Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Review

A tool watch that oozes design and beauty

Oris has had the Pointer Date collection around for some time in various iterations and colorways. Sporting a complication not seen in many mainstream watches and a dressy vibe, the Pointer Date could easily fall into the dress watch category. The modern Pointer Date models gained a screw down crown and various case finishes pushing them into the dressy tool watch category. While it has always been a well designed watch, like most Oris watches, the post-2018 Pointer Date models are something else.

The blue dial Big Crown Pointer Date seen here is one of the most beautiful watches made while still being able to call itself affordable. The dial is the most striking element of this watch and it is the best place to start. Everyone looking at this watch is going to first notice the shade of blue Oris used. It falls into a cool-gray-blue color that can shift from dark to light depending on the lighting.


The best way I could find to describe the shade of blue is relaxing. You don’t get the harsh contrast of a sunburst dial nor the subtleness of a dark blue, almost black dial. The color used here is unashamedly blue without being a baby or navy blue.  Whoever came up with this color at Oris deserves a raise.

The entire dial has a matte finish and all the numerals are printed, aiding in legibility. The time is readable from all angles and lighting situations. This is further aided by the large cathedral style hour and minute hands, a calling card of the Oris Pointer Date models for some time.  The hands are filled generously with lume, helping the watch feel slightly more toolish than if they were simply steel. The seconds hand is a solid steel baton hand, fading into the dial slightly but still obvious when you need to see it.


Pointing to the Date

The namesake complication of the watch is the fourth hand. A steel hand capped with a crescent moon shape that is tipped red surrounds the current date. The red accent, which is the only other color besides the dial, allows you to easily find the date when checking for it. The design of watch and the use of the date complication is executed so perfectly that it almost makes you wonder why more watches don’t employ a pointer date complication.


The date “wheel” is the outer most part of the dial and is subdued by the shape of the crystal (more on that later). The use of the pointer date complication seems much more practical for a watch like this than a date window as it fades into the background instead of being in the front row, yelling at you every time you look at your watch.  It’s there when you need it and obscured when you don’t.

All the indices, hash marks and the date markers are printed in white text. The font used on the Pointer Date’s dial gives you a feeling of nostalgia without being overwhelmingly vintage-inspired. I’m happy to see that Oris used white coloring for all the text and numerals and not going with aged lume. It is just another reminder that a lot of thought went into the design of this watch.


A Beautiful Dial with Hidden Details

A nice surprise was the lume application on the dial. My first thought before turning the lights off was that the hash marks flanking the numerals would be the only lume on the dial. To my joy, all the numerals are fully lumed, along with the hash marks, making this watch a sleeper lume monster.


Moving up from the dial you are greeted with a beautifully bubble domed sapphire crystal. Anti-reflective coating applied to the underside of the crystal keep the bubble dome from making the dial unreadable. The crystal plays with and distorts the dial in a pleasing way. Staring straight down at the dial you would almost not know the crystal is as domed as it is. Oris did a nice job curving the crystal the right way as to not introduce a milky ring which can be caused by high dome sapphire crystals.

Previously, I mentioned that the crystal can help obscure the date. The crystal begins its curve down toward the case right over the date wheel. Because of the curve and the distortion offered by the crystal, the date can almost disappear at times, but not in a way that hinders the use of the complication. I keep saying it, but it is another example of brilliance in design execution.


Case Execution

The 40mm case of the Pointer Date is as well executed as the rest of the watch. The lugs slope downward and hug the wrist. They aren’t too thin as to give the watch a dainty feeling nor are they too thick and chunky. The top of the lugs are brushed and the sides of the case are polished. Thankfully, Oris was able to pack their calibre 754/Sellita SW-200-1 into a case only 11.2mm in height, allowing the Pointer Date to slide easily under your shirt cuff.

The lug to lug height of the Pointer Date is right around 48mm. Some may think this is large for a 40mm watch falling into the dressier category. While on paper it may seem large, the watch wears smaller. This is thanks to the downward slope of the lugs as I mentioned above. On my 6.75” wrist, I never felt the watch to wear large or not fit my wrist, quite the opposite in fact.


As you would guess from the name of the watch, the crown is large, easy to grip and wind but does not dig into your wrist. Having experienced a few watches from Oris, the crown action here is what you would expect from a well-established Swiss brand. The crown gives a satisfying pop when unscrewed and obvious clicks when in its setting positions.

