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Oris is a Swiss watch manufacturer founded in 1902 in Holstein.


Oris was founded in 1902 under the brand name Lohner & Nägelin in Hölstein as a local watch factory. In 1903 the company registered the brand name Oris. In 1904 Paul Cattin and Georges Christian took over the factory and till 1960 manufactured only watches with pin-lever escapement (Roskopf movement). As early as 1930 the daily production reached about 7000 watches. They were sold to Europe, New Zealand, South America and China.

After 1945 the company successfully participated in chronometer tests of the Swiss testing laboratory and till 1958 received approximately 1,500 chronometer certificates for its wristwatches.

Oris specialized in pin lever movements and was able to achieve exceptionally high quality and accuracy. In 1953, 113 Oris watches were sent to Le Locle obtain a Chronometer certification, the first time pin lever watches were able to achieve this. The company sued to relax the strict controls on companies producing new competitive anchor movements and was able to succeed in getting these restrictions lifted later in the decade.

In the sixties Oris was one of the ten largest watch manufacturers in Switzerland. From 20 employees originally, Oris grew to 668 employees in 1953 and 770 in 1965.

In 1969, just as the automatic chronograph appeared, Oris introduced its own counter-less chronograph, the ChronOris. Produced with Dubois Dépraz, the 27.50 mm Cal. 725 was a modular movement, with a 2 mm thick column wheel chronograph and date complication on a simple base. Although it appears to have a second pusher, this is a crown used to control an interior rotating bezel. In all 27,000 examples of the ChronOris were manufactured.

In the quartz crisis at about 1970, which hit manufacturers of mechanical watches, Oris was taken over by the ASUAG.

Emphasis on traditional mechanical watches

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In 1982 the Oris SA was re-established under the leadership of Dr. Portmann and in partnership with Ulrich W. Herzog. It was one of the very first manufacturers who completely emphasized on traditional mechanics. The dials of the watches were sometimes intricately guilloched and together with the curved hands were significantly inspired by classical examples. With the slogan "High Mech" the importance of traditional mechanics was emphasised, in contrast to quartz technology, which in those days was still present even in the luxury segment. A complex, freely distributed catalog book documented history and technique of traditional watchmaking mechanics and positioned the brand clearly in this area. With this strategy it had success even in Japan. Among the classics of the brand is the model Big Crown, a pilot's watch with oversized crown, allowing the pilot to operate even with leather gloves.

Reorientation on masculine sports watches

At the end of the 1990 years the company with the new model series XXL and a TT1 reorientated towards large, heavy and conspicuous sports watches with masculine design. The model range was widely changed, and only the current version of the Big Crown still contains echoes of the earlier style. In order to increase their awareness one invested in new product lines, and a strong corresponding advertising. New distinguishing mark was now the red rotor of the mostly ETA-based automatic watch movements, which was visible through the transparent caseback. One of the most prestigious projects is the newer model TT1 Meistertaucher (Master Diver) - it is waterproof up to depths of 1,000 meters.

Since 2003 Oris occurs as a sponsor of the Formula 1 team Williams. In honor of Ralf Schumacher and the Williams F1 team a limited edition was launched. The watches of this edition included a carbon dial bearing the signature of Ralf Schumacher. A used part from the gearbox or the engine of an F1 car was added to each watch.

The sale of shares of the different continents reflect the success of the brand in the East: Europe 40%, Asia 47%, 9% Americas, Oceania 3% (in 2009). Since the Financial Crisis from 2007 Oris, relative to other providers, increases also much on the German market.

Overview of the Collection

The Oris collection includes the ranges Motor Sports, Aviation, Diving and Culture. In the latter, there are classic models as well as the series Miles, designed for famous jazz musicians, which is complemented by a special model for Bob Dylan.


Motor Sports




Special Editions


Oris SA
Ribigasse 1
CH 4434 Hölstein

Tel. +41-61-9561111
Fax +41-61-9512065


  • Oris, official website