer to interpret the time with little interference.
The lancette hour and minute hands are lined with luminescent material which disclose a green emission in all but the brightest conditions. Indeed, as a resident of rain-soaked northern England, I found the hands glowed virtually all of the time.
Looking at the dial of the Calibre 112, it appears Oris has deliberately positioned indications in such an unusual way they are trying to prove to cynical onlookers that the movement powering this watch is very much their own work. For example, the date aperture is idiosyncratically located at 9 o’clock, eschewing the customary positions of 3 o’clock, 4:30 or 6 o’clock. However, the nonconformist topography does not mar the appearance or lucidity of the dial, but rather bestows an admirable quotient of originality and style.
Adjacent the crown, the power reserve indicator employs a two-tone scale and silver-hued hand to impart the state of wind of the mainspring. The scale, indicating available days of stored energy, features small, yet highly legible, Arabic numerals. Furthermore, the scale is adorned with snailed detail, masterfully imbuing the dial with a tasteful dose of texture.
A small seconds display resides between 7 and 8 o’clock, while a dual-time or GMT function is positioned at noon.
The GMT display sidesteps the approach of many brands who choose to add a co-axial third hand, by featuring a small facsimile of the main hour and minutes display in the upper portion of the main dial. At the heart of the GMT display, a day-night indicator helps the wearer decipher the prevailing time of day at home. The lancette hour and minute hands are clones of those gracing the central dial area, albeit they are smaller and shun luminescent treatment. Snailed detail and Arabic numerals populate the hour track encircling the GMT display.
There is a noticeable quality to the dial construction. Silver-coloured applied batons denote the hours with a crisp, succinct tone. The minuterie sits slightly lower than the epidermis of the main dial and every 5-minute integer features a silvery pearl.
The stainless steel case measures 43mm in diameter, a size I personally find optimally suits my own wrist (circa 22cm circumference). Despite accommodating a spring barrel capable of storing 10 days of energy, the Oris Artelier Calibre 112 appears commendably slender.
All surfaces of the case are highly polished, yet everything appears tastefully restrained. Indeed, an endearing quality of this watch, which I often refer to, is that it does not boast or crave attention with excess flamboyance. This is a class act.
The bezel is relatively shallow with its angled edge neatly fusing with the caseband. The marriage of case components is delightful with everything appearing to sinuously coalesce in gleaming union.
The 9-rows stainless steel bracelet is a quality item. The links consummately articulate, according an excellent level of wearer comfort. The double-blade folding clasp opens and closes with a pleasingly positive action and at no stage did it feel anything less than bank-vault secure.
Having no doubt expended colossal amounts of man hours developing the hand-wound Calibre 112, Oris has justifiably equipped this watch with an exhibition caseback, granting sight of its impressive technical endeavours.
The hand-wound Calibre 112 is a peach of a movement.
Turning the crown, whilst it is flush to the case, imparts energy to the mainspring. In so doing, the wearer is rewarded with a supremely smooth turning action. There is no sense of graunching, just pure hushed clicking and silky smooth rotation. Moreover, the crown, whilst visually unobtrusive, proves simple to hold and manipulate.
I derived much delight pulling the crown out 2-stops and adjusting the hands of both the main hour and minutes display and the GMT function. The Oris Artelier Calibre 112 delivers a wonderful sense of horological theatre, providing sight of four hands turning simultaneously. I accept this spectacle serves little to augment everyday functionality, but I adore it nonetheless.
Aesthetically, the movement delivers a very tidy, neat appearance. The bridges feature a brushed finish and beveled edges. Close examination of the screws and screw sinks through a loupe, reveals the resultant movement finish to be very impressive, especially considering the comparatively modest price of this watch. While the Calibre 112 is not likely to worry the finest exemplars of haute horlogerie it does deliver a degree of excellence seldom seen at this level.
The balance is located behind the 6 o’clock position on the dial and is freely shown. I found it interesting that the diameter of the balance wheel seems comparatively small and I would dearly love to know the rationale for this, as I suspect there is a good technical explanation for its diminutive waist line.
The large bridges, whilst conferring a neat appearance, do hide components I normally wish to see. In particular, I would prefer to see more of the gear train. However, I accept this is a personal preference and not any major failure on the part of Oris.
The 10-day power reserve is very impressive, especially considering the power is held within one large spring barrel which dominates the dorsal view of the movement. I can only assume the mainspring must be inordinately long. The slight disadvantage of relying on one spring barrel, as opposed to two or four barrels, is that the wearer needs to rotate the crown many times to fully charge an exhausted mainspring. Nevertheless, with such a notably sweet feel to the winding action, this process should not prove too arduous.
Oris is a brand I hold in high esteem. The Swiss watch company has earned a reputation for crafting attractive timepieces which deliver an impressive quality to price ratio. The Oris Artelier Calibre 112 upholds the brand’s reputation for value, courtesy of its asking price of £4200.00 (RRP as at 31.7.2016).
This watch brims with admirable traits. The dial is elegant, visually interesting and confers commendable levels of readability. The case is blessed with numerous curves, feels smooth to touch and proffers excellent levels of wearer comfort.
Nevertheless, it is probably the movement which is the single most impressive aspect of the Oris Artelier Calibre 112. It is attractively presented, features both a power reserve and GMT indications and is delivered at a highly competitive price. The 10-day power reserve confers a degree of virtue seldom found in this sector of the watch market. Indeed, the prowess of the movement to function without user intervention for 10 days shows this watch, and indeed Oris, display a high degree of mechanical virtue.
Unlike some examples in life, this manifestation of power is a force for good and a becoming face of authority; horological authority.
- Model: Oris Artelier Calibre 112
- Reference: 01 112 7726 4051-Set 8 23 79
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; power-reserve indication; GMT display.
- Movement: Calibre 112; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600vph (3Hz); 40 jewels; power reserve 10 days
- Strap: Stainless steel 9-rows bracelet with double-blade folding clasp
- Price: £4,200 (RRP as at 31.7.2016)