Oris seem determined to make me a fan. Between their carefully calculated use of colour on the Divers Sixty-Five Cotton Candies and superb mechanics of the Calibre 400 there’s a lot to love. The only thing they’ve been missing is a vibrant orange watch (I’ve made no secret of my favourite colour), but now that’s been rectified with the launch of the Oris Coulson limited edition.
The watch’s dial is inspired by an organisation called Coulson Aviation (also giving the piece its name), an aerial firefighting group. When you see planes and helicopters tackling out of control wildfires, there’s a chance it’s part of Coulson’s fleet. As such, the dial has a gorgeous sunset gradient from dark red at 12 o’clock to light orange at 6. Well, I say sunset, its actually the grim visage of the sky when the world’s on fire with smoke clogging the higher atmosphere.
It’s interesting to see another watchmaker’s interpretation of a firefighting watch. Largely the only watchmaker in that niche is William Wood, who recently launched their own stealthy watch with fire-colour dial accents, the Fearless. Like William Wood, the Oris is directly contributing to global firefighting and prevention services for the safety and protection of people and the environment.
However, the main reason I wanted to get hands-on with this watch is the case. It’s the first ever 3D-printed carbon fibre case. The patented process for printing carbon fibre was developed by the ETH Zurich University, the Swiss Institute of Technology, and involves weaving carbon fibre with a high-grade polymer. Amazingly, the process is so precise that they can create a uniform pattern in the carbon fibre, a material whose grain is typically random and organic.
The defined ridges across the lugs and case give it a regular, terraced grain finish that gives the carbon a sweeping aspect as light traces across its lines. Despite its unique finish, it has all the usual benefits of a carbon watch, great scratch resistance and durability, as well as a high-performance aesthetic. The only downside is that the material’s lightweight property does make it feel disconcertingly light on the wrist and I can imagine the complaint of it feeling like a toy being levelled at it.
Inside the Oris Coulson limited edition is housed the Oris Calibre 400, the same one I mentioned in the introduction. It’s a spectacular movement with a 120-hour power reserve, an accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day and plenty of anti-magnetic protection. All of which are hugely important factors in the realm of emergency response.
As for pricing and availability, there are 1,000 pieces in the limited edition with a price of £3,400. That’s more than double the price of a standard ProPilot, but it’s important to remember that the Coulson has an innovative case and houses their premier movement. The movement alone would justify the price increase and you get so much more with this timepiece.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Coulson Limited Edition
- Case/dial: 41mm diameter, 3D printed carbon fibre case, fiery orange gradient dial
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Oris calibre 400, automatic, 21 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 120h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Strap: Black textile fabric with grey PVD plated folding clasp
- Price/availability: £3,400, limited to 1,000 pieces
More details at Oris.