Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Oris Artix GT Chronograph
This detailed review of the Oris Artix GT Chronograph includes live images, specification and pricing.
There are some companies which are deserving of praise. Oris is one such brand. The watch company from Hölstein has been crafting good value, high quality timepieces since 1904.
On a regular basis I am asked to proffer a handful of suitable watch brands worthy of recommendation. Oris is always a name which comes to the fore, especially in the £1000 – £2000 price segment.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sample first-hand an Oris chronograph, costing £2690. The price certainly piqued my interest as, on the face of it, it represents incredible value for a timepiece equipped with a stopwatch complication.
Having spent several days in the company of the Artix GT Chronograph I feel qualified to critique this Swiss watch in detail.
The black dial appears anthracite in certain light. The mirror-like hour and minute hands are faceted and lined with white luminescent material. The gleaming hands augment legibility and results in them dominating the dialscape presented.
Each applied index features luminescent fill. Where the tips of some indexes meet the circular form of a subdial they defer, sporting angled or truncated tips depending on the point of interaction.
A 30-minute chronograph register is positioned below noon. It is recessed and features snailed detail at its centre. Positioned below, above 6 o’clock, a 12-hour chronograph register resides. It shares the same scale and design as the 30-minute chronograph register save for a date display in its lower section. These subdials are beautifully executed, employing depth and texture to glorious effect.
The small seconds display at 9 o’clock is a little disappointing. The display dispenses with a conventional hand, instead featuring a red marker circumnavigating a channel encircling the subdial. While the display is unusual and innovative, it is not particularly legible. Personally, I would prefer to see a conventional small seconds display with a shiny steel hand similar to the other subdials.
The Artix GT Chronograph is aimed at fans of motorsport, especially those with sympathies for the Audi Sport Teams which Oris sponsors. Indeed, the colourway of this watch employs the colours used on the lightweight carcass of an Audi branded WEC race car.
In light of Oris’s association with the Audi Sport Teams, it is not surprising that the watch is equipped with a tachymeter scale, an ideal tool for calculating speeds over a given distance.
Overall, the legibility of the dial is very impressive. The red central chronograph seconds hand is simple to read and the majority of the dial elements proffer excellent legibility.
Measuring 44mm in diameter, the stainless steel case of the Artix GT Chronograph is substantial. Personally, this did not present a problem for my larger-than-average wrist, however, for those readers considering making a purchase, it would be prudent to try on the watch beforehand.
The timepiece is equipped with a black bi-directional rotatable bezel. This bezel turns with a positive action and grants a qualitative feel in use. The push-pieces are capstan-like in profile and operate with an impressive tactile feel.
The winding crown is large, sits away from the case-band and features a pronounced grip encircling its form. While it is large, allowing ease of adjustment, it does not impinge upon the arm. Overall, the crown bestows an impressive quotient of quality, seldom found on watches at this price level.
The prospective purchaser can choose from a leather or rubber strap or opt for an attractive 3-rows stainless steel bracelet. My press loan was fitted with the latter option and looked resplendent. The centre links are highly polished while the adjacent rows of links are satin-brushed. The bracelet is sufficiently flexible to afford a comfortable union with the arm. The highly polished centre links are prone to scratching and if this is likely to annoy you, then the leather or rubber straps may prove more suitable. Personally, I would not forgo the bracelet and could happily live with a few superficial marks.
Everything exhibits a hewn from granite solidity. The bracelet clasp is beautifully engineered and closes with a reassuringly positive click. There are no clasp wobbles or irritating looseness, simply a palpable sense of quality.
The rear of the case features a widescreen view of the self-winding movement within.
The Oris 774 (Sellita SW500) is an automatic movement which shares much in common with thevenerable ETA Valjoux 7750. Both movements feature similar architecture. This confers reliability and ease of servicing, two qualities which are vital when it comes to long term ownership.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The power reserve is sufficient to confer 48 hours of autonomous operation.
Oris has personalised the movement with its own iconic red oscillating mass. With regards to finissage, there is a distinct absence of Côtes de Genève, blued screws or circular graining. This is hardly surprising though, considering the modest asking price of £2690.
The dial delivers effortless readability, albeit the small seconds display is not to my liking. Nevertheless, the legibility of the small seconds display would not dissuade me from purchasing this model.
The case is beautifully formed and ergonomically agreeable. Its scale may prove too great for some would-be buyers, however, if you are physically capable of wearing the Oris Artix GT Chronograph you won’t be disappointed.
By equipping this watch with a derivative of the Sellita SW500, the watch should prove reliable and simpler to service than a column-wheel chronograph, a factor which should mitigate servicing costs.
When discussing the Oris Artix GT Chronograph I frequently find myself employing the word, ‘quality’. This is an admirable trait which appears conjoined with the Oris nomen. However, where this impressive standard of construction proves surprising, is that it is delivered for a relatively modest sum. The asking price of £2690 (RRP as at 18.12.2017), while not an inconsequential amount, is relatively small for a chronograph of this grade.
Based on my experience of this watch, I see no reason to change my opinion of this impressive Swiss watch brand.
• Case: Stainless steel; diameter 44mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres).
• Functions: Hours; minutes; date; small seconds; chronograph; tachymeter scale
• Movement: Oris 774 (base SW500); Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 48 hours.
• Strap: 3-rows metal bracelet with folding clasp
• Price: £2690 (RRP as at 18.12.2017)
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.