My Oris Collection and a Little Oris History –
In 1904 at Holstein, Paul Cattin and Georges Christian establish the Oris watch factory. Both come from the watch making capital Le Locle in the Swiss Jurassic region. Starting with just 24 workmen, they take over the recently closed down watch firm Lohner & Co. This beginning the Oris brand… Oddly enough the Oris name comes from a small brook in a valley close to Hölstein in the north-western part of Switzerland.
In less than a decade, Oris employs over 300 people at Hölstein, building houses and flats for the workers and soon becoming the biggest employer in the area.
Shortly after the death of co-founder Georges Christian in 1927, the firm becomes a public company. Oscar Herzog, brother-in-law of Georges Christian, becomes CEO and during the next 43 years continues the tradition of constant growth. Not too much is known on the death of co-founder Paul Cattin.
In 1966 the world famous automatic movement cal. 645 with 25-jewel lever escapement goes into production. In 1968 the Observatoire Astronomique et Chronométrique in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, awards Oris full chronometer certification… the highest distinction for the accuracy of cal. 652.
In the 1970’s as in most watch houses, Oris too saw a decline in sales due the Quartz movement and the loss of many jobs in the factories. Oris joins the band wagon and they too for a short period develop Quartz movements in order to compete, but true to the founders of Oris the Quartz movement was short lived… focus returned to mechanical movements much to their success.
By the 1990’s Oris was back on the move and the introduction of the complication movement cal. 581 is developed in 1991, with moonphase display, week day, date and a second time zone the movement is still highly prized in today’s collection.
Oris has made countless breakthroughs in watch making history and achieved numerous milestones in its rich Swiss watch making tradition. In recent years Oris has developed the collaboration with Formula 1 racing team Williams which certainly proves its superiority in creating innovative technologies in Swiss watch making.
Today, Oris still focuses on purely mechanical watches and their collections are sold around the world.
Watches, The Collection of Art,