The first introduction of the mouth was the collection of the BC3 collection of sports watches as early as 1999, which has been the mainstay in the mouth since then. Although pilot-inspired, the BC3 range station differs from other watch types in offering some more aesthetic differences, namely large, geometric, and has remained stable since its inception.
For 2016, Oris revisited the BC3 line with the release of the BC3 Advanced Day/Date in gunmetal grey, a finish that gives the watch a cool, aggressive look, but one that’s a bit more versatile than simple black PVD. And at $1,500, it’s relatively well priced for a Swiss-made watch produced by a respected and longstanding firm. The question remains, is it worth adding to your collection? Let’s take a closer look.
The first thing in the case is with BC3 POPs. Has an important position, with a slender cylindrical mid-case Coronet guards, prominent lobes to look at them stand out. “I” signed the crown, the real name of the model, large and easy to master and operate. In fact it is very subtle, but it is also cool.
Equally arresting is the color of the plating. Oris calls it gunmetal grey, but I’d liken it to more of an aged pewter look, especially under warm light. It’s an incredibly attractive palette, and it plays well against the dial. Furthermore, Oris makes excellent use of the various case surfaces, most of which are lightly brushed. There is, however, a small polished lip on the bezel where it meets the mid-case, which makes for some nice contrast against the the rest of the case. If you’ve ever handled an Oris watch, then you know that the case finishing never disappoints.
Flip the watch over and you’re met with an open case back showcasing the Sellita SW 200-1 (which is in itself an ETA 2824 clone) with a custom red Oris rotor, a feature found on all Oris automatics. This is probably the weakest point on the watch. As a matter of preference, I’d much rather have a solid case back if a movement is left largely without decoration as it is here. That said, it’s not unattractive (the red rotor does add a bit more flair to the design), and I’m sure most customers would prefer to see the exposed movement, decorated or not.
The case back also displays some of the watch specs.>The dial then is a matching gunmetal grey with a subtle sunburst finish. Sunburst dials, when done poorly, can really cheapen the look of a watch. That’s not what we have here, with thevery fine dial finishing complementing the case brushing quite nicely. Together, the two elements come together to give the watch a bit of a tactical look.
As I wrote above, the dial has a lot flieger DNA, but it’s not derivative. There is a primary hours index with large Arabic numerals. A secondary index along the very outer edge of the dial represents the seconds/minutes, with heavier indices at every five-minute interval. Rather than have a triangle at 12, the indices double up. The hands then are stylized swords, featuring white-painted borders and lume-filled centers. The second hand is a long black needle with a white tip. The dial and hands feature tan-colored Super-LumiNova, what some might refer to as faux patina. The effort here feels less like an attempt to ape aged tritium, and more like an intentional match against the warmer tones of the case and dial.
Above six are two centrally aligned day/date windows. The discs have a black base with white printing, so they’re not an exact match to the dial. However, the slight contrast here works as the implementation of the two apertures at six maintains the overall symmetry of the design. Day/date complications often feel intrusive when placed at three, but the stacked approach at six feels well thought out. Furthermore, the day/date is balanced by the Oris logo and “AUTOMATIC” below 12.
The sample shown here came on a heavy-duty, two-piece nylon strap. It’s well made and rugged, and the olive coloring matches the warm tones of the case. The strap is a bit stiff at first, partly due to it being two layers of stacked nylon, but it breaks in quickly and eventually molds to the wrist. The strap also comes with matching hardware, and like the case, it is expertly machined and finished. Overall, the pairing works, but this watch would also have zero issue taking on a number of different leather straps should the occasion call for dressing the piece up a bit.
On the wrist, the BC3 has some major presence. I wrote above that this is not a subtle watch. It’s a solid chunk of metal and it wears as such. That said, given the dimensions–42mm by 51.5mm, and a thickness of just 11.5mm–it remains a perfectly balanced sports watch. The case design is what makes the BC3 feel like a larger watch (43mm or so), but it’s not unreasonable on the wrist. And as you can see below, it’s relatively easy to pair with an outfit of blues and browns.
Overall, I ended up having a very deep impression of my recent entry into the BC3 catalog. From the mouth of the people dealing with a lot of watches, I know I will not be disappointed. I’m not. However, it is surprising how unique the watch feels even though it is a riff to repeat a familiar style. At a price of $ 1,500, the mouth of the fist is much higher than its weight class. If you really want to have one, then it is imperative to choose.