Oris‘ third bronze watch paying tribute to US Navy Master diver Carl Brashear is the first to use a variation of the brand’s new in-house automatic movement, Calibre 400.
The watchmaker from Holstein introduced its new workhorse movement back in October last year, inside its Aquis Date diving watch before a planned roll-out across a selection of its collection. Calibre 400 is an automatic with five-day (or 120 hour) power reserve, anti-magnetic properties, a focus on reliability and a 10-year service interval and warranty, which means lower running costs for owners.
While the Calibre 400 was designed with a central seconds hand as standard, the new Calibre 401 used here features Small Seconds as a complication. This is the reverse of traditional watchmaking from the mid 20th Century which viewed Small Seconds as the norm and Central Seconds as a complication and is why the movement gets its own distinct calibre reference. The mid-century design also lends itself to a watch paying tribute to a man who enlisted in the US Navy in 1948.
Carl Brashear was the first African American man to earn the rank of Navy Diver and, after losing his lower leg in an diving accident in 1966, continued in the role on active service despite his disability until retiring in 1979. He was the subject of the 2000 film, Men of Honor, which saw Cuba Gooding Jr play Brashear.
As with the first two tribute pieces, a central seconds date from 2016 and a chronograph from 2018, the Oris Carl Brashear Calibre 401 pairs a bronze Divers Sixty-Five case (40mm) with Oris’ inky blue lacquered dial.
Markings on the bronze bezel are in relief and color matched hands and lume pot hour markers filled with faux vintage Super-LumiNova sit in high contrast against the deep blue dial. The Small Seconds hand sits within a small circular recess in the lacquer.
Unlike last year’s full bronze Divers Sixty-Five Holstein Edition, which was the first Swiss watch to feature a bronze bracelet, the Oris Carl Brashear Calibre 401 features a Navy blue woven fabric strap with color-matched bronze pinstripe from Erika’s Originals.
A limited edition run of 2,000 pieces is being produced with the watch costing £3,350 GBP ($4,200 USD).
Also in watches, new full gold Excalibur from Roger Dubuis gets twin flying tourbillons.