During our visit to the Oris booth at Baselworld 2018, one of the models that we gravitated towards was the Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot Altimeter, a mechanical watch with an altimeter, a device used to measure altitude. This makes the Big Crown Pro Pilot a fantastic adventurer watch for those deep treks into the woods.
Obviously, you could grab a Suunto or G-Shock Rangeman for a bucketload of features for exploring, but having a mechanical (as opposed to digital) watch mark altitude is more of our style, which is, of course, always an important factor. This offering from Oris simply looks purposeful. The dual oversized crowns, the easy-to-read dial, and knurled bezel add to up to a look that makes the wearer appear very rugged.
The altimeter is made by Thommen and takes its readings from changes in air pressure. There’s a capsule inside the the watch that shrinks and expands to move the needle indicating altitude on the dial. While using the watch for elevation readings, the lower crown must remain unscrewed so that air can flow inside the watch for reading. A red indicator around the stem lets the wearer know there is potential for water to enter the watch, but Oris has fitted a collar on the lower portion of the lower crown to protect the watch from moisture in the air.
Lots of people who read this may bemoan that the Oris isn’t the most practical, but neither is wearing a mechanical watch in general. We’re into this model for its feat of engineering and continue to applaud Oris for delivering true tool watches. This watch retails for $4,100.