Oris has a long tradition of producing watches inspired by iconic jazz musicians, among them Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis (read our review of the Oris John Coltrane Limited Edition). With Oris’ latest tribute piece—in fact, their seventeenth to date—the Swiss independent is honoring one of the greatest 20th-century jazz saxophonists, Dexter Gordon.
First, some background on the man himself. Dexter Gordon, born in 1923, was one of the first musicians to adapt the “bebop” stylings of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to the tenor saxophone. His career spanned nearly four decades, culminating in an incredible discography and legacy of work that had him as both lead and sideman to jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Herbie Hancock. At six feet, six inches tall, Gordon commanded a powerful presence, earning him the nicknames “Long Tall Dexter” and “Sophisticated Giant,” and he’s often cited, rightly so, as a major influence on John Coltrane. To sample some of Gordon’s amazing work, check out his 1963 classic, Our Man in Paris.
Back to the watch. The Dexter Gordon Limited Edition comes in a 40mm stainless steel package, with long swooping lugs, a double-domed sapphire crystal and an oversized crown—all of which give the watch its wonderful profile. The sapphire crystal is especially nice, flowing almost seamlessly from the bezel to the uppermost point of the dome—a detail that gives the watch its wonderful vintage sensibility. Flipping the watch over, a screw-in stainless steel case back is engraved with “Long Tall Dex” in brass, a nod to Gordon’s aforementioned nickname.