One of the coolest bronze dive watches just received a new sibling, perhaps an even cooler bronze diving chronograph. For 2018 Oris introduces a new Limited Edition based on the original Carl Brashear commemorative watch from two years ago, and now adds a chronograph to the mix. We’ve already given you a short rundown of the watch, but now we had time to go hands-on with the Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition Bronze during Baselworld 2018.
The initial Carl Brashear Limited Edition Bronze was an instant hit, pleasing Oris collectors worldwide – and naturally, it went sold-out quickly. Technically, there is nothing revolutionary about this new version, but it is the first time Oris has gone for a chronograph movement, a Sellita clone of the bulletproof Valjoux 7750, in the Divers Sixty-Five collection. And to be honest, it is a very welcome addition, broadening the range of the collection further and further.
Like we mentioned in the previous article, a chronograph function in a dive watch can be a bit of a pickle as it quickly messes up the dial with too much info. Luckily, Oris has opted for double subdials instead of the tri-compax layout we often see. It keeps the watch balanced, and fits in with the vintage theme of the Divers Sixty-Five collection. I know that it isn’t officially known as a Divers Sixty-Five, but solely as the Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Bronze. Yet, we can’t ignore that the watch is based on the very successful Divers Sixty-Five collection Oris introduced in 2015 – and that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a steel, non-limited version coming soon on the market.
Using the same bronze-and-blue contrast, the watch works really well, stays true to its vintage inspiration and the steampunk-esque look of the first one. The watch has grown slightly to accommodate for the new movement, and measures 43mm instead of 42mm for the time-and-date version. The bronze case, bezel, crown and of course pushers will gather patina over time, depending on the frequency of wear, the conditions it is used in and the complexion of the wearer (acidity of the skin for instance).
Of course we all know the watch is a tribute to Carl Brashear, the first African-American and also the first amputee master diver in the US Navy in a time where racial discrimination was still present in the USA even though the US Navy desegregated in 1948. Facing trial and tribulation didn’t keep Carl Brashear from achieving his goals, undergoing gruesome training dives to a depth of up to 300 meters, all with a prosthetic leg.
The Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition Bronze is available at a price of EUR 4.400 and will be produced in a run of 2,000 watches. More information on Oris.ch.