Photo Credits: ablogtowatch

(1904 ) Named after a nearby brook, Oris is founded by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian in Hölstein, Switzerland. They bought a watch factory that closed down recently. Lohner & Co 

oris factory

Photo Credits: Watch Paper

1910 Oris, becomes the largest employer in Hölstein with over 300 staff members after opening five additional factories between 1906 onwards

Jacques-David LeCoultre

1927 Georges Christian passes away and the company is sold to family’s friends of theirs. Watchmaker Jacques-David LeCoultre (grandson of Antoine LeCoultre) becomes president of Oris while being the managing director of LeCoultre. The company merges with Edmond Jaeger in 1937.

1938  (Feature Photo) Oris introduces their first pilot watch. It is unique due to its big crown which comes quite in handy when the time needs to be adjusted while wearing gloves. It also contains a Pointer Calendar function.


Photo Credits: Oris Official Site

1939 to 1945  Oris becomes popular for their alarm clocks during the WW2.


1952 Oris launches its first automatic watch.

1956 Rolf Portmann is hired to help Oris switch from pin-lever escapements and to rather manufacture higher-end Swiss lever ones. However, there is a law called “the Watch Statute” in place which is preventing them from doing so which became a huge challenge as it stated that no watch business could make any changes without the approval of the government.

1966 Finally the law stated above is changed and Oris can now make more expensive Swiss lever escapements. Their first watch to have it is called the automatic Caliber 645.

vintage oris watch

Photo Credits: eCRATER

1969 Oris reaches produces 1.2 million watches with a workforce of 800 people, placing them in the top 10 largest watch companies in the world at this time.

1970 Oris is sold to ASUAG, which eventually merges into the Swatch Group much later on. They also produce the Chronoris (their first stop-seconds motorsport-inspired chronograph)

vintage oris chronograph

1982 Rolf Portmann and Ulrich Herzog buy Oris.

vintage oris watch

Photo Credits: Quality Time UK

1984  After Ulrich ad Rolf buys Oris in 1982, they introduce a centre-mounted calendar pointer watch inspired by another watch from 1938 of theirs.


Photo Credits: The Watch Spot

1988 Oris launches alarm wristwatches which includes a Schild movement.

oris jazz watch

1996 Oris starts producing a series of watches named after great jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, with their first watch called after saxophonist, Andy Sheppard.

oris world timer watch

1997 Oris launches a patented system in a watch called the Worldtimer with a Caliber 690. This allows the date to jump backwards when local time is moved back over midnight or jump forward if needed.

oris red winding rotor

2002 A trademarked symbol of Oris is born as shown above. This is their famous red winding rotor which is used in many of their automatic watches.

oris chronograph

2008 A watch that can tell the time in three different time zones is launched. This is the BC4 Flight Timer.

And that’s a short little history on how Oris came about. Stay tuned for more interesting stories.

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