Oris has just announced and unveiled their new limited edition watch dedicated to the courageous Navy Diver Carl Brashear. It is being limited to 2000 pieces and comes with their Calibre 401 movement. To understand the significance of this watch as to who it is dedicated to, I will first discuss who Carl Brashear is and his accomplishments while he was in the Navy. Then I will discuss the watch and its specifications as well as the price.
Carl Brashear enlisted in the U.S Navy in 1948, the significance of this time period was that he was the first African-American to attend and also graduate from the Navy Diving School and also the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver. While this is an impressive feat by itself this is hardly a small fraction of what his accomplishments were and the challenges he had to face while in the U.S. Navy. He faced a lot of hostility and racism while he was in school but he never let this get to him, he continued to push forward and keep going regardless of what others said about him. In January 1966, during a bomb recovery operation he suffered a devastating injury on his left leg that eventually had to be amputated. The Navy did want to retire Carl Brashear but he refused to give up and had hoped to get back to the Navy and continue his service. He spent a year recovering and rehabilitating, and then from 1967 to 1968 he was assigned to the Harbour Clearance Unit Two, Diving School to train and get back in the Navy. In 1968 he was the first ever amputee diver to be recertified as a U.S. Navy Diver. Two years later in 1970 he became the first African-American to become a U.S. Navy master diver, which is the highest warfare qualification obtainable by a member of the U.S. Navy diving community. He served another 9 years after this and also achieved the rating of master chief boatswain’s mate in 1971. There was a movie made inspired by his story titled “Men of Honour.”
As the watch is in his honour it is a divers watch and comes in a bronze case that is 40mm. It has domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating inside. The dial is in navy blue which contrasts quite nicely with the bronze hour and minute indicators as well as the hour and minute hands. There is also a small seconds subdial which is probably my personal favourite to see especially on this watch. The indices as well as the hands of the watch has superluminova light old radium for a very bright lume, perfectly suitable for a dive watch. It is 100m water resistance and also as mentioned by Oris highly anti-magnetic. What is most impressive with this watch is that it comes with a 5 day power reserve with an automatic movement once fully wound and is accurate to -3/+5 seconds a day. It also comes with a 10 year warranty meaning you would not have to bring in the watch for a service until 2031 as mentioned by their own website. The movement is as mentioned by the title the Calibre 401, which is a brand new automatic movement by Oris.
It is retailing for CHF 3,900, keep in mind though this is limited to 2000 pieces so chances that it will sell out quickly is quite high. Also, once this watch is sold out it will most likely go up in value quite a bit if you are a person who does care for that. However, if you are a fan of Oris or just the history behind the man that inspired this watch then you should definitely consider the purchase of this watch.