Oris Tips Hat To Okavango Air Rescue With LE Big Crown Pro Pilot

In the northern reaches of Botswana you’ll find the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and home to a diverse population of wildlife and surrounding populations. In the gateway to these lands, in a town called Maun, exists Okavango Air Rescue, a privately funded aeromedical rescue organisation dedicated to serving both locals and tourists alike. The group, founded 10 years ago this year by Swiss entrepreneur Christian Gross and German-born Dr Misha S. Kruck, has flown more than 1,500 patients, and cared for countless more in their polyclinic. To honor their 10 years of service, Oris has partnered with the team to develop the Limited Edition Okavango Air Rescue Big Crown Pro Pilot watch.


Inspired by the Delta itself, the O.A.R. Big Crown was designed around the colors and textures that comprise the natural elements of the reserve, making for a dramatic bit of presence on the wrist. The dial does not hold back, rendered in a rich green that fades from light at the center to darker tones at the edge, with a uniform grassy texture throughout. The texture is aggressive up close, but fades into a lovely green canvas at arms length, with white applied Arabic numerals popping off the dial’s edge. White hands provide excellent clarity here while a date aperture at 3 o’clock is the only break in the uniformity. 

The steel case measures 41mm in diameter and received the same straightforward design with roped bezel design we see on existing Pro Pilot watches. The caseback is engraved with the likeness of a Pilatus PC12 fixed-wing aircraft used by the O.A.R. and each is individually numbered out of the total 2011 planned for production. Each will ship with a unique green textile strap created by Erika’s Originals exclusively for Oris, along with a brown leather unit.

Also unique to this watch is the leather travel pouch used to house the watch, and perfect for travel scenarios. The pouch is thoughtfully designed and could be used in a variety of ways should you be so inclined. 

The Okavango Air Rescue is independently funded through a patronage system, with a minimum of $15 per year, in an effort to make their services affordable to all, especially the local populations. Wealthy visitors to the region are of course welcome to donate more, and this partnership with Oris will hopefully bring some attention to their operation with a broader audience. 

The Oris O.A.R Big Crown Pro Pilot is available this month and will be priced at CHF2,300. Oris.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.