Vintage Oris Watches: Timeless Styles & Their Values

Published December 9, 2020
wristwatch on wooden cabinet

Vintage Oris watches can appeal to nearly every watch wearer for their classic, understated styles and their well-documented history of superior Swiss performance. Since Oris has been innovating the watch industry for well over a hundred years, chances are you've come across a vintage Oris watch in the display window of your favorite jeweler. Before you try on that vintage Oris watch, you'll want to be armed with a bit of knowledge about the brand's history and the watches they're renowned for.

Brief History of Oris SA

Paul Cattin and Georges Christian founded their company in Holstein, Switzerland on June 1, 1904 and named their company Oris after a nearby stream. This Swiss watch company quickly grew in size and joined other timepiece innovators in fitting "bracelet buckles to [their] pocket watches, thereby transforming them into fully-fledged wristwatches" according to the company's website. Unfortunately, the company did face significant complications when the Swiss government implemented the "Watch Statute" in 1934, which regulated the watch-making industry and forced Oris to adopt the new movement mechanisms that their competitors already had in production. Yet, the company continued to produce iconic watches, all of which fall into one of the four 'Oris Worlds.'

  • Aviation - watches made for high altitudes and strong g-force
  • Divers - water resistant watches made to sustain high pressures
  • Motorsports - watches inspired by motorsports racing
  • Culture - watches crafted in a traditional style

Vintage Oris Watches

Oris watches are widely considered some of the most affordable Swiss watches available; thus, you can find high-quality, working, vintage Oris wristwatches for a fraction of the price of other Swiss luxury watch brands like Omega and Rolex. Here are some of the most desirable vintage Oris watches to be on the lookout for.

Oris watch

Oris' Big Crown

Oris Big Crown watches were first conceived in 1938 and were named for their oversized crowns that allow for easy time-telling. These large crowns were designed "as an aid to pilots who adjusted their watches while wearing leather gloves," and are particularly befitting of people with larger wrists. One of the most desirable characteristics of these popular aviation watches is Oris' pointer date function; along the outer edge of these dials are 31 squares which a fourth pointer points to in correspondence to the actual day of the month that it currently is.

Oris' Mid-Century Calibres

Oris ushered in the post-war period with the release of its first automatic movement watch, the Calibre 601, in 1952. Over the course of the mid-20th century, the company continued to develop their Calibre series, and released their first chronometer watch, the Calibre 652, in 1968. Anyone would do well in adding this vintage watch to their collections because it was awarded the covetable Full Chronometer Certification from the Swiss Observatoire Astronomique et Chronometrique.

Oris' Diver 65

Perhaps the company's best-known vintage watch, Oris' first diver watch was released in 1965. The Diver 65 was advertised to feature a rotating bezel and timer scale that were water resistant for up to a 100 meters. In fact, the Diver 65's function and form are considered so desirable by Oris that the watch manufacturer created a contemporary Diver Sixty-Five series in honor of this legendary watch.

Oris' Chronoris

If you're a fan of chronographs (watches that have a dual display and stopwatch function), then an authentic Oris Chronoris might be the watch for you. Originally released in 1970, the Chronoris was the company's first foray into chronographs, and bears design inspiration from motorsports. As with the Diver Sixty-Five watch, Oris reissued the Chronoris for their modern clientele.

Oris' Players Watch

Although the 1990 Oris Players Watch doesn't fit into one of the company's stylistic 'worlds,' it definitely caught the attention of football fans around the world. This unique watch sported four independent counters spread across its dial, and an original Players Watch recently sold at a private auction for $1,770.

Oris' Worldtimer Watch

Oris's 1997 Worldtimer Watch was expertly crafted to fix a traveler's worst nightmare - time zone differences. This gave watch wearers the ability to shift the times on their watches forward or backward in one-hour increments. While those who have to hop across time zones certainly find this watch incredibly useful, those who have to live under daylight savings time would do well in finding their own Worldtimer to purchase.

Oris Watch Values

Generally, Oris watches sell for significantly less than other luxury watch brands at around $1,000- $2,000 on average. Given those estimates, you can expect to find vintage Oris watches listed for anywhere between $100-$1000 depending on their age and quality. For example, a stainless steel Oris Diver 65 is currently listed for $975, and a vintage Oris Pointer Date from 1960 is listed for $555. Vintage Oris watches are an incredibly affordable option for collectors and watch-lovers who want to buy vintage but can't part with large sums of cash.

Beware of Fake Vintages

Some of the most iconic vintage Oris watches have been reissued by the company in the past few years in an attempt to appeal to consumer's nostalgia. This makes finding genuine vintage Oris watches rather difficult, particularly since many auction houses and resell retailers don't list their products' estimated ages. Thus, be sure to thoroughly investigate any potential purchase for its age and authenticity to ensure that you're buying a real vintage Oris.

Admiring golden jewelry

Watches for the Vintage Lovers on a Budget

Ultimately, vintage Oris watches present a rare opportunity for people to purchase high-quality vintage products for a fraction of their competitors' costs. As vintage lovers and collectors know all too well, finding a deal like this is nearly impossible. So, if you have the chance to buy a well-preserved vintage Oris watch you should absolutely bring it home with you. Now learn more about antique pocket watches so you're not missing out on anything.

Vintage Oris Watches: Timeless Styles & Their Values