Oris announces its collaboration with Wings of Hope, a US-based humanitarian organisation that uses aviation to bring medical support to remote communities. As part of the brand’s “Change for the Better” programme, Oris hopes to raise awareness about the work of Wings of Hope by launching two special models based on the Big Crown pilot’s watch: a 40mm steel model limited to 1,000 pieces and a 38mm yellow gold model limited to 100 pieces. Following the flight path established last year with the Big Crown models fitted with the brand’s new proprietary automatic movement, these Big Crown x Wings of Hope abandon the signature coin-edged bezel and downplay some of the vintage elements. What’s more, to differentiate themselves as special models deliberately made to shine a light on Wings of Hope, the signature pointer date function has also been eliminated.
Wings of Hope
Founded in 1963, Wings of Hope delivers medical support to remote and vulnerable communities in more than 50 countries and has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2021, more than 65,000 people benefitted from the organisation’s medical services. As a non-profit organisation, the USD 3.2m annual budget is funded primarily through corporate and private donations, and more importantly, it counts on a workforce of 350 dedicated volunteers. Instead of building field bases with staff around the world, the organisation invests in local NGOs so they can serve their people in the future. One example is their work with the Flying Medical Service in Tanzania, where Maasai tribes are visited fortnightly to receive vaccinations and baby checkups under the wings of the aircraft. Much of their work also involves transporting patients at no cost to receive proper medical care. In tune with the changing technology, the organisation is now using drones to deliver anti-venom and other lifesaving medicines to indigenous tribes in the Amazon Rainforest.
To raise awareness of the life-saving work of Wings of Hope, Oris is launching two limited editions of its signature Big Crown pilot’s watch. Launched by the brand in 1938 with an oversized crown to help pilots adjust the time without having to take off their gloves, the dial featured cathedral hands, large Arabic numerals and an additional central hand with a red tip to indicate the date displayed on a peripheral track (patented in 1915 by A. Hammerly). Thanks to the vision of Dr Rolf Portmann, former solicitor and now Honorary Chairman of Oris, and his conviction that a mechanical pilot’s watch would appeal to future generations, the Big Crown pilot’s watch staged a return in the midst of the quartz invasion in 1984 and saved the company from the extinction.
The latest Big Crown x Wings of Hope respond to the design of the newer models of the Big Crown launched in 2021 upgraded with the brand’s powerful Calibre 400. The first Big Crown Pointer Date fitted with the in-house developed automatic movement (Calibre 403) was the Hölstein limited edition of 250 pieces, followed by a serial production model launched during Dubai watch week.
40mm Steel & 38mm yellow gold
The stainless steel iteration for Wings of Hope is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces and comes in a 40mm case. The 38mm model, limited to 100 numbered pieces, is made from solid 18k yellow gold, including the crown and caseback.
The more straightforward style case reflects the changes introduced in the Hölstein edition; the coin-edged bezel has been replaced with a flat polished bezel, and the lines are tauter and sharper, emphasised with contrasting brushed and polished bevels. Other features that give the ‘standard’ Big Crown models their vintage vibe, like the cathedral hands and hyper-domed crystal, have been exchanged for simpler baton-style hands and a less pronounced protective sapphire crystal. The screw-in safety crown on both models protects the movement from dust and water and ensures the 50m water-resistance.
Both models share off-white dials with a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock with a blue track and a red hand, a minute track with five-minute intervals and silver-coloured or golden baton hour and minute hands filled with lume. Where they differ is in the colour treatment of the Arabic numerals on the dial. The steel model sports greenish-hued numerals, while the gold displays golden numerals, all highlighted with Super-LumiNova.
As part of Oris’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices, the Wings of Hope models are fitted with Cervo Volante deer hide watch straps complete with an embossed image of a stag beetle (Cervo volante) on the inner lining and the brand’s quick strap change system.
Two years ago, Oris released its Calibre 400, a robust automatic movement with a five-day/120h power reserve, strong anti-magnetic properties and an impressive 10-year warranty. Like the brand’s former calibre 110, it is a proprietary manufacture movement, meaning that although it was developed entirely in-house by COO Beat Fischli and his team, it is produced by a network of suppliers with state-of-the-art industrial techniques. The Calibre 401 is an offshoot, providing central hours and minutes with subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock and an accuracy of -3/+5 seconds a day (within COSC tolerances). Visible through the sapphire caseback, you can see the large unidirectional openworked rotor with its brushed finishings and sandblasted bridges.
Availability & Price
The yellow gold version of the Wings of Hope Limited Edition is a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces and presented in a special cherry wood box; it will be available in July 2022 and retails for CHF 15,500. The 1,000 numbered pieces of the steel version also come in a special presentation box but will not be available until October 2022, retailing for CHF 3,300.
For more information, please contact Oris.ch.