Introducing the Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition

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Two years ago, Oris released the Carl Brashear Dive watch. Their first and only bronze watch at the time, it was based on the 42mm Diver 65 platform, was limited to a mere 2,000 pieces, and was a huge hit. It was also made to celebrate the life and achievements of the extraordinary Carl Brashear, the first U.S Navy amputee diver and the first African-American Master Diver, the latter of which he achieved after losing part of his leg in a salvage mission. Carl Brashear’s story was also told in the film Men of Honor, where he was played by Cuba Gooding Jr.

To follow up the 2016 release, Oris has outdone themselves with the Carl Brashear Chronograph LE. Built on the Diver 65 concept, the new chronograph is 43mm, all bronze save the embossed stainless steel case back and features the Oris Calibre 771, which is based on the Sellita SW 510 caliber. This makes the watch the second bronze watch ever in their collection, and the first with this new integrated chronograph movement, and currently their only dual register chronograph.

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In terms of design, the watch stays very true to the original. The dial is a rich, dark blue with large applied markers with creamy yellow fill and rose-gold surrounds. The edge of the dial has a printed index in a similar custard tone, with units to account for the chronograph seconds hand. The biggest difference is, of course, the addition of a 30-minute counter at three and sub-seconds at nine, as well as the subtraction of a date window.

The case has then been bumped up to 43mm from 42mm, and is likely thicker due to the movement, though that measurement is not currently available. Otherwise, the design of the case is largely the same, save the addition of bronze pushers for actuating the chronograph. The mix of the bronze case, blue dial, yellowed lume and chronograph features give the new Carl Brashear an interesting air of vintage with the feel of a modern watch. Oris did a good job of integrating the chronograph into the design without adding clutter, making it surprisingly clean, yet still bold and legible in the ways a dive watch should be.

Though I only had a brief chance to try one on, it left quite the impression. It’s a striking watch and one of the more appealing bronze watches I’ve come across. Like the original, the palette is just right and as the watch ages, gaining unique oxide green and brown patina, the character of the watch will only increase.  On the wrist, it wore well, though on the large side, but certainly tolerable as the case isn’t too chunky on the sides. The Carl Brashear Chronograph comes mounted to a tan leather strap, which plays off of the warm case material.

A side note about the movement. It’s great to see Oris using the Sellita SW 510, which is similar to the Valjoux 7753. Often, dual register chronographs utilize modular chronographs which while having some advantages, such as being a bit thinner, are generally considered harder to service.

The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Chronograph will be limited to 2,000 pieces and will cost $4,950. While substantially more than the previous version, the addition of the chronograph obviously accounts for some increase. Considering how quickly the first ones sold out, I’m certain Oris will have another hit on their hands here. The question is, with a new case and a new movement, will there be other Diver 65 chronographs in the future?


For more info: Oris.ch

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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