I bet you still remember the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, the charming vintage-inspired diver’s watch that the brand introduced early last year. Today we’re introducing a watch that was inspired on the Divers Sixty-Five: the same shaped case, crown, domed sapphire crystal, however it’s 2 mm larger! And instead of a steel case with ceramic black bezel, now the case and bezel are completely made of bronze. The new timepiece – limited to only 2,000 pieces – is dedicated to the first African-American who became a US Navy Master Diver. Here’s the stunning Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition.
The Oris Carl Brashear is actually the very first bronze watch that Oris has made since its inception in 1904! Bronze is a naturally aging material, and an interesting tidbit is that those huge diving helmets in the 1950’s were made of copper – hang in there for the relation with copper. As we already said, the design of this new watch has many parallels with the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, however there are some differences. First and foremost is of course the use of Bronze, and some other difference that we’ll touch upon later. Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper (there you go), commonly with about 12% tin and often with the addition of other metals. Bronze is initially bright and shiny and becomes darker as the copper component reacts with carbon dioxide and moisture. Over the course of time the bronze case and bezel will develop a unique greenish patina, and, when unpolished, a unique ‘relationship’ with its owner.
Who is Carl Brashear? Carl Brashear, born in 1931, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948. Although he was severely discriminated against on account of his race, he graduated from the U.S. Navy Diving & Salvage School in 1954, becoming the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver.
In 1966 he lost his left leg after an accident during a mission to salvage a hydrogen bomb. After a lengthy rehabilitation period, he became in 1968 the first amputated diver in the US Navy and graduated in 1970 as its first African-American Master Diver.
After a distinguished career of over 30 years in the Navy, Brashear went into retirement in 1979. He died in 2006 at the age of 75 years. His remarkable story was the inspiration for the movie Men of Honour in 2000, in which Brashear was portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr.
Two other significant differences with the aforementioned Divers Sixty-Five is that the diameter has increased by 2mm, to a still very reasonable diameter of 42mm, and the dial features different markers. The dark blue dial, that looks very striking in contrast with the bronze case and bezel, is slightly curved and comes with applied rose gold plated indices that are filled with Super-LumiNova. The hands are also rose gold plated and filled with the same creme-colour luminiscent material.
The stainless steel case back shows Brashear’s helmet and his very personal motto: “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down”.
Inside ticks an automatic-winding movement, the Oris calibre 733. This is based on the Sellita SW200, and features a date function, that is visible through a small square aperture at 6 o’clock, and the movement packs approx. 40 hours of power reserve. The Oris Carl Brashear is water resistant to 100 meters, meaning it may not perfect for taking it to great depths while scuba diving. However it’s perfect for a serious plunge, in the pool or in the sea – which will add a lot of patina due to the salty water’s effect on the bronze.
Altogether the new Oris Carl Brashear is a very good looking watch, and it comes at a very decent retail price of CHF 2,600 Swiss Francs.
Oris Carl Brashear Specifications
- Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Ref. No. 733 7720 3185 LS
- Limited to 2,000 pieces
- Diameter 42.00mm
- Automatic movement Oris Cal. 733, based on Sellita SW200, with date at 6 o’clock
- Multi-piece bronze case and screw-in bronze crown
- Water resistant to 10 bar/100m
- Bubble-curved sapphire crystal domed on both sides and with anti-reflective coating inside
- Screwed stainless steel case back with special engraving and engraved limitation number
- Dark blue, curved dial with applied rose gold plated indices filled with Super-LumiNova®. Hour, minute and second hands rose gold plated and filled with Super-LumiNova®
- Dark brown leather strap with bronze pin buckle
More on this watch and its availability: www.oris.ch