A bit of French pride for today… Indeed, as some of you might know, I’m French and what Oris is releasing today somehow resonates with me. Based on the military roots of the brand, which is represented by the Oris Big Crown collection, Oris is introducing a limited edition watch made to honor the crew of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the French Navy’s flagship. This is why I’m proud to show you the new Oris Big Crown Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle (the Aircraft-Carrier, not the President…)
When it was admitted into active service in 2001, the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, or porte-avions in French (hence PA), became the French Navy’s (la Marine Nationale) first nuclear-powered surface vessel and France’s eighth aircraft carrier. Today, it remains the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside the US Navy, and the largest Western European warship currently in commission. For more than 15 years, the Charles de Gaulle has served as a deterrent in protecting France and her allies, with a crew of no less than 1,950 sailors, who have served in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. This what the new Oris Big Crown Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle is honoring.
To create this new military watch, Oris worked closely with the ship’s officers to produce a watch that suitably honors its proud origins. Many details on the watch indicate the provenance and the link with French Navy. The exhaustive list of these non-obtrusive details, which add some animation to the watch without falling into the gimmick trap, include: the PA Charles de Gaulle’s insignia printed on the dial, the curved central seconds hand tipped with the blue, white and red of the French Tricolore, the case back engraved with the PA Charles de Gaulle and the crown embossed with ‘R91’, the aircraft carrier’s identification number. As I said, subtle details that never feel too showy.
This Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle is based on the Oris Big Crown, the brand’s signature military watch. This version can be seen as a sort of field watch, not meant to be a proper pilot or dive watch. Thus, it comes with a sturdy steel case, yet reasonably sized at 40mm, and with a fluted bezel and an oversized winding crown (a design harking back to the original Oris Big Crown of 1938). With such details, and more to see on the dial, there’s a bit of vintage feel to this watch, however it’s not meant to be a reissue of an existing piece. This Oris Big Crown Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle is delivered on a brown leather strap with steel folding buckle.
The dial is, as usual on these Big Crown watches, designed to be extremely legible, with a matte black color and contrasting numerals and markers, painted with luminous material. Besides the Tricolore tipped second hand and the printed logo, the display and design is equal to the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date, meaning hours / minutes / seconds on the central axis and date on the periphery of the dial with a long hand with a red crescent tip to indicate it. Inside the Oris Big Crown Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle is an automatic movement (Oris Cal. 754, based on a Sellita SW 200-1, with 4Hz frequency and 38h power reserve) complete with Oris’ signature complication, the pointer date.
The Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle by Oris is a limited edition of 1,890 pieces, a figure inspired by the year the iconic French general and founder of France’s Fifth Republic Charles de Gaulle was born. it will be priced at a reasonable CHF 1,600. More details on oris.ch.
Technical lSpecifications – Oris Big Crown Limited Edition PA Charles de Gaulle
- Case: 40mm diameter – stainless steel case with fluted bezel – sapphire crystal on the dial side, engraved steel back – water resistant to 100m
- Movement: Oris Cal. 754, based on a Sellita SW 200-1 – automatic winding – 4Hz frequency – 38h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date by hand
- Strap: brown leather strap with steel folding buckle
- Reference: 01 754 7679 4084-Set LS – limited to 1,890 pieces
- Price: CHF 1,600