The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser is polychromatic perfection
The dial is made with freakin’ lasers.
The ProPilot X, Oris’ all-titanium Calibre 400-equipped powerhouse, has, since its introduction in 2022, played host to some outstandingly colourful dials. The initial run captured hearts and minds with a finely grained pastel pink, and earlier this year, Kermit entered the chat with a green dial to to melt your heart (and mind). For Dubai Watch Week, Oris has continued its colour run with the ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser, featuring a dial made with — you guessed it — lasers.
To create this remarkable dial, Oris has partnered with a research lab affiliated with ETH Zurich, who have treated the dial with a laser process that’s never been seen in watches before. Richard ‘Ipy’ Siegrist, who oversees Oris’ engineering department, explains how the dial has such a chameleonic appearance. “We’re looking at a phenomenon called optical interference. You can see a dial with beautiful colours ranging from blue to green to violet. But there is not a single pigment of colour on it. Everything is achieved via a laser treatment that changes the watch’s titanium dial in such a way that the light waves that get reflected back to your eyes only contain a certain spectrum of visible light, and therefore give you an impression of colour. Normal light contains all the colours of the visible spectrum (and more that are not visible). If a certain range – the longer red waves, for example – gets destroyed, only the medium green and shorter blue waves get reflected. It’s colour creation by addition. We’ve also added a second layer that splits the visible light into its components and creates a shimmering rainbow effect. How you see this depends on your viewing angle.” Ipy also explains how developing this process took around two years of R&D, thanks in part to the incredibly tight tolerances required, if the dial is even one or two microns off, it throws the focus of the laser out of whack, ruining the effect. Apparently, the technique could also work successfully on other movement parts, I imagine a rotor with this effect would be quite the trip.
So, what else do we need to know about this watch beyond the dial? Well, 39mm titanium case, with the technical bracelet featuring the truly excellent folding clasp. Inside is the Cal. 400, with 120 hours of power reserve, and 10 years of warranty — it’s a winning combination, and one that really allows the dial of this watch to sing.
Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser
Movement: Oris Calibre 400, automatic, 120 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: Titanium, 39mm, rated to 100M water resistance
Dial: Light-reflecting layered titanium
Bracelet: Titanium with Folding Clasp
Price: CHF 4,800
MORE STORIES ABOUT ORIS
|Movement||Self-winding caliber SW200-1b; 41-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes and seconds|
|Case||41.5mm; 316 steel with Cerulean blue stonewashed Cerakote coating, matte vintage navy aluminium bezel insert; water resistant to 300m|
|Dial||Matte vintage navy; hour markers outlined in Super-LumiNova|
|Strap||Vintage navy TPU-coated nylon; additional vintage navy nylon with fabric keepers|
|Limited Edition||Limited Edition of 200 pieces|