Oris returns to their Big Crown Pro Pilot line with a new limited edition built to honor each of the 21 aircraft used by the Rega air rescue operation based in Switzerland. This is the third watch to be produced from Oris’ partnership with Rega, which began in 2016, and this particular model cuts no corners in acknowledging the 18 helicopters and 3 fixed wing aircraft used by the organization today. The watch itself happens to be pretty handsome as well, featuring a gunmetal grey case and red accents. Like I always say: If you’re going to be saving lives in the Swiss mountains by helicopter, you might as well look good doing it.
Founded in 1954, the Rega Swiss Air Rescue team operates around the clock to provide emergency service and medical care to those experiencing emergency situations. They rely on more than 3.6 million patrons, and in 2020 alone the team flew more than 16,000 missions providing help, aid and transport via helicopter or jet. Their 21 red and white aircraft are split between three categories: the Airbus Helicopters H145 for versatile operations across Switzerland; the AgustaWestland Da Vinci for high performance for mountain operations; and the Bombardier Challenger 650 for repatriation flights, worldwide. Each craft is identifiable through a unique registration number.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. honors all 21 of these aircraft individually, with each getting their own unique caseback design. The 21 variants of the watch will receive 100 production examples, totalling (checks math) 2,100 watches. The rest of the watch remains the same, and that means a 41mm steel case and bezel that have both received a PVD treatment of gunmetal grey. The bezel gets a red ‘golden hour’ triangle and pulsometer scale while the dial receives the red Rega logo at 6 o’clock, and a red-tipped 24 hour hand. Applied white Arabic numerals jump off the black dial for high legibility, and a date window appears at 3 o’clock.
Oris is using their 798 caliber, which is a base Sellita SW330-1 automatic movement with 42 hours of reserve. With their caliber 400 beginning to appear in more models it’s likely only a matter of time before we see it show up in a Big Crown Pro Pilot, and I hope we do. This is a design that works, offering a truly original take on the pilot watch and many of the qualities seen in this Rega LE would work wonderfully on a regular production model. Until then, they’ve made some lovely LEs, including the Okavango released just a few weeks back.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. will be available beginning this September, and will be priced at CHF3,100 (~$3,375 at the time of writing). Each will ship with a red Ventile® travel pouch, a strap change tool, and two straps: black leather with gunmetal grey clasp, and a red rubber option. Oris.