The top of the case features a polished, coin-edge bezel which compliments the large crown. The bezel catches and reflects light in a beautiful way, contrasting with the brushing on the top of the lugs. One of my favorite details on the case is the small cutout that is present just under the bezel. There is a small relief on the left and right of the case that creates a small ledge. It is also present on the top and bottom of the case, outlining the lugs.  It’s a small detail that brings a smile to my face every time I notice it.


The coin edge is also present on the back of the case, surrounding the exhibition case back showing off the movement with Oris’ trademark red rotor. The exhibition opening on the case back is quite large, allowing you to see the entire movement.


Straps & Bracelets

While Oris offers a fine link-style bracelet, my version came on the 20mm brown leather strap. The color of the included strap pairs perfectly with the dial color.  The strap was supple and conformed well to my wrist straight out of the box. To my surprise, the strap also includes quick release spring bars, allowing for easy strap changes. It is nice to see this feature making its way into more main-stream watches.


Because of the shade of blue used here, strap options might be a bit tricky. If you opt to use leather straps, a bit of trial and error might be in order to see what pairs well with the dial. I personally found that reddish-brown leathers went well with the dial, playing off the red-tipped date hand.

I also tried out a straight link metal bracelet with fine links. I found the straight ends fit into the retro-vibe of the watch and were a nice match. I have not tried anything besides the bracelet and leather although I think perlon and other single layer nylon straps would work nicely.


An Option for Everyone

There is a lot to like about the Pointer Date. Oris has packed a lot into a watch that looks good, feels good and doesn’t cost half a farm to obtain. If the blue isn’t your style, Oris has you covered with various dial colors like gray, black and green. Oris also released the burgundy and dark blue dial variants at Baselworld 2019. They even have the bronze lovers covered with the 80th anniversary LE. The Pointer Date also comes in a 36mm case size but not all colors, including the blue seen here, come in that size.


I’ve said before Oris will always hold a special place in my heart. Their blue dial watches always seem to resonate with me. It’s refreshing to see a brand take some risks with dial colors, light blues and greens aren’t all that common in watches. I’m happy to report that the risk Oris took with this dial color paid off. Every person I encounter that notices this watch or I show it to can help but remark on its beauty.

Case Width40mmThickness11.2mm
Lug-to-lug Height48mmLug Width20mm
CrystalBubble domed SapphireStrapLeather Strap
Water Resistance50 metersLumeSuper-LumiNova® C3
MovementOris cal 754/Sellita SW200-1Price$1600

More Images of the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date

Check out the Oris website

Comments 10
  1. Thank you for that article, could you please share the reference of the blue strap (non-leather) used in one of the pictures?

  2. Thank you, Will. This is the most comprehensive and helpful review on this watch. I finally pulled the trigger after a week of agonizing and ordered this watch, including a few Barton bands (thanks to the previous comment).
    I am in the initial stages of building up my watch collection, and your reviews are useful guidance. Thank you for the great content.

  3. Hi Will.
    Can you please tell me the name (link) of the metal bracelet- the one pictured in the lume shot.
    Thank you.
    Best Regards

    1. I got this from Watch Gecko a few years back. I don’t recall the name, but if they still make it, it should be easy to find on their site.

  4. Hi, great article! By any chance do you know the brand and model of the blue strap on the second picture?
    Thanks, Daniel

  5. I would also like to know where to find the blue strap in the 2nd picture. It is such a perfect match for this watch that I am buying tomorrow.

  6. I join Steven’s request. Would be great to hear from you, where you’ve bought that blue strap in the 2nd picture.

  7. A wonderful review supported by lovely images. Congrats. As a photographer myself, the thoughtful design of this watch, does indeed invite the intimate scrutiny of a macro lens. The shallow DOF and soft, creamy bokeh suits the romance and vintage appeal of this watch. I concur with the many aesthetic cues you shared. I finally got the blue one after much deliberation. Your article just helped me celebrate the fact. Keep on clicking!

  8. Hello, just read your review and I am completely in awe of this watch. I have this same Oris watch. It was acquired recently from a trade. The serial number on my watch differs ever so slightly from this watch showcased in your review. I have been trying to ascertain the “born” date of my watch. Is it possible to know the date of manufacture or “born” date based on the serial number? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NOMOS Novelties for 2019
World Time on wrist

NOMOS Novelties for 2019

New NOMOS releases for 2019

Worn & Wound Wind Up San Francisco 2019 Recap
Halios Feat Image

Worn & Wound Wind Up San Francisco 2019 Recap

A recap of the San Francisco Wind Up Watch Fair 2019

You May Also Like