Oris to Auction Pair of Watches for Wings of Hope Organization

Earlier this year, Oris introduced a pair of limited edition Big Crown pilot watches meant to put a spotlight on the Wings of Hope organization, whom the brand supports as a part of their Change for the Better initiatives. We had a chance to see the watches at the Wings of Hope headquarters located in St. Louis over the summer, where we also learned a bit more about the organization itself, and the important life saving work they do around the world. The culmination of this partnership will happen later this week at the Sotheby’s December Important Watches auction, where both the steel and gold reference Big Crown Wings of Hope Limited Edition watches will cross the block, with all proceeds benefiting Wings of Hope. 

The limited edition Big Crown watches each get Oris’ own caliber 401 automatic movement, though the watches come in two different sizes and materials. The steel case measures 40mm in diameter while the solid gold case is scaled to 38mm. Both receive a white dial with a subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock, with an overall aesthetic reminiscent of the Hölstein edition released last year. It’s a very good look and this particular execution takes to the design well. The steel example, which is priced at $3,700, will see 1,000 units produced, while the gold will be limited to just 100 units, priced at $17,000.


An example of each will be auctioned at Sotheby’s December ‘Important Watches’ auction taking place December 9th, at 10:15am in New York City. Proceeds of the sale of these two watches will go directly to Wings of Hope, an NGO operating globally to provide health care access and patient support to some of the most remote areas on the planet. In 2021, the outfit served over 85,000 patient’s in need in countries like Belize and Colombia as well as right here in the United States. 

We had the opportunity to visit Wings of Hope in St. Louis with Oris over the summer to get a direct look at the head of operations, and meet some of the many staff and volunteers that keep the operation running. While a core staff exists, they rely on more than 300 volunteers across 10 different countries, and in many cases, these are highly skilled volunteers like pilots and engineers that keep a fleet of small planes operating. 

Together, and with the help of their Global Humanitarian Network, Wings of Hope is able to provide service and expertise to remote areas for everything from transport to medical facilities with no charge to the patient, to bringing vital medical supplies into rural areas that are otherwise difficult and time consuming to reach. Wings of Hope has twice been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, which speaks volumes to the vital nature of their work.

Visiting their facilities in St. Louis provided a remarkable perspective on their past, and just how much good they’ve done in their 60 plus years of operation. Gifts from different tribes and cultures around the world adorn every wall of their administrative spaces, from snake skins to pottery, each piece tells a different tale of a life saved or a community helped. Much of the space is occupied by the hangar facilities, where a variety of planes were seen in all manner of states of readiness. Most were being worked on by mechanics, bringing older sometimes donated planes back to life, and keeping their active fleet in working condition. These people are used as assets in any of the 10 countries where Wings of Hope maintains operational bases, where they are constantly looking to expand their areas of coverage with more and more modern planes, as well as highly specialized volunteer pilots. 

Their work also benefits those closer to home through their Soar into STEM programs providing aviation curriculum to students in person or remotely. The program was launched in 2019 in response to a shortage of pilots and mechanics with hopes of fostering and developing a new generation to build and carry on in this type of work.

In total, Wings of Hope does an incredible amount of good, and they do it with a shocking efficiency. Their mission is global, and their network of volunteers is vital, but the resources they require to fulfill their mission can be substantial. This is where Oris can make an impact that dovetails nicely with their Change for the Better initiatives, and these very watches help spread awareness to new audiences. Like watch nerds. 

You can learn more about Wings of Hope right here, and if you like either of the limited edition Big Crown watches created for Wings of Hope, be sure to check out Sotheby’s ‘Important Watches’ auction taking place December 9th, at 10:15am in New York City to get your bid in knowing the money is going to a good cause. If you don’t need a watch or don’t feel like taking part in an auction, you can also donate directly to Wings of Hope through their website.

Related Posts
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.