Introducing the Oak & Oscar Olmsted

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Hot on the heels of the release of their extremely limited baseball-themed collaboration with Wilson Sporting Goods, Oak & Oscar is back with the Olmsted, the newest permanent addition to their collection. The Olmsted is a field watch that definitely fits in the “everyday watch” category, but like previous Oak & Oscar releases, it has plenty of little details to enjoy that will keep you from getting bored if you do decide to grab this one on a regular basis.

Oak & Oscar Olmsted 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Navy, charcoal grey, matte white
  • Dimensions: 38 x 44.9 x 10.8mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters 
  • Crown: Screw-down    
  • Movement: ETA 2892-A2 
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet, leather strap
  • Price: $1575 (retail price on bracelet), $1375 (retail price on strap)
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: Shipping in 6-10 weeks

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A lot of time when I look at a new watch release, I remain puzzled by the name of a new timepiece even after seeing the brand’s rationale behind it, but I have to say that naming your field watch the Olmsted makes a ton of sense once you understand the logic behind it. The watch is named for Frederic Law Olmsted, often credited as the founder of landscape architecture, and one of the most important 19th-century conservationists. If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in a large American city, you’ve likely admired Olmsted’s work. He designed New York City’s Central Park and Jackson Park in Chicago (home of Oak & Oscar), and was the first to conceive of using interconnected parkways within cities to connect to green spaces. Even if he didn’t personally design it, if you find yourself enjoying some quiet solitude in a green space within your city, you have Frederic Law Olmsted to thank. 

So, a field watch named for an architect who basically invented the idea of a city park makes a ton of sense, especially once you consider that the brand behind the watch is based in one of the USA’s great cities, and that the watch itself is a notably modern take on a field watch. Field watches are often rather plain affairs, due in large part to their roots in military use, but the Olmsted has little flashes of color and some very deliberate design choices to place it squarely within the now well-established language of what we expect an Oak & Oscar watch to look like, and make it something of a field watch for city dwellers. 

Fans of the brand know all about Oak & Oscar’s ability to create dynamic and impressive sandwich dials, and the Olmsted certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Three dial variants will be available at launch: charcoal grey, navy, and matte white. The white dial, in particular, has a striking and modern look to it and contrasts really well with the grey numerals and orange seconds hand. The grey and navy variants are lumed from the bottom layer (meaning the numerals themselves will glow) while the white dial version has lumed hour markers, so lume fans will hopefully be satisfied regardless of their dial choice. Orange accented minute indicators add additional visual interest to the dial, while also enhancing legibility. 

The Olmsted is powered by the venerable ETA 2892-A2 movement, with a custom-designed 4-star rotor that has become an Oak & Oscar calling card visible through the display case-back. Each Olmsted also comes packaged in a canvas watch wallet rather than a display box destined for a closet (or the trash bin). 

Field watches are tough to design in a distinctive way, and it seems like often times when a brand takes on this particular genre, the end result tends to look like a lot of other field watches, rather than a watch made by that brand. Oak & Oscar have done a really nice job here of making a field watch that is entirely theirs, and fits perfectly alongside the rest of their growing catalog. Oak & Oscar

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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