Introducing the Humboldt from Oak & Oscar

If you’ve spent any time following the micro-brand watch scene, then you’re likely familiar with Chase Fancher and his Chicago-based watch brand, Oak & Oscar. Founded in 2015, Oak & Oscar has seen notable success in its three short years; the brand’s first two watches have long sold out, and the third, the Jackson Flyback Chronograph, is well on its way to joining the archives. Oak & Oscar is back with its latest model—the Humboldt—and it’s sure to be another hit.

Like past watches, the Humboldt draws inspiration—and its name—from a specific source. Alexander von Humboldt was an 18th century explorer who was once credited by Charles Darwin as the “greatest scientific traveler who ever lived.” The Humboldt does its namesake proud, and it’s designed for those with adventure in mind. 


The Humboldt measures 40 millimeters across (40 at the bezel, and 39.5 at the case), 46.8 millimeters lug-to-lug, and 12.4 millimeters thick. The 316L stainless steel case is rated to 20 ATM and it features drilled lugs for that classic tool-watch vibe and functionality. The Humboldt comes equipped with a 12-hour bi-directional bezel for tracking an additional timezone, a detail that I’m a big fan of (and it’s my preferred way to track a second timezone). Sitting atop the dial is a double-domed sapphire crystal with a multi-layer anti-reflective coating.

The dial will be familiar to all those who know the brand. It’s a two-layer sandwich design, rendered here in either gray or blue (as always, both look great). There is a color-matched date wheel with a custom typeface located at 6, and nighttime visibility is made possible through generous use of Super-LumiNova BGW9. Unlike the Burnham and Sandford models, both of which featured an hours track expressed in Arabic numerals all the way through, here we only have numbers at 3, 9, and 12. It’s a slightly cleaner look and, in my opinion, it’s one of Fancher’s more mature dial designs.

The Humboldt sees a first from Oak & Oscar—a stainless steel bracelet. It has a fully-articulated link design, and, in a move that I wish other makers would follow, it tapers from 20 millimeters at the lugs down to 16 millimeters at the buckle! That’s going to look and feel great on the wrist. 

Powering the watch is a Swiss-made, ETA 2892-A2, a proven workhorse that needs no introduction. To learn more about this family of calibers from ETA, click here.

Oak & Oscar has always emphasized quality packaging, eschewing disposable and, frankly, wasteful watch boxes and opting instead for something that customers would actually want to keep around. The Humboldt comes with a great watch wallet made from a combination of waxed canvas and Horween leather accents with a soft suede and felt interior. The wallet was designed and manufactured in collaboration with Chicago’s Stock Mfg. Co.

On bracelet, the MSRP will be $1,750, with a limited time launch price of $1,650. On leather, it’s $1,550, with a limited time launch price of $1,450. Unlike past releases, all of which were limited, the Humboldt will be the first watch in Oak & Oscar’s new permanent collection. A portion of profits will be donated to a local Chicago dog rescue, One Tail at a Time. Delivery is expected in late Spring 2019. Oak & Oscar

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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.