Introducing the Dexter Gordon Limited Edition, the Latest Oris Honoring a Jazz Great

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.

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Introducing the Limited Edition Dexter Gordon from Oris, the latest in the brand’s tribute to some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians.

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.

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Note the dramatic double-domed sapphire crystal.

The dial then is a sunburst-finished warm gray with contrasting applied metallic indices, with the marker at twelve inconspicuously shaped like a saxophone reed. There is an additional printed minutes track along the perimeter of the dial where “DEXTER GORDON” is hidden, with one letter of the name positioned at every five-minute interval. It’s a subtle approach to an arguably contentious design detail, though it’s one that I feel would have been better left off.

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The trapezoidal date window with matching disc is expertly integrated into the dial.

The hour and minute hands are simple tapering needles and like the indices feature a high polish finish to contrast against the dial. The second hand, however, is gold plated and picks up on the warm tonesof the dial. It also features an elongated counterbalance that extends past the hour hand, giving it a bold look. I’d love to see the sweep in the metal.

Rounding out the package is a brown leather band with a deployant clasp and a commemorative wooden display box.

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Powering the watch is an Oris Cal. 733, otherwise known as the Sellita SW 200-1, which is in itself an ETA 2824 clone.

The Oris Dexter Gordon is a limited edition release of just 1,000 units. It will be available this January at CHF 1,800, with a final USD retail expected to fall under $2,000. For more information, visit Oris.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.