The first mechanical watch I ever bought for myself was an Oris. Although I no longer have it, I still admire the brand for its independent and sometimes quirky approach to design. When they announced the Big Crown ProPilot series a couple years ago, I was immediately drawn to it.
This watch has some really cool features that I love. Whereas I have never appreciated a coin-edged bezel (and Oris has made plenty of these), this watch has unique machine-turning on the bezel, crown, and caseback. It's suggestive of a jet engine's turbine, and is quite beautiful, but the machining on the crown has a practical benefit too. It's so grippy that it feels almost sticky. If you've ever been frustrated by a tiny, hard to grasp crown, you would appreciate this watch.
I also really love that Oris didn't stick with the movement's standard date wheel and put their own on this watch. The numbers are slightly bigger than a standard date wheel, and the font it uses is very pleasing to the eye. The red tip on the second hand is a nice, subtle touch too.
The font Oris used on the dial is quite beautiful and reminiscent of the fonts used on mid-century pilot's and navigator's watches. Check out that gorgeous radiused 4.
The Oris is extremely comfortable on the wrist too.
I really like German watches and a favorite of mine is this Cockpit Chronometer LE from another independent brand, Mühle Glashütte. The watch has a very warm dial, owing in part to the tritium paint that the indices and numerals are painted in. It also has an internal timing bezel, which is turned by the crown at 2 o'clock. The 2824-2 movement in this watch is a COSC certified chronometer, a fact I find a bit odd.
One of my favorite little features of the dial is the T MADE IN GERMANY T designation just under the 6. When was the last time you saw that?
The lugs are gracefully curved, a design hallmark of Mühle Glashütte, among other brands. And look at those strap bars, which are actually big strong screw pins. A few years ago I saw the 7750-powered chronograph version of this watch for sale on eBay. I couldn't afford it right then, but if I ever see another one you can bet I'll be picking it up.
I used to have several Mk II (pronounced "mark two") watches, but my favorite and the only one that has stayed in my collection is the Quad 10. Although the name is kind of dumb if you ask me (it refers to the case's 40 mm size and 10 bar water resistance), the watch takes its inspiration from a true classic, the Mk 11 navigator's watches produced for the British Ministry of Defence starting in 1948. These watches were supplied by IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre, although today most folks associate the iconic squared off hour hand with IWC and assume that it was their design genius.
One of my favorite features of this watch is the counterweight on the seconds hand. It is so nicely executed on this watch.
This Type 48 Quad 10, Mk II's first production watch, is a real pleasure to own and wear and reminds me of the good friend I got it from. I traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to take collection of the watch over pints of Guinness and made a new friend for life. Such is the power of a good wristwatch.