How do you make a mechanical movement better? What do people want in a watch movement? How can we produce the best possible watch at the best possible price? These questions, and more, have been asked for generations, and different watch companies responded with different solutions. Today, Oris is proud to announce a new in-house automatic movement that celebrates the joy of mechanics. They call it Calibre 400.
Calibre 400 is a new movement, independently conceived by Oris, and sets the new standard for automatic mechanical movements. It was conceived five years ago and has finally come to fruition this year. Calibre 400 has a five-day power reserve (120 hours), is highly resistant to magnetism, and comes with a 10-year recommended service interval with a 10-year warranty to boot.
It is true that other watch companies have come up with timepieces that have a five-day power reserve, some even longer. But the point to be stressed here is that Oris is able to come up a movement that has a 120-hour power reserve, produced at the best possible price. To put it in simpler terms, this is a movement with the quality of a high-end watch at the price that is affordable to most.
Having a watch with a 5-day power reserve means that you can take off your watch on Thursday night and wear it on Monday morning without having to wind it. Let’s face it, people normally have more than one watch. There may be days when you’d like a smart watch to accompany you on your run, your swim, or your trip to the gym. And your other watches are left in your drawer for the next few days. Having the Calibre 400 means that you can leave it behind for up to five days without having to wind it.
“The challenge of creating a mechanical movement from scratch is not just to come up with a list of functions and then devise a solution to them,” says Beat Fischli, Oris’s Chief Operating Officer, who created Calibre 400 with his team. “The real challenge is to produce a movement that will perform consistently and reliably for as long as the intervals you’re going to recommend between servicing.”
“The solution was to develop a highly efficient movement that would be much more resistant to wear and tear. We focused on reducing torque in the mainspring – where power is stored – to help conserve power and put less pressure on moving parts. We also introduced a new wheel design into the gear train that delivers far greater efficiency. Calibre 400 retains 85 percent of the energy transferred from the mainspring, compared to a norm of around 70 percent.”
Beat continues on to say: “Typically the rotating mass, or rotor, sits on a ball bearing and winds in both directions, Instead, we devised a much more reliable system based on the slide bearing concept that only winds in one direction. It’s much less complex and reduces wear and tear.”
Beat and his team also developed an entirely new escapement. They selected silicon for the anchor and escape wheel, and other non-ferrous materials for the axes that hold the balance wheel, escape wheel, and anchor in place. Around 30 more parts are made of non-ferrous materials or non-magnetic alloys so that the impact of magnetic fields on the accuracy of Calibre 400 is reduced by more than 90 percent.
“This is the Oris way of doing things,” says Rolf Studer, Oris’s Co-CEO. “We think a bit harder and come up with sober solutions that mean we can make a watch for people in love with watches, and not only for the privileged few. Calibre 400 isn’t just another mechanical watch movement – it is a movement that gives answers to the questions of our time. More than that, it serves our customers.”
The first watch to carry Oris’s Calibre 400 is the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400. The Aquis is recognised as an icon of contemporary diver’s watch design. It is strong. It is reliable. It is versatile. And it is chosen by men and women from all walks of life. The new Aquis Date Calibre 400 has a few differences from the original. The first is the words “5 days” on the gradient blue dial. Secondly, the date window is a bit larger and the date disc is black, rather than white. On the reverse, the sapphire glass case back is the largest that Oris has ever installed in an Aquis Date, so the owner can have a better view of the movement.
At the same time, the watch is still water resistant to 300 meters, has a uni-directional rotating bezel with a scratch proof ceramic insert, and SuperLumiNova® hands and indices. It is also equipped with Oris’s newest patented development, the Quick Strap Change System, engineered so a bracelet or strap can be released simply by lifting a flap. No tools required.
The new Calibre 400 has a 5-day power reserve. It is highly resistant to magnetism. It has an accuracy of -3/+5 seconds per day. It has a recommended service interval of 10 years. It comes with a 10-year warranty. It is produced with the best choice of materials and set at the best possible price. To quote what Rolf Studer said: “There’s nothing else like it.”