The Watch Book, Oris and the Watchmaking History of Switzerland

The Oris story, told by Gisbert L. Brunner

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Oris is delighted to announce the publication of ‘The Watch Book, Oris and the Watchmaking History of Switzerland‘, authored by our long-time friend and watch authority Gisbert L. Brunner. Filled with incredible insights and beautiful imagery recalling the origins of Swiss watchmaking and Oris’s unique role in it, it’s a landmark publication.

It joins Gisbert’s best-selling series of books on watchmaking, which is among the most informative and well-respected ever compiled. Working with him on telling our story has been a great joy. 

In the new book, which becomes the first coffee table book devoted to the Oris story, Gisbert explores Oris’s origins, sewn by two entrepreneurial Swiss watchmakers in 1904. When Paul Cattin and Georges Christian arrived in Hölstein, the village had precious little watchmaking culture. But from small seeds they grew what would become one of Switzerland’s most successful and globally renowned independent watch companies.

The book also tells the story of Dr Rolf Portmann, who joined the company in 1956 and would go on to lead the management buyout in 1982 with Ulrich W. Herzog. Together, the pair shaped what Oris has become today: independent, sustainable and creating beautiful mechanical watches for today’s world citizens. After Dr Portmann retired, Ulrich continued to follow their common vision. Today, Dr Portmann continues to serve as the company’s Honorary Chairman and Ulrich as its Chairman.

As Gisbert details, Oris remains in Hölstein today, creating exclusively mechanical watches that ‘have to make sense’. Gisbert examines the revived Oris Movement Creation Programme, which has yielded more than 280 movements in almost 120 years and continues today with the Calibre 400 Series of high-performance automatics.

The Watch Book, Oris and the Watchmaking History of Switzerland

The Watch Book, Oris and the Watchmaking History of Switzerland’ is published by teNeues and will be launched at a special event at Watches and Wonders  Geneva 2023 at an event in the presence of Ulrich,  Gisbert and current Oris co-chief executive Rolf Studer.  It runs to 256 pages, with around 200 pages of colour and black and white photography. It will be available to purchase priced CHF 99.95 I €80 | $110 | £69.95.


  1. Besten Dank für die Besprechung des Oris Buchs, lieber Dan-Andrei.

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