Have it known that the US side of Oris’s operation is comprised of some very lovely, helpful people. While I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked with them at Baselworld 2010, I will be spending more time with their watch collection in June. I was able to get shots of a very cool limited edition piece – the Oris RAID Chronograph. RAID is a rally race of vintage cars. It now takes place in Switzerland and France, and only includes automobiles made before 1975. If you want to learn more about it, just Google it.
This should explain the styling of the RAID Chronograph watch. It looks quire retro and reminds us of when cars had really swoopy roofs. Specifically, the dial is influenced by the tachometer of a 1952 Jaguar XK 120 – that has the redline area reversed. Use of this concept adds that always welcome splash of red to the dial. Seeing the font of the Arabic numerals on the dial, and you can bring yourself back to the era of 1950’s British roadsters. It is done quite well actually. Oris could have been OK just giving the watch a cheeky dial, but there are other little details that you should appreciate. Look at the unique chronograph pushers for example, and the charcoal gray tone of the face.
Not coincidental at all is how legible the watch is. A lot of the time brands make silly homage watches like this that fail to be useful as daily wears – not here. Oris stays true to its ideals as a watchmaker, so the 43.5mm wide steel case has a very legible design, properly sized nickle needle hands with SuperLumiNova luminant, and a very easy to read chronograph.
The automatic movement is a base Swiss ETA. Perhaps an 2894 given the layout – or a modified 7750. Either way, the movement has been modified given the starting positions of the chronograph – that coincide with the unique layout of the tachometer on the 52 Jag XK 120. The watch case has a AR coated sapphire crystal, and water resistant to 30 meters.
I enjoy the watch case finishing and the typical attention to detail that you see in most Oris watches. The back of the watch is engraved with the RAID logo, and the edition number of this limited edition piece. I am really amazed at just how varied Oris brand watches can be, but still be well executed in their own right. The Oris RAID Chronograph will be limited to 500 pieces. Not totally sure about the price right now, going to be maybe $4,000 – $5,000. I will try to update the price as I get a better figure. Look for this cool watch later this year.