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5 Things You Didn't Know About Oris

The history of Oris

"Even though Oris has existed since 1904, they have climbed to the top in the last few years. Their line of dive watches made them a mainstream brand in a very short period. How can a brand go fairly unnoticed for about 100 years, and still manage to rise to the top? Today we are going to dive in the history of Oris."

Oris Left The Swatchgroup

In 1969, Oris was one of the top 10 best-selling watch brands in the world. This made them interesting for investors. Oris was taken over by the General Watch Company (which is today known as the Swatch Group) in 1970. However, during the quartz crisis, the brand took a big hit. Sales were horribly low, and the brand was on the edge of bankruptcy. In 1982, Swatch group decided to shut Oris down, but general manager Rolf Portman and head of marketing Ulrich W. Herzog bought the brand back from the Swatch group. A few months later in 1982, Oris SA was founded. They have been independent ever since. While many brands want to be bought by a larger group in a crisis, Oris fought for independence.

Oris Suffers From ‘Quartz-PTSD’

Like stated in the first tab, Oris got almost taken down by the quartz crisis. Instead of following the quartz-hype, they did the opposite. Oris made quartz watches during their Swatch group-days, but ever since their independence, they stay far away from quartz.
Today, Oris is one of the few brands who is over a century old and is still fullyindependent and fully mechanical.

Oris HQ Is Still In The Same Village As When It Was Founded

When Oris was founded in 1904 by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian, both men decided to start in the Swiss town Hölstein. Watch factory Lohner & Co recently closed down, and the two men took office in the old factory.
In its first year, Oris had 67 employees. Oris opened more assembly plants and factories over the years. By 1911, Oris was he largest employer in Hölstein. They even had to build houses and apartments for their staff, since they were getting too big for the small Swiss village.

Oris Was Once Owned By A Member Of The LeCoultre Family

Oris was not part from the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand, but Oris was once owned by an important LeCoultre family member. After Oris’ founder Georges Christian died in 1927, Jacques-David LeCoultre bought Oris and became President of the board of directors. Jacques David was the Grandson of Antoine LeCoultre, the person who founded the watchband LeCoultre&Cie in 1866. It is unknown how long Jacques-David owned Oris Jacques-David LeCoultre was an important member of the LeCoultre family. Jacques-David was responsible for the merger of his family’s company LeCoultre with the brand of Edmont Jaeger. The result is a brand you might have heard of: Jaeger LeCoultre