Oris Introduces Cricket-Themed Big Crown Pointer Date

A bronze case and subtle cricket detailing.

Oris gives its signature model a subtle makeover with the Big Crown Father Time Limited Edition, a collaboration with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). This release commemorates the pair’s three-year collaboration that began in 2022 and combines a 40 mm bronze case with a creamy white dial.

Initial thoughts

The Big Crown Father Time is best described as a cricket-themed variation of the bronze Big Crown Pointer Date. The cricket element, however, is subtle and practically absent from the dial, which is not a bad thing since it gives the watch the widest possible appeal.

Setting aside the cricket theme, the contrast between the dial elements and the dial itself is appealing. The watch stands out in terms of legibility due to this contrast. The cathedral hands and extra-large crown add a nice touch that evoke vintage Oris models. And though I’m typically a fan of fluted bezels, this one works well.

This is equipped with a Sellita SW 200-1 instead of an in-house movement. However, with a retail price of US$3,100, it is still acceptable value.

“Father Time”

Sitting on top of the clock tower, Father Time is the weathervane at Lord’s Cricket Ground and was gifted to MCC in 1926 by architect Sir Herbert Baker. Because Lord’s is the “Home of Cricket”, and the MCC once the sport’s governing body, Father Time is one of the globally recognised symbols of the sport.

The Big Crown Pointer Date, on the other hand, is synonymous with Oris. Introduced in 1938 as a pilot’s watch, it has an oversized crown for setting the time without removing flight gloves, along with a legible red pointer to indicate the date.

The Father Time edition is in classic Big Crown style with large Arabic numerals and cathedral-style hands. On its periphery lies the date track read against a red tipped pointer.

It has a bronze case measuring 40 mm in diameter and 12 mm high with a coin-edge bezel and oversized crown. The type of bronze used acquires a brown patina over time instead of the green patina found on more conventional bronze alloys.

As with most bronze watches, the case back is not bronze, but steel as bronze can cause allergic reactions after prolonged contact with skin. It’s engraved with the Father Time wind vane along with the limited edition number.

Behind the engraved back lies the Oris cal. 754, which is a Sellita SW 200-1 modified to incorporate a pointer date. The movement is robust and easily serviceable but has a short 38 hours of power reserve.

Notably, the watch is delivered with a bronze bracelet along with a deer skin leather strap.

Key facts and price

Oris Big Crown Father Time Limited Edition

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 12 mm
Material: Bronze
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Oris 754 (Sellita SW200-1)
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, and pointer date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Bronze bracelet; deerskin leather strap

Limited edition: 1,926 pieces
Availability: At Oris boutiques, retailers, and Oris.ch
Price: US$3,100

For more information, visit Oris.ch.


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Omega Updates the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Apollo 8”

A rocket-shaped hand and a new movement.

Six years ago, Omega introduced the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Apollo 8”, a distinctive take on the Speedmaster Moonwatch featuring a Moon surface-patterned movement and dial. Basically an amalgamation of the all-ceramic Dark Side of the Moon (DSOTM) with the Moonwatch, the model has now undergone a significant mechanical upgrades with a new METAS-certified calibre, while preserving essentially the same design.

Initial thoughts

The original Apollo 8 was noteworthy for challenging the traditional concept of the Speedmaster Moonwatch. While it had the same movement and dimensions, the materials, styling, and finishing were entirely different. Visually, it was a major departure from the familiar Moonwatch.

The latest version sticks to the same aesthetic, so it doesn’t bring much novelty in terms of appearance, save for a rocket-shaped seconds hand. But it does have an upgraded movement, essentially the next-generation Moonwatch movement finished in the Apollo 8 style.

As is often the case with Omega, incremental improvements to existing models are a means to explore new concepts or technologies, which in the case of the original Apollo 8 would have been the textured lunar-surface finishing. This new model would have been more significant if a more developed or advanced version of the texturing had been applied, setting it apart more obviously from its predecessor.

Priced at US$14,300, the upgraded Apollo 8 falls sits at the middle of the price range for the ceramic Dark Side of the Moon models. The premium over the original model can be rationalised with the new METAS-certified movement, the absence of major design changes makes it less compelling for someone who already owns a ceramic Speedmaster.

The original Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 from 2018

A mechanically-upgraded Apollo 8

This release represents the second incarnation of the Apollo 8 that was launched in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 lunar mission. Notable at launch its partially open-worked dial, the model was the first Moonwatch to be decorated with the Moon – the movement base plate and bridges featured a textured relief finish replicating the lunar surface.

The original was equipped with the hand-wound cal. 1869, a variant of the cal. 1861—the longstanding Lemania movement that was standard in the Moonwatch for decades before it was reworked and upgraded to create the cal. 3861 in 2021.

The updated Apollo 8 undergoes the same mechanical upgrade, coupled with subtle alterations to its dial and case. The watch now sports the cal. 3869 that is derived from the cal. 3861.

Like most of Omega’s premium movements, the cal. 3869 is METAS certified, earning it the Master Chronometer label. The certification also means it boasts resistance to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss.

The cal. 3869

Whilst the new Apollo 8 retains the black and yellow colour scheme of its predecessor, several details have been refined.

The base plate visible through the open dial is laser engraved with a relief texture that replicates the Moon’s dark side. But now the screws and pins visible on the front have been reduced, some have been camouflaged with a black coating, giving the dial a more cohesive appearance.

The most obvious design change is the rocket-shaped hand for the running seconds at nine. Laser turned from titanium, the hand is a miniature model of Saturn V, NASA’s famed heavy-lift launch vehicle. According to Omega, creating the seconds hand is a multi-step process that requires “varnishing, ablation, and laser blackening”.

The upgraded Apollo 8 retains the black ceramic case in the trademark Moonwatch form, which measures an unchanged 44.5 mm in diameter. However, it is now thinner at 13 mm, a reduction of 0.8 mm over its predecessor, thanks in part to the new movement.

The ceramic case back is engraved with a quote from American astronaut Jim Lovell: “We’ll see you on the other side”

Key facts and price

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Apollo 8 Edition”
Ref. 310.

Diameter: 44.25 mm
Height: 13 mm
Material: Black ceramic
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 3869
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, Co-Axial escapement, chronograph and resistant to magnetism of up to 15,000 Gauss
Winding: Manual
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Rubber strap with folding clasp

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Omega boutiques and authorised retailers
Price: US$14,300

For more, visit Omegawatches.com.


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