Like many watchmakers these days, Oris is working on improving the planet and supporting relevant organizations. In fact, it’s now independently certified as a climate-neutral company. Its latest partnership is with Coulson Aviation, a family-run Canadian agency that sends planes and equipment around the world to fight wildfires. Of course, there’s a new watch to mark the occasion that’s based on the Big Crown ProPilot series. It strays from the norm with an innovative carbon fibre case and fiery dial, but retains the well-established aesthetic. And what better way to leave 2022 than with a watch honouring a great cause?
Coulson Aviation was founded in 1960 as a logging company by Cliff Coulson, but his son Wayne helped diversify things and now runs the aerial firefighting arm with his own sons, Britton and Foster. Among their dangerous and vital services is flying a Boeing 737 passenger jet at 200 feet over burning houses. The organization can fly 24/7 and on multiple continents simultaneously, and the main wildfire areas include California during the Northern Hemisphere summer and Australia and South America during the Southern Hemisphere summer. Coulson Aviation is the only agency of its kind operating both fixed-wing aircraft and Type 1 helicopters. The Oris partnership started in Australia as shared values between the two companies and the Oris link to aviation made this a perfect match.
Innovative Carbon Fibre Case
Unlike the typical stainless steel Oris case, the 41mm Coulson Limited Edition is carbon fibre via a patented 3D printing process, which is a first in watchmaking. It was developed by ETH Zurich University (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), where carbon fibre and a high-grade polymer are weaved together to form a very lightweight and rigid material. It was originally designed for the aerospace industry.
The watch is only 65 grammes and the case aesthetic is familiar with the knurled outer bezel and Big Crown ProPilot profile. The main bezel is titanium with a grey PVD coating, along with the screw-down crown and exhibition case back. The primary case material is made in such a precise way that the pattern is consistent, unlike typical carbon fibre cases with random patterns. An AR double-domed sapphire crystal protects the dial and the case is fitted with a black textile strap with an orange underside and folding clasp (with grey PVD coating). Water resistance is rated at 100 metres.
A Dial on Fire
The dial is the attention-getter with a fiery orange/red hue that really pops. It’s has a gradient effect with a darker, almost red colour at the top that lightens to a brighter orange at the bottom, similar to a wild flame. It’s certainly unusual and might not be to everyone’s taste, but is perfect for the Coulson Aviation collaboration – and I personally really like it. Large applied Arabic numerals surround the perimeter with only a black date window at 6 o’clock breaking the pattern. These numerals and printed indices have Super-LumiNova, along with the white hour and minute hands. The seconds hand is a contrasting black, matching the date.
Powering the Oris Coulson Limited Edition is the new Calibre 400 automatic. This in-house movement is accurate to within chronometer standards at -3/+5 seconds per day and is highly anti-magnetic with a silicon escapement (exceeds the ISO 764 anti-magnetic standard). It has 24 jewels and beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 120-hour power reserve (5 days). Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. It’s a well-finished movement with an open-worked rotor, but otherwise undecorated.
Availability & Price
The new collaborative Oris Coulson is limited to just 1,000 pieces and retails for CHF 4,200. That’s a bit more than the new Divers Sixty-Five 12H Calibre 400 with the latest movement, but as a limited Big Crown ProPilot with a very innovative case, it’s well priced. It also comes with a 10-year warranty. For more information and to make a purchase, please visit the Oris website.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.