Hölstein Edition 2024

A watch for everyone – Interview with Rolf Studer

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Hölstein Edition 2024 is limited to 250 pieces, but as Oris Co-CEO Rolf Studer explains, the Hölstein Edition is an inclusive watch, capturing the spirit that defines Oris.

Oris Portrait Rolf Studer, Co-CEO
Oris Portrait Rolf Studer, Co-CEO

Rolf, we’re in Oris’s 120th anniversary year. What’s the significance of this?
Rolf Studer: A tricky question! Not many watch companies can say they’ve been here for 120 years. Even fewer that are still independent, like Oris. But for me, it’s a reminder of the legacy we’ve inherited. From the founders to Oris heroes such as Dr Rolf Portmann, who joined the company in 1956 and is now our honorary chairman, to Ulrich W. Herzog who ran Oris for four decades and still serves as its chairman, the company has been built by incredible people who’ve now entrusted it to us to carry forward. So an anniversary is a moment to honour and thank those who went before us and to make sure we’re continuing their work.

And how exactly are you doing that?
Rolf Studer: It’s a challenge, but one we get really excited about. More than ever, the job is to make sure Oris watches are relevant. Everyone has the time on their screens, so who needs a mechanical watch? The logical answer would be no one. We’re trying to show that a luxury watch can be joyful and inclusive, though. It’s an item you don’t need but want to wear. Oris is a brand for the people. It’s not feudalistic or exclusive, and we believe that this fresh perspective is what keeps us relevant.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Hölstein Edition 2024

How does the Hölstein Edition 2024 answer that brief?
Rolf Studer: It shows that we take what we do seriously, but not necessarily ourselves. It’s a bit of fun and captures an important idea: you don’t need a mechanical watch to survive, you need it to live. These special-edition pieces that we make once a year are hyper-realisations of our independent, joyful attitude. And I think that’s why our customers love them.

You mentioned that Oris is an inclusive watch company – but you’re only making 250 of these, which feels exclusive. How do you square that off?
Rolf Studer: It’s a fair question, until you understand who the watch is for. It’s for everyone. There’s no waiting list. You don’t have to be a special customer who’s bought loads of Oris watches before. You don’t have to travel thousands of kilometres to get to a special event. You don’t need to be friends with the right people. You just have to be quick! On 1 June, we’ll make the Hölstein Edition 2024 available on a first come, first served basis. You can even choose your number, provided someone hasn’t beaten you to it. That way, it’s a democratic process and an inclusive product. Some buyers may even be new to Oris, and that’s great. We expect most of them will know the Oris story already, but that’s not what’s important. If you love the watch and you want to buy it, we’re happy for you. But they sell out fast, so don’t hang around…

Hölstein Edition 2024

This year’s edition is black-on-black, a new look for Oris. Why do that now?
Rolf Studer: The reason is that there is not really a reason. We just thought it would be fun and a great way to celebrate our birthday. It’s a watch we might not do otherwise. In the end, it looks sleek, it tells some of our backstory through a design linked to 1965, and yet its colourway makes it contemporary, too. And it’s the first time you see the Oris Bear in swim trunks.

Ah, the Oris Bear, snuck onto the case back in those trunks. Why is he there?
Rolf Studer: It’s always such a joy to see how people all over the world respond to the Oris Bear. He’s just warm. A nice guy. He makes you feel at ease. And here he’s enjoying his leisure time. He’s got no worries. And that’s how we want people to feel when they’re wearing this watch this summer.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Hölstein Edition 2024

This is the fifth Hölstein Edition. What do Oris fans make of these watches?
Rolf Studer: The people I speak to and the stories I hear from our boutiques and retail partners are aligned: people are grateful for this 1 June moment and for the opportunity to somehow enter into the Oris story through the watches. It makes the romance of the Oris story and the relationship we have with our customers more tangible and more meaningful. In a way, it’s beyond explanation: it’s an emotional response. Love, perhaps!

While we have you, what’s next for Oris in this anniversary year?
Rolf Studer: Well, I’m not going to give anything specific away, except to say that we’re focused on delivering more and more value by upgrading our watches without sending prices skyward. That can be difficult when the Swiss franc is still so strong, but we’ve already done it with Aquis. As I said, Oris is for the people!

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