The Bronze Age of Oris Hölstein

By: Greg Bedrosian

Every time I see a new gold watch, the voice of Mike Myers’ character Goldmember pops into my head saying, “I love gowlllld”. I thought the same thing upon seeing the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 for the first time. Would this be another “Too Broke” follow up to the $19,000 Oris Aquis Carysfort? But something was a little off with the golden color tone. Could this be a bronze Drivers Sixty-Five Chronograph, like all bronze? It was.

A bronze Oris case is nothing new. Many other brands form Tudor to Halios also have bronze case offerings. The newsworthy element here is the solid bronze bracelet, a Swiss first. It should be noted that Oris had already tested the market in 2019, releasing a two-tone steel and bronze bracelet that they call “bi-color”.

Make no mistake, with the exceptions of the clasp and internal pins, this new bracelet is solid bronze.  According to Oris, “each (bracelet) should acquire a natural patina as the bronze oxidizes”.  This bracelet will leave a slight amount of verdigris (bluish-green oxidation) on your wrists. It can be washed off, but still that is something that you should consider. The new yellow golden color will eventually darken.

Most enthusiasts are either into bronze watches or they’re not. This “patina” is not something that you find with cases and bracelets on stainless steel and precious metal watches. That’s why those materials are generally preferred.

Technically bronze is a copper alloy with tin and smaller amounts of other metals (like nickel or zinc). Oris has plenty of experience working with and refining bronze, but don’t expect them to make their proprietary formula public.

Larger questions still remain. Will this offering from Oris be a trend setter or quirky specialty? Will we see other companies attempt the same visual alchemy?

The all-bronze Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 is limited to 250 pieces. Customers will also be able to select their preferred number (x/250), but will need to purchase the watch through Oris’ e-Shop or through an Oris boutique. The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 Drivers Sixty-Five Chronograph will retail at CHF 4,800 and is available in June of 2020.

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