Introducing the Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition

Introducing the Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition

Oris and Pilot’s Watches

Around 1910 Oris made its first watch for pilots. Louis Blériot’s flight across the English Channel in 1908 in his Type XI monoplane won him the Daily Mail newspaper prize of £1,000. Oris honored Blériot’s 1908 crossing of the English Channel by creating a pocket watch with an image of a Blériot Type XI plane engraved onto the case. That was followed in 1917 by the company’s first pilot’s wristwatch that could only be adjusted when a button above the crown was activated.

In 1938, Oris produced a watch that would become known as the Big Crown Pointer Date. It had an oversized crown that could be easily operated by a pilot, even when wearing gloves; large Arabic numerals, so the time could be read quickly; a fluted bezel with strong grip; and a central hand with a pointer tip that indicated the date. It was simple, logical, and useful. Many innovations have followed in the decades since – pilot’s watches with rotating bezels and slide rules for making calculations during flight, watches with second time zones and other useful complications for a professional pilot.

Produced in 1938, the Oris Pointer Date had a central hand indicating the date and an oversized crown.
Produced in 1938, the Oris Pointer Date had a central hand indicating the date and an oversized crown.
The Oris Big Crown Small Second, Pointer Day
The Oris Big Crown Small Second, Pointer Day

In 2014, Oris introduced the ProPilot series with the ProPilot Altimeter, the world’s first automatic watch with a mechanical altimeter. The ProPilot also included a barometric pressure sensor and laminated carbon fiber hands to keep the indicator light and thin without sacrificing accuracy.

Oris Partnerships with Aviation Services

Oris has been associated with the world of aviation since the early 1900’s. They have forged partnerships with aviation organizations around the globe which include non-profits providing air rescue services and a NATO tactical training outfit. Some of the memorable and recent partnerships have been with Swiss Rega, 40th Squadron Heli, and NATO’s Tactical Leadership Program.

Oris has an ongoing partnership with Swiss Rega, an air-rescue non-profit organization, that assists with mountain-rescue and medical assistance in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In 2016, Oris Altimeter Rega Limited Edition featured a mechanical altimeter in a 47mm PVD-coated case. This was followed-up by Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition in 2017 with a second time-zone display, indicated by a 24-hour central hand. This was a partnership with Rega jet pilots who provide worldwide service, across all time zones, as part of their repatriation service with their ambulance jets.

The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition from 2017
The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition from 2017

In 2019, Oris announced a new partnership with 40th Squadron Heli, the Belgian Air Force search and rescue team. To mark the special occasion, Oris released a 40th Squadron Limited Edition. The 45mm grey PVD-coated Big Crown ProPilot featured orange, green and beige color scheme of the Sea King helicopters operated by the 40th Squadron.

Earlier this year, Oris forged a partnership with NATO’s Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) based in Albacete, Spain. TLP is comprised of military and civilian personnel from the ten NATO nations with a common objective to increase the effectiveness of air forces in the field of tactical leadership with an emphasis on advanced combat pilot training. The TLP Limited Edition model had a military appearance with a 44mm gunmetal grey PVD case featuring a coin-edged bezel, inspired by the turbine of a jet engine.

The Oris TLP Albacete limited edition was developed in partnership with the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP), an elite pilot training programme based in Albacete, Spain.
The Oris TLP Albacete limited edition was developed in partnership with the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP), an elite pilot training programme based in Albacete, Spain.
The Oris TLP Albacete limited edition was developed in partnership with the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP), an elite pilot training programme based in Albacete, Spain.

With these and other partnerships, Oris has earned their reputation for responsible business citizenship. Their work with marine conservation groups, sustainability in manufacturing and their support of great humanitarian efforts is a large part of their DNA as watchmakers.

Okavango Air Rescue Mission

With the Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition, the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization. Swiss entrepreneur Christian Gross and German-born Dr. Misha S. Kruck founded the organization in 2011, bringing Gross’s work with conservation and environmental activism and Kruck’s medical background together for a new kind of humanitarian service.

Okavango Air Rescue, or O.A.R. operates two Bell Jetranger 206 III helicopters and two PC-12 fixed-wing aircraft to bring medical care to remote locations for tourists and locals in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The Delta is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and brings tourists from all over the world who are encouraged to set up a “Patronage” that helps to fund the O.A.R. operations in the area. This system allows the service to self-fund so that it can be independent from donations and government support.

The Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition celebrates the 10th anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization.
The Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition celebrates the 10th anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization.
The watch is powered by the automatic in-house Oris 751, which delivers a 38-hour power reserve and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
The watch is powered by the automatic in-house Oris 751, which delivers a 38-hour power reserve and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.

The O.A.R. is a team of doctors, pilots, nurses, paramedics and administration staff from all over the world who has now served more than 20,000 patients in their polyclinic and flown more than 1,500 patients to hospitals for more critical care. They’ve brought medical care and emergency medical evacuation to an area over 20,000km2 that previously relied on the support from neighboring South Africa for such services.

Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition

Oris created their new limited edition watch in collaboration with O.A.R in order to raise awareness and bring support for the great work of this organization. The design begins with all the hallmarks of the Big Crown ProPilot line – a robust case with an oversized crown and a dial with superb legibility.

The 41mm case is a multi-piece stainless steel and features the interesting machining decoration that mimics the look of a turbine in motion. The domed sapphire has an anti-reflective coating inside to limit glare and increase legibility of the dial beneath. The caseback is engraved with an image of their PC-12 flying over the Delta and the edition number.

The Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition has a gorgeous textured green dial that mimics the grasslands of the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition has a gorgeous textured green dial that mimics the grasslands of the Okavango Delta.
The caseback is engraved with an image of their PC-12 flying over the Delta and the edition number.
The caseback is engraved with an image of their PC-12 flying over the Delta and the edition number.

The dial is a gorgeous textured green that mimics the grasslands of the Okavango Delta. The hands and indices are coated with Super-LumiNova for low light conditions and the minimalistic numerals are clean and well balanced with a windowed date at 3 o’clock.

The movement is the automatic in-house Oris 751, based on Sellita SW 220-1 with central hands, date, date corrector, find timing device and stop-seconds. It has a 38-hour power reserve and a 100-meter water resistance rating.

The watch is paired with a green textile strap that was created by Erika’s Originals exclusively for Oris and an additional brown leather strap in the presentation leather travel pouch packaging. Okavango Air Rescue is limited to 2,011 pieces.

Tech Specs

Oris Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition

Movement: Oris 751 (base Sellita SW220-1) automatic movement, 36 hours power reserve
Case: 41mm x 12.3mm, stainless Steel
Strap: Green textile strap created by Erika’s Originals exclusively for Oris, additional brown leather strap
Price and Availability: USD2,500; limited edition of 2011 pieces

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