Meet the new Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400. It’s made of titanium and comes with a grey, blue, or salmon dial. Inside is the Oris Calibre 400. When the in-house Oris caliber 400 was introduced in June of 2021, it set a new standard for Oris, and on a larger scale, the industry. It was made clear that it was meant to be both accessible and reliable. With a 120-hour power reserve, anti-magnetic properties, and 10-year service intervals, it quickly raised the bar for affordable in-house calibers. It debuted in the Aquis, a perfect match for the no-frills, old faithful ideology of the new movement.
Prior to the Caliber 400, the only other Oris caliber that was developed in-house was the radical Calibre 115. It was built as a skeleton movement (meaning material wasn’t ever removed, it was manufactured with skeletonized bridges and mainplate), featured a whopping ten-day power reserve with a non-linear power indicator, and a new-to-Oris alloy for the mainspring. Take one look at Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 and it’s clear that Oris is a manufacturer that can hang with the best of ’em when it comes to developing their own intellectual property.
So where does the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 fit into the picture? Somewhere right in the middle, in the sweet spot. It’s fashioned from tech-forward titanium that wears sandblasted and satinized finishes, but its minimalist dial design is reserved and stately, lending an air of simplistic elegance to the watch. It was only a matter of time before Oris rolled out the calibre 400 into new lines; so far, it’s appeared in the Aquis line, the Diver 65, and the Big Crown Pointer Date.
The ProPilot X Calibre 400 might be the best application of the calibre 400 yet. Oris has cleverly positioned this watch as celebrating “the joy of mechanics” first, and the aviation connection second. The brand has always had a strong point of view that’s resonated with the enthusiast community. In a press release about the watch, Oris touts its commitment to mechanical watchmaking, saying “We’re 100 percent mechanical at Oris. Not a single quartz. And certainly no smartwatches.” And they continue:
Modern technology is so smart that few of us really understand how things work. The rapid shift to AI will only increase the distance between our devices and our appreciation of how they do what they do. This is one of the many reasons people still love mechanical watches. They’re an antidote to technology’s blinding light. When you see an escapement wheel oscillating or a chronograph’s pushers initiating the steady advance of a central seconds hand, it’s reassuringly knowable. Poetic. Joyful even.
And this is what the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 is all about. There’s no contrived aviation connection or story about a historical occurrence with questionable authenticity. It’s just a very well-done mechanical watch. Oris doesn’t necessarily need to manufacture any marketing story here, because it manufactured a decent watch.
The dial layout is balanced and legible; it lends an entirely new personality to the ProPilot line, which historically has featured only Arabic numerals. The juxtaposition of a space-age material like titanium with a traditional-looking dial is unusual and incredibly attractive. The watch slots into the ProPilot line, but it doesn’t scream “aircraft!” in any way. You don’t have to be a diver to wear the cotton candy watches, and you certainly don’t have to be a plane nut to see the draw of the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400. In fact, I predict the majority of buyers won’t purchase it for the aviation connection, but instead for the universal appeal of a great design with an in-house movement. Sometimes there’s not much more to say about a watch other than “they got this one right.”