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Oris and Tag Heuer Carrera are legendary watch brands that produce luxury timepieces. Both have achieved outstanding reputations and successes in innovations, watchmaking art, and technology, making the Oris vs. Tag Heuer debate a complex topic to answer.
So, if you want to know which is better among the two brands, you are on the right page. I will compare the two watch brands and determine which one is worth investing in.
TL;DR: Oris vs. Tag Heuer Brand Comparison
Watch enthusiasts often argue which brand is more popular between Oris and Tag Heuer. But I say they have different types of audiences. Tag Heuer puts higher price tags on their watches than Oris, but that doesn’t mean Oris is inferior.
Oris underwent superior manufacturing processes, ensuring you get maximum value for every dollar spent. The birth of Oris Big Crown propelled the Swiss brand’s name in the industry.
Other things the EvesWatch team and I admire about Oris are their ability and versatility to fall within any category, whether fashion, sports, dive, or aviation. There are so many options to choose from in the Oris brand.
- High-quality Oris watches for a reasonable price
- Outstanding features
- Accurate movement
- High water-resistance rating
- Excellent movement
- Versatile styles
- Lesser known brand vs. Tag Heuer
Tag Heuer is known for its capabilities and premium-grade craftsmanship. This is why this luxury brand is associated with racing and sports.
Since it was founded in 1860, this watch brand has specialized in providing accurate watches for sporting events.
- Popular brand
- Fashionable designs
- Precise timekeeping
- Durable build
- Excellent chronograph watches
- Lower water resistance rating vs. Oris watches
- Expensive, although it offers lower-end Tag Heuer watches that use quartz movement/ ETA movements
- There are many Tag Heuer counterfeits, so be careful in buying.
In-Depth Comparison: Oris vs. Tag Heuer
|History (Founded on)||1904||1860|
|Movements||Most watches use mechanical calibers – both Oris and Tag use movements manufactured by the same third-party company||Mostly uses quartz and automotive movements|
|Design||Known for its pilot watches||Known for its chronographs|
|Quality and Durability||Reliable – can be generally worn for an entire decade before servicing.||Known for its impeccable quality.|
|Value||Best value in the Swiss-made watch industry||Weak resale value, except for limited-edition watches|
|Price Range||$1,750 to $6,000 (for modes with complicated functions)||Over $5,000. Carerra watches are priced from $8,900 – to $16,900|
Let’s begin with the history of the two brands. Oris is founded in the Swiss town of Hölstein. In 1904, Oris’ founders Paul Cattin and Georges Christian bought the recently closed Lohner & Co watch factory and decided to name their new watch company Oris.
After opening an assembly plant and a secondary watch factory nearby, Oris became the largest employer in Hölstein. In 1911, it already had more than 300 workers, and its success continued as the years unfolded.
Tag Heuer, on the other hand, created a name in the watch industry in 1860. Edouard Heuer established the company. The first watch-making shop he opened produced pocket watches. In 1869, Heuer obtained a crown-operated, keyless winding system patent.
When Jack Heuer became the fourth generation to manage the company, they introduced new chronograph models. Innovating designs for dashboard timers and legendary stopwatches became popular.
The Tag Heuer brand is now known for its precision and bold style. In 1999, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy) bought nearly 100% of the Swiss company.
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There are quite a few mechanical movements that Oris uses. Most of its wristwatches are powered by mechanical calibers. Many of Oris’ calibers are from ébauche movements – unassembled or incomplete watch movements – and it adds its own features.
An example of this would be the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer which uses an automatic movement called Oris caliber 690. But said Oris caliber also uses ETA 2836-2 as a base. ETA2836-2 is an automatic movement made by ETA, a Swiss watch movement manufacturer and a subsidiary of Swatch Group.
That doesn’t mean that Oris’ movements are inferior. Oris makes great improvements on ETA movements. Oris also independently conceived a new movement called Calibre 400, which set a new standard for automatic mechanical movements.
Meanwhile, Tag Heuer makes an extensive catalog of excellent timepieces with great movements. It is one of the few watchmakers in the world to have its own workshop, allowing it to design, assemble, and manufacture its own movements entirely in Switzerland.
With over 160 years of history in the watchmaking industry, Tag Heuer mainly uses quartz and automotive movements. Sometimes these movements are revealed through a sapphire dial or crystal. Today, their movements are known for being precise and highly reliable.
The bulk of timepieces from both Oris and Tag Heuer look sporty although both watch brands also produce classic watches.
Oris is popular for its pilot timepieces. It has a huge collection of aviation watches, including the Big Crown. Tag Heuer, on the other hand, is known for its chronographs.
For various product categories, both Oris and Tag have almost the same dimensions. This similarity drives the comparison of the two brands.
Consider, for instance, the Tag Aquaracer and Oris Aquis. These two are also my favorite customer choices. The two have 41 and 41.5 mm sizes.
Dimensions and Casing
However, Oris is designed with a wider lug compared to its Tag Heuer counterpart with a 3mm increment. This little difference gives extra balance and firmness to the watch. As with other dimensions in both watches, both are relatively the same.
As for watch casing, most Oris watches come in 36.5mm, 39.5mm, and 43.5mm case sizes. These watches also have four-sided crown guards in their casing, which enhances the overall visual appeal of the timepieces.
