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Oris Redefines Going One’s Own Way

Established in 1904, Oris has been making finely crafted mechanical timepieces for over 140  years. The Holstein, Switzerland-based company has a colorful history, changing hands but staying true to its origins until, it found itself an independent company once again.

Oris has always been about individuality, and it has taken the opportunity to refine its message further via a change in logo and tagline. “When you look at our logo today, you see a very clear focus on only three elements: our name; Holstein, our home; and 1904,  when we started to produce watches,” says Oris Region Manager for Southeast Asia Michael Meier. “The essence of what we do comes together also in our tagline, ‘Go your own way,’ that we’ve also updated… We do things as they make sense for us, and when they make sense for us, it makes sense for everyone… And at the same time, ‘Go your own way’ is a bit of a definition of our customers. Because we’re a more individual brand, we appeal to people (who value individuality, who have worked for their) success.”


The Oris Artelier Grand Lune, with Date and Diamonds


In a highly digitized world, one wonders if there is still a place for a mechanical timepiece. The answer is ‘yes.’ “We’re always connected and information is always at our fingertips, the world is getting faster and there’s a lot more change because of that. It’s nice to think that that there are products that, on one hand, show you the time and on the other, ground you because it is something that is lasting,” Meier says. “We have very modern timepieces, on the other hand, we also have some really nice reinterpreted vintage designs, and I think it works very very well with millennials.”

Meier credits the internet with helping Oris gain more traction, especially internationally. “Consumers are much more informed today so they really want to understand and get to know a brand and what’s behind it,” he says. “They also have the opportunity to talk directly to manufacturers and for us, this has been great because we are in much closer contact to our customers.”

Social media, he says, has particularly been a boon. “All those images we’re getting from people wearing Oris, taking all kinds of creative pictures with their watches--it’s just amazing to be able to bring a product to the world and see how it’s been received and see the different ways it’s being used,” he says. “Our big promise is we’re going our own way, we’re defining our own path, and I think that this appeals to people who don’t want to just follow the masses but want to define their own path in their life.”


The Oris Artelier Grand Lune, with Date and Diamonds


There’s a current trend towards vintage design, something that Meier says may remain an influence. “We ask ourselves what comes after vintage,” he says. “In that regard, we're trying to combine this with a very modern approach, and I feel that this is also where it is going. Yes, people like old values, but it has to be in today’s time.”

The Philippines, in particular, is big on diver’s watches. “Our Aquis diving watches are very very popular, and it’s great because it’s a country where you need something solid, something that’s weatherproof,” he says. “Our Diver 65 is something that has strong reception across the world.”

For something more elegant, Meier points to the Grande Lune. “This is a very nice watch with the diamonds and a very nice moon indication. Something more on the stylish side from our collection but still with a fully mechanical movement,” he says. “I see more an elegant woman that wants a mechanical timepiece that stands out a little bit, but not too much.”

Buying a mechanical timepiece is no small matter. Meier advises that one put a lot of thought into it, especially if it’s a first purchase. “I recommend that you buys something that you love,” he says. “In the end, it’s important to wear a watch that suits your style, that expresses your personality and more so, is something that you love wearing and not something that you just hide away in a safe because it’s too precious to wear. Put it on your wrist, wear it, and love it.”