For the last 15 years, Oris and Williams F1 have been enjoying a mutually beneficial union. As the world-renowned Formula 1 team’s official watch partner, Oris periodically releases special edition models to celebrate significant milestones for the team. A perfect example is the recently launched Martini Racing Limited Edition Chronograph, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Martini Racing Team, Williams’ principal sponsor. Now, another special edition joins the line-up; the Oris Williams FW41 Limited Edition.
Unless you’re a hardcore F1 fan, it’s probably not immediately obvious what significant Williams F1 milestone this watch is celebrating. FW41 is the name of William’s 2018 Formula 1 car, which was officially launched back in February of this year. It’s also the first car that Williams’ chief technical officer Paddy Lowe and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer have been involved with from the start. They only joined the team at the beginning of last year.
It was quite an aggressive move for Williams F1, with a strong focus on changing the aerodynamics of the car to improve performance. At the time Lowe was quoted as saying; “We hope that this car will make progress in the performance rankings relative to 2017.” Unfortunately, things have not quite played out that way so far this year, with Williams sitting at 10th on the Constructor Standings, just ahead of Force India in last place.
While it’s true the car that inspired it may not be performing as well as could be hoped, the same cannot be said for the Oris Williams FW41 Limited Edition. This is a cool watch with some nice added touches taken straight from Formula 1. For example, the watch’s 44m carbon fibre case and dial are made using a technique borrowed from Williams that’s unique to watchmaking, resulting in a middle section that weighs just 7.2 grammes.
The black carbon fibre dial displays the hours and minutes centrally, with running seconds shown on a sub-dial at 9 o’clock. The watch’s chronograph counters are painted in Williams F1 blue and reset to a zero point at 8 o’clock, chosen in homage to the instrument panels of historic Williams racing cars. The 30-minute counter is shown at 12 o’clock and the 12-hour counter is shown at 6 o’clock. There’s also a date window in the sub-dial at 6 o’clock, with a semi-exposed date running up the right side of the dial.
Inside is the Oris Cal. 774, which uses a Sellita SW 500 as its base. This automatic movement offers 48 hours of power reserve and beats at 4Hz. It’s hidden away behind a black-plated titanium screwed caseback, with special limited-edition engravings.
Presented on a black rubber strap, with stainless steel folding clasp, only 410 pieces will be made, marking Williams’ 41st season in F1. Available now, retail is set at CHF 4,350. More details at oris.ch.