Graceful Shopper recently opened me up to wrist watches and bought me a $75 Timex quartz watch after she bought her Baume and Mercier. After discovering I enjoyed wearing a watch, it was time to invest in a quality mechanical timepiece.

At the time, I had just mentally got over paying more than $50 for a watch. My budget initial budget was around $800 CAD (not including TAX) and the key criteria were:

  • Versatility – Weekend Casual and Smart Business (Dark Jeans and Blazer)
  • Classic Design – Just suits my personality best.
  • Numbers – At the time I felt it’d be easier to tell the time.

After much research with help from watch enthusiasts in forums, my budget doubled and the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date in Slate Blue was ultimately selected as my one watch (or so I naively thought).

4 months later

I very much enjoyed the watch and there are two outstanding things about it with a side tinge of disappointment.

Leather Strap – Very comfortable, thin and patinas well. The quick release (which allows you to swap out without tools) is very convenient. Oris has other strap styles which allow you to completely change the look of your watches in minutes.

Dial – This is where I am super happy but also disappointed. The blue, cathedral hands, red pointer date, bubble-domed sapphire crystal and finishings with the case results in a stellar vintage and sporty watch.

However – to my eye, the deep rich blue captured in the watch posts only reveals itself under sunlight or specific brighter lighting. It’s not the end of the world, but I feel that perhaps a lighter shade of baby blue could have worked better.

The Goods – The Oris Big Crown is an excellent watch and I would strongly recommend it as an all-around entry mechanical watch. Update – So much so, that a year later, I purchased the 36mm in steel. And the chalk-board green looks great under all lighting conditions,

Photo from Hodinkee Review

Runner Ups

I was very close to buying the Montblanc (it looks way nicer in person than pictured), but ultimately the pointer date, blue dial and value proposition of the Oris won out.

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date for $1,495 USD 
Mido Multifort Datometer for $2,063 USD
Montblanc 1858 Champagne for $3,275 USD

Photos from Hodinkee

Further Reading

I feel these are the best reviews to read before purchasing for yourself,

Hodinkee’s Hands-On review with a great discussion on it’s horological significance.

Gear Patrol’s If You Only Want to Have One Nice Watch has a compelling discussion on versatility.

Watch Clicker Oris review has the most detailed technical discussion.