Back when Oris introduced their first watch with the all new in-house Caliber 400 movement, the guessing game of what watch would be next to feature the new caliber began. Today, we have the answer, and it might not be exactly what you’d expect. We should think of the Caliber 400 as a base movement that Oris can use to iterate and add complications both large and small, and that’s they’ve done with the new Carl Brashear Cal. 401 Limited Edition, a new bronze diver that debuts the first movement based on the Oris caliber released last year.
Caliber 401 keeps the same basic architecture as Caliber 400, but differs in a few ways that will be obvious to the end user. The most obvious difference is the swapping of a small seconds hand at 6:00 for the center mounted sweep seconds hand on the Caliber 400. This layout is common to many of Oris’s most well regarded historical designs, so it’s something of a no-brainer to design a version of their in-house movement with a small seconds register. You’ll also notice that the Caliber 401 does not include a date indicator, which should satisfy many of the brand’s enthusiast collectors. Importantly, Caliber 401 retains the lengthy ten year warranty and service interval of the Caliber 400, as well as the impressive five day power reserve, magnetic resistant qualities, and chronometer spec accuracy.
The new movement is mated to Oris’s latest collaboration with the Carl Brashear Foundation, and like the earlier Brashear watches, this one features a bronze case and a striking blue dial. Brashear was the first African-American master diver in the history of the U.S. Navy, and is remembered as a pioneer in the field for his accomplishments. The bronze case of the Brashear watches is inspired by the diving helmets worn by Brashear and others in the Navy’s diving program, and of course will take on a patina unique to each owner over the course of time and regular wear. The watch is 40mm in diameter and is built on the platform of the Divers Sixty-Five, but definitely has its own distinct character with the small seconds register and bronze bezel with its dive timer etched in relief.
The Carl Brashear Cal. 401 Limited Edition has a depth rating of 100 meters, which might disappoint some hardcore dive watch fans but is plenty for all but professional divers, and will certainly be enough to stand up the daily grind of most users. The watch ships on a blue elastic nylon strap produced in partnership with Erika’s Originals, and registers as an excellent match to the deep blue tone of the dial.
This is a limited edition of 2,000 pieces, and carries a retail price of $4,200. It’s available now through the Oris authorized dealer network.