Timekeepers Club / January 10, 2023

Oris Big Crown Calibre 473

The Big Crown Calibre 473 revives one of the most iconic designs in Oris history. Meet the Big Crown Calibre 473, a watch housing a new, highly innovative hand-wound mechanical movement designed from the ground up in-house by Oris watchmakers.

No mistake, this is a special watch. Why? Because it breathes new life into our signature design, the iconic Big Crown Pointer Date, an Oris collection mainstay since 1938. For the first time in decades, it has a hand-wound in-house Oris calibre inside it, Calibre 473. And that’s a magical thing.

The story of Calibre 473 is that it’s built on the same base as the Oris Calibre 403 automatic. So it has hour, minute, small seconds and pointer date hands, and a five-day power reserve, now shown by a 120-hour power reserve indicator on the back of the movement. Calibre 473 took four years to develop and closes a circle for Oris.

Without a rotor, the power reserve indicator is visible through the watch’s sapphire case back. Oris watchmakers designed it to be simple to produce and assemble, and extremely durable, in line with our movement creation philosophy. We’ve filed a patent for it.

As with Calibre 400 Series movements, Calibre 473 also has elevated levels of antimagnetism, and each watch powered by it will come with a 10-year warranty and 10-year recommended service intervals. Pure joy.

Winding down 120-hour power reserve indicator

Often with a hand-wound watch, there’s no way of being sure when it will stop. Oris has developed a 120-hour power reserve indicator to sit on the back of Calibre 473, a useful function that clearly shows when the time to rewind its five-day reserve is approaching. High performance made even better.

Oris Fine Adjustment System

Oris has developed a sophisticated new stainless steel butterfly folding clasp with a fine adjustment system. It allows you to adjust the strap as your wrist expands and contracts, which happens as environmental conditions change.

For the love of mechanics

The Oris Movement Creation Programme enters its tenth year with its tenth in-house calibre, continuing a rich mechanical watchmaking story that began in 1904.

When we kick-started the Oris Movement Creation Programme in the late 2000s, it revived a part of Oris culture that had been dormant since the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s. Since 1904, Oris had created more than 270 unique calibres. Original, innovative watch movements are part of who we are.

From the outset, the programme brief was clear. Oris movements had to be distinctly Oris. Which meant? Purely mechanical and Swiss Made, with unique functions and performance, and at prices that make sense to today’s world citizen. Our vision remains to create beautiful mechanical watches and original, purpose-driven movements that bring joy to people who love mechanics.

It began in 2014 with Calibre 110, the first of the Calibre 100 Series of hand-wound movements. These beautiful calibres had 10-day power reserves from a single barrel, patented non-linear power reserve indicators, and often additional useful functions, such as a business calendar or a second time zone.

We followed these in 2020 with the Calibre 400 Series, our first in-house developed line of automatics in more than 40 years. These featured five-day power reserves, elevated levels of anti-magnetism, 10-year warranties and 10-year recommended service intervals: The New Standard in Swiss Made automatics.

The response has encouraged us to keep innovating. In the past nine years, we’ve introduced nine highly original, highperformance calibres, installing them in beautifully designed Swiss Made watches.

And now, in the tenth year of the revived Oris Movement Creation Programme, we’re proud to announce a new high-performance hand-wound movement: Calibre 473.

The voice of time

More than four decades have passed since Ulrich W. Herzog joined Oris. After co-leading a management buyout in 1982, he ran the company for almost 35 years. Now Oris Chairman, he remains as passionate as ever about mechanical watches.

Ulrich, how would you describe your remarkable career with Oris?

I joined Oris during the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s, a hugely challenging period. Seeing Oris become a respected player in Swiss mechanical watches has made me very happy. Oris has given me extraordinary contact with the world, broadening my mind and leading me to many great friendships.

What are your memories of the 1982 management buyout?

Swiss watchmaking was in deep trouble, and buying a watch company was a huge risk. Dr Portmann, then Oris’s Managing Director and now Honorary Chairman, and I knew Oris had a proud heritage and made great watches at prices that made sense. It was also committed to its staff, its community, its customers and the environment. This gave us courage, but even so, we had to be brave.

Why has Oris remained independent?

Oris was part of a group when we bought it. We saw that to grow, it needed to be able to go its own way. That’s now the Oris mindset, and what makes it desirable. Independence means we can do what’s right for our customers, and quickly. We’re also financially independent and finance our own growth.

In the 1980s, you decided to abandon quartz watches for mechanicals. Why?

While quartz was precise, it lacked emotion. In Japan, I saw ‘Yuppies’, as young urban professionals were known in the 1980s, fascinated by Oris mechanical watches. That was a real eye-opener and we soon decided to phase out quartz watches. It was one of the most significant decisions we made and paved the way for the Oris strategy: purely Swiss mechanical watches with unique movements at prices that make sense.

Oris continues to evolve: do you still see the company you took over in 1982?

Yes, the basics are the same: certainly in how we build open, honest relationships with our staff and suppliers – and our customers!

What’s Oris’s role in watchmaking now?

We offer serious mechanical watches at fair prices in an industry that sometimes forgets that there are numerous people who would like to own a mechanical watch, but who still have to work hard for their money.

In 2014, Oris returned to movement creation with Calibre 110. Why?

Oris had created more than 270 calibres before 1980. It’s part of our story and what makes Oris unique. We also had the talent in-house, so it was a natural step. Even then, it was a risk. It moved us into a new price segment. But the response was great and encouraged us to continue the programme.

What does ‘in-house’ mean to Oris?

It means establishing specifications and the engineering concept, and financing tooling development and prototyping. Know-how is in-house, manufacturing is by third parties, and we share assembly.

Oris’s in-house movements push prices up. How do you square this with customers?

Every Oris movement offers unique properties and performance, such as a five-day power reserve and 10-year warranty, while still representing good value. Our calibres represent Oris values even better and our customers really welcome this.

What’s unique about Calibre 473?

Calibre 473 is based on our Calibre 400 and has the same base performance. But it’s hand-wound and has a power reserve indication on its reverse, an indispensable feature for a hand-wound calibre with such a long power reserve. We also designed this indication to be simple to produce and assemble, and to be highly durable, and we’ve filed a patent for it.

Are there further Oris calibres to come?

We’re constantly working on new ideas for attractive in-house movements. But it’s too early to tell you about them...

Technical specifications

Oris Big Crown Calibre 473

Reference: 473 7786 4065-07 5 19 22FC


  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm (1.496 inches)
  • Glass: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Case back: Stainless steel, screwed, see-through sapphire glass
  • Stainless steel screw-in security crown
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters (5 bar)

Dial and hands

  • Blue dial
  • Indices, numbers and hands printed with Super-LumiNova®


  • Oris Calibre 473
  • Manually wound movement
  • Power reserve of 120 hours
  • Accuracy -3/+5 seconds a day (within COSC tolerances)
  • Extra features: Highly anti-magnetic


  • Centre hands for hours, minutes and date
  • Small seconds at 6 o’clock
  • 120-hour power reserve indicator on reverse, fine timing device and stop-second

Strap and buckle

  • Olive brown strap crafted from sustainably sourced deer leather produced by Oris’s Swiss partner Cervo Volante
  • Premiere of an Oris-developed stainless steel butterfly clasp with fine adjustment system 

MSRP: CHF 4'200

For more information, please visit


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