Conversely, Tag Heuer’s watches vary between 36 and 42 mm in case sizing and they have stylish crown guards that are both cool and flawless. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer model uses traditional lugs.
Two excellent timepieces from both brands that are always compared are the Oris Aquis and the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre. Both have the same dimensions, and both are available in different sizes (36.5, 39.5, 41mm for Tag and 41.5mm for the Aquis).
However, the Oris Aquis feels more rugged and a bit bulkier than the Aquaracer probably because it is designed with a chunky bracelet.
Quality and Durability
In terms of quality and durability, I think Tag Heuer is the winner of the two brands. After all, they are known for their premium-grade craftsmanship and impeccable quality.
It has even partnered with various companies within the sports industry also because the timepieces they produce are that durable. That alone gives you an idea that the Tag watches deliver a level of accuracy and precision.
The Tag Heuer Carrera alone is a technically-complex piece designed for professional drivers. That’s not to say that Oris watches are not of good quality. It’s just that their timepieces are marketed to the everyday Joe.
The company’s mission was also to produce high-quality watches that are affordable. Most impressively, an Oris watch can be worn for a full decade before needing service. Oris manufactures mechanical watches the way they should be.
Tag Heuer brand is stronger than Oris in some countries, but it may have a weak resale value. That’s because about 30% of what you’re paying for a Tag watch goes to their big marketing budget. Some watch enthusiasts even consider Tag not as a designer brand, but a marketing powerhouse.
As for Oris, their prices jumped significantly because of brand popularity. Still, if you compare it with Tag Heuer, Oris remains well-priced – not too expensive and not too affordable either.
After all, Oris doesn’t use a mediocre caliber. In terms of racing watches, both brands have a good resale value.
If brand recognition or prestige is not that important to you, then your consideration may come down to price difference – it is where Oris gets props from the other. Oris’ iconic watches are just as good as the luxury watches offered by Tag.
Oris’ retail pricing starts at less than $2,000 and its expensive models are around $7, 600. Models with complicated functions are priced at about $6,000.
Tag Heuer watch prices go from $5,000 to $16 900. Its famous Formula 1, made from 316L hypoallergenic steel material can cost you around $5,300.
Who is it Best for?
Oris watches are best for millennials and middle-aged men and women. That is because they are minimalist, formal, and simple, making them an ideal choice for office workers and business people. If you are someone who appreciates a watch brand that balances price and quality, Oris is a brand for you.
Tag Heuer is best for people who value exquisite artistry in a timepiece. The brand is also often the first choice for people looking to purchase their first luxury watch.
Both watches are worth it. They offer exceptional quality products, but Oris has a more excellent price point. You can own an Oris watch without the astronomical cost.
What Do People Say About it?
Tag Heuer is famous in the high-end watch market. And most buyers have good things to say about the Swiss brand. An Amazon buyer, for instance, said, “[It is] beautifully designed watch with loaded features in a simplistic way.”
Another Amazon buyer reviewed the WAZ1110.FT8023 model. He wrote, “I wanted a sporty casual rubberized band, and [this Tag I purchased] feels very comfortable. [I] didn’t need a chronograph or automatic mechanical. When the battery gets close to its life, the secondhand jumps every few seconds to let you know/ [I] love that! Glows in the dark too!”
Oris also earned positive reviews online. An Amazon buyer of Oris Aquis Date Green Dial said, “ [I have] absolutely no dislike [in this timepiece.] This watch is beautiful in every way, with exceptional quality in finish and style.
I have an Oris rectangular watch for dress wear, and it is also beautiful in finish and style. This green Oris is wonderful for anyone who appreciates such craftsmanship and function.”
The Tech Giant unboxed a Tag Heuer watch and reviewed, “It’s racing-inspired… I’m very pleased with it. You’ve got the Tag Heuer logo [at the back] and that sort of checkerboard effect that matches the face of the watch…I absolutely love it.”
Meanwhile, Swiss Watch Gang said, “This [ Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400] watch really offers a lot, and [it] has a 10-day power reserve. It is wearable due to the design and titanium used for the case and bracelet. It comes in a super-wearable 39mm case size.
What’s also unique about its movement and something that a seasoned watch collector notices right away is the center of the self-winding rotor. Oris didn’t go for the typical ball-bearing system to wind the rotor, but created a slight bearing system with lower friction.”
A Reddit user shared, “I have the Aquis Calibre 400. As far as quality, it’s really hard to beat an Oris at that price point. It’s definitely a watch you will have for generations.”
In a Reddit forum discussing the quality and value of Tag Heuer, one user said, “Tag’s build quality is good… I have a 2005 [Tag] Aquaracer and a cheap 90s Tag Quartz/ The finish seems as good as other more expensive brands. They feel well-built and are comfortable.”
The Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?
While Tag Heuer watches are something to be desired, I would say Oris provides one of the great values to its customers. The price point of Oris is very good, far more reasonable, and you can use it for a very long time, just like a signature Tag Heuer.
However, go for Tag Heuer if you prefer to invest for long-term value. In the end, what matters is you choose the watch that your heart desires. Rest assured, both are prestigious brands, their watches make a fashionable statement, and their timepieces you can pass down to the generations.
If you like this review, you might want to read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com.
My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.
My passion for timepieces came from the fact that my parents own a small chain of shops selling timepieces. I’ve worked at the shop since I was 11 and fell in love with the merchandise.