Oris has captivated the watch world yet again with its newest aviation-inspired creation – the ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser unveiled at Dubai Watch Week 2023. This technically advanced timepiece features an electrifying dial that seems to morph hypnotically from sapphire blue to emerald green to violet as it catches the light.
The visually stunning dial is the product of an ingenious two-step laser process requiring nanometer precision. Oris developed it in collaboration with a research lab affiliated with Switzerland’s prestigious ETH Zurich Technical University.
In the first production phase, a picosecond laser incises an interference pattern onto the watch’s grade 5 titanium dial. By controlling the pattern geometry at nanoscale, the laser treatment selectively destroys longer red light waves through destructive interference while allowing shorter blue and green waves to reflect back. This subtractive color generation process creates the dial’s chameleon-like color variations.
The second laser step adds a transparent optical coating that diffracts the remaining light waves into the full visible color spectrum. This coating functions like a diffraction grating, splitting incoming white light into its constituent wavelengths. As the dial tilts, these diffracted waves produce an oily iridescent effect. The combination of interference patterning and diffraction coating gives the dial its unique holographic properties.
While visually arresting, the color-shifting dial is also highly durable thanks to its titanium composition and sapphire crystal coating. Oris subjected early dial prototypes to its punishing in-house simulation tests designed to replicate years of real-world wear and tear.
Aesthetics aside, the ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser offers substance beyond its surface flare. The angular 39mm case, crown, and bracelet links are machined from lightweight yet highly rugged grade 5 titanium. Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystals protect both sides of the dial, providing optical clarity while resisting scratches.
Inside beats the Oris Calibre 400, the brand’s in-house developed automatic movement. The Calibre 400’s anti-magnetic architecture incorporates soft iron inner cage shielding and a silicon hairspring and pallet fork. This construction allows the movement to withstand magnetism up to 1,000 gauss, far exceeding the >60 gauss standard for anti-magnetic watches. The calibre’s twin barrels deliver 120 hours (5 days) of power reserve.
With the ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser, Oris has achieved a striking horological innovation – a dial with mesmerizing visual dynamics reminiscent of a morpho butterfly’s wings or a scarab beetle’s elytra, yet produced with cutting-edge laser physics. Once again, Oris’ independent spirit of innovation sets new standards for Swiss watchmaking.