Oris' New Aquis Date Packages Its Big Idea in a Smaller Package
In our digital, connected, touch-sensitive world, the joy of mechanics has taken on new meaning. Whether we’re looking at a Ferris wheel with its open workings or a mechanical watch movement through a caseback, it warms us to see how things work. This is the joy that drives Oris. Because if there’s one thing the brand’s watches have to do, it’s make you smile. Oris knows that no one needs a mechanical watch. But the simple pleasure of owning one and seeing it work makes life that much more enjoyable.
This is why Oris only makes watches with mechanical movements. In the last eight years, that brand has conceived nine new calibers, constantly pushing the limits of mechanics to develop beautiful watch movements that make the mind wonder and the heart race.
The latest powers the Caliber 400 Series of automatic watches. Caliber 400 Series sets the new standard in Swiss Made automatics with elevated levels of anti-magnetism; five days of power reserve; accuracy superior to the chronometer standard (even after exposure to magnetism); 10-year recommended service intervals; and 10-year warranties on all Caliber 400 Series watches.
Oris’s team of in-house watchmakers and engineers pushed the limits of mechanical watchmaking with the Caliber 400 Series. Oris recently interviewed watchmaker Cédric Röhrich to explain.
Oris: Cédric, tell us a bit about yourself…
Cédric Röhrich: My name is Cédric Röhrich, I’m 27 years old and I’ve been an Oris watchmaker since 2014. Due to my rather quiet job, I regularly need my portion of adrenalin, so I enjoy getting into nature to go diving or parachuting. Then again, I like to fish.
Oris: What have you worked on at Oris?
CR: When I joined, I started in quality control. Then I got the chance to become part of the manufacture department, working on our Caliber 100 Series of hand-wound movements. For the last two years, I’ve been the lead watchmaker on our Caliber 400 Series of automatic movements.
Oris: And what does that involve?
CR: My job is to pick up the brilliant concept developed by our chief operating officer Beat Fischli and his team, and to deliver Caliber 400 Series movements ready to go into watches such as the new Aquis Date 41.5mm Caliber 400. A lot of it is detail. We have to check components, ensure the quality of every part, manage assembly, control the quality of fully assembled and mounted movements, and generally be available to answer questions other teams in the company have about the Caliber 400 Series.
Oris: How does Oris go about conceiving a new automatic mechanical movement?
CR: For us, it’s really important that a mechanical watch lives up to the expectations of today’s watch consumers. People expect a lot of a luxury watch, as they should. It has to deliver beauty, functionality and reliability, and it has to last a lifetime. That’s a lot to consider when you break it down, but with the Caliber 400 Series, I think we’ve achieved it.
Oris: What does that mean, in practice?
CR: One of the basics is a long power reserve. We want Caliber 400 Series watch owners to enjoy the freedom of knowing they can put their watch aside for a few days without it stopping. It’s not sexy, but it’s also really important to develop movements that are as simple as possible and not prone to faults so that even if they go wrong, they can be repaired quickly and affordably. We favored dependable components and simplified the construction, using anti-magnetic alloys that are also highly anti-corrosive. You only really notice how reliable something is when it fails. Hopefully, Oris customers never notice...
Oris: Just how sure of its performance are you?
CR: Well, we’ve put a 10-year warranty on all Caliber 400 Series movements and recommend getting them serviced once every 10 years. That’s really unusual with a mechanical watch, which is one of the reasons we’re calling it the new standard. What we want and what we hope is that we’re passing on watches to people all over the world that they’ll wear with pleasure and pride. I’m an Oris customer myself. I’ve been wearing my Aquis Date Caliber 400 for several months now. I don’t wear it every day, but I’ve never had to wind it or adjust it. The accuracy overwhelms me, even though I fully understand how the movement works!
Oris: What sort of accuracy are we talking?
CR: We guarantee accuracy of -3 to +5 seconds per day, but it’s very important that under no circumstances should the watch lag. I prefer to arrive early for an appointment than to arrive late. In the case of magnetic fields, it can be assumed that the watch will return to this same level of accuracy as soon as it is no longer under the influence of magnetism.
Oris: Why focus on anti-magnetism?
CR: We encounter magnetism everywhere: in a car, at home cooking, charging our phones... And I’m convinced we’ll encounter magnetic fields much more in the future. We had to think about this when we designed the new movement. Because who wants their watch to suddenly run inaccurately?
Oris: Looking ahead, what can we expect from the Caliber 400 Series?
CR: Let us surprise you... All I can say is we’re not sitting still. We’re busy designing new and exciting developments.
Oris: And finally, how does it feel to have been part of watchmaking history?
CR: Fantastic. I’m honored. And I have a great sense of pride in being a part of Oris history. But more than that, I love the fact we’ve created something lots of people can own and enjoy. We put smiles on people’s faces.