FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Yankee Stadium, Billion Oyster Project, and the best of Oris FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Yankee Stadium, Billion Oyster Project, and the best of Oris

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Yankee Stadium, Billion Oyster Project, and the best of Oris

Zach Blass

This week is a special edition of the Friday Wind Down, dedicated to all things Oris. Ricardo and I had two action-packed days with Oris earlier this week, spending one day at Yankee Stadium and another getting hands-on with the work of the Billion Oyster Project on Governors Island.

As a New Yorker, I have been to Yankee Stadium countless times — both the old stadium and the current stadium that was erected across the street in 2009. But never have I had the experience of having the stadium all to myself, arriving at the ballpark hours before the game to get intimate with Oris’ MLB partner.

Before we went on our private tour of Yankee Stadium, a special surprise guest took some time out of his very busy day to share some words with us: former Yankee infielder, and now manager of the legendary team, Aaron Boone.

When asked to share how he first came into contact with the brand, Boone explained: “Pretty cool story actually. I saw the Oris sign behind the outfield and thought to myself, ‘Well, I like watches, I like Oris watches.’ And a lot of my buddies that are really into watches, I asked them what they thought and they all attested to the quality of Oris’ pieces. So I asked to be put in with Oris, which led to me meeting VJ [Oris’ North America CEO, VJ Geronimo]. I think he and I hit it off right away, I knew he was definitely someone that I wanted to forge a relationship with. Especially due to the conservation component of the brand, where I know they are about a lot more than just watches.”

This eventually led to VJ gifting Boone one of their Carysfort Reef Gold Limited Edition watches — one of 50 pieces. It is not only a special watch to Boone, but a strategic superstition in the dugout — wearing it as a good luck charm each time a particular strong Yankee pitcher hits the mound. Boone explained: “I call it my ‘Gerrit Cole watch’. I wear it every time he pitches. It’s the ace show watch.” He also expressed great appreciation, on behalf of himself and the Yankees Organization, for Oris’ coral restoration efforts in Florida and their support for the Billion Oyster Project here in New York.

After letting Aaron Boone get back to the team to get ready for the game, we then had an intimate private tour of the Yankee Monument Park and Yankee Museum. Normally these areas are packed with tour guests, so to be able to roam around more freely, and really get to soak in all the Yankee history, was a one-of-a-kind experience. To see a century’s worth of signed baseballs, game-worn jerseys, game-used bats, and many of their Commissioner’s Trophies (presented to the team commissioner after winning the World Series).

While I could have spent even more time taking in all the heritage and history, it was game time. So, we made our way up to Oris’ private box to watch their game against the Oakland A’s. Living out every Yankee fan’s dream, Pete Malinowski, executive director and co-founder of Billion Oyster Project, took to the field with Oris CEO Rolf Studer to introduce the Billion Oyster Project to the crowd of nearly 50,000 and throw out the honorary first pitch.

While Oris foots the bill for the Yankee partnership, this incredible moment was not meant to glorify Oris and their watches. I really applaud the fact that Oris created this moment for Billion Oyster Project to purely have the spotlight, letting fans solely focus on their efforts. Prior to Pete throwing out the first pitch, a 60-second video played on the big screen, where actor Alec Baldwin narrated what the Billion Oyster Project was all about.

The non-profit organisation seeks to restore New York Harbor’s oyster population, with the ambitious aim to restore one billion oysters to the city’s waterways by the year 2035. Why is this such a crucial environmental endeavour? Pete Malinowski explains: “An adult oyster can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day, while oyster colonies create ecosystems for other marine life, and form natural storm barriers.” The only extent of Oris’ cameo during the ceremonial first pitch was the fact that Pete was proudly wearing the Aquis New York Harbor Limited Edition, created in partnership with Oris to support the Billion Oyster Project, while throwing out the first pitch. Even as a member of the press on this press trip, the Oris team made it very clear throughout that their primary goal was to promote the project rather than just the watch itself.

As the game went on, we had another special visit in our private box. The heritage director of the Yankee Museum stopped by with four incredible Yankee artifacts for us to get hands-on and carefully take pictures with. The first artifact was Babe Ruth’s personal signed and game-used bat, which he used during the 1922 and 1923 seasons. It was only the second time in his career that the heritage director had taken it out of its protective casing, having us all put on a clean pair of rubber gloves before we held it — stressing that no practice swings were allowed.

The next set of artifacts were two Yankee World Series Champions rings, one of which was the prototype for their famed “Subway Series” win against the New York Mets — designated by the year 2000 on its side and prototyped with Derek Jeter’s name. Last but not least, we were able to take a photo with an Aaron Judge game-worn jersey, covered in dirt from the field due to two crucial slides in the game. It was by far the coolest experience I have ever had at Yankee Stadium, and the baseball gods were on New York’s side as the Yankees came from behind for the win.

After an eventful evening of baseball, the following morning we were all up bright and early to head out and take the ferry to Governors Island. Equipped with Oris-branded hi-vis vests, we set out to spend a day with Billion Oyster Project and get a greater hands-on sense of what the project and its volunteers do to rejuvenate the New York Harbor.

We were put to work, sifting through all of the used oyster shells that the Billion Oyster Project receives from various restaurants in the NYC area to remove any of the trash that inadvertently ends up in the piles sent to them. With gloved hands, we combed through the massive piles, unearthing bottle caps, eating utensils, a surprising amount of mini tabasco sauce bottles, and other cloths and plastics.

After we had all removed a sufficient amount of waste from the oyster piles, we were then walked through the process of cleaning the shells — with each of us taking a turn on the assembly line to ensure the operation ran smoothly.

Why does the Billion Oyster Project do this? Pete explained: “It all starts with reclaimed oyster shells, which we collect from more than 50 New York City restaurants. Roughly 6000 pounds of shell are collected each week and transported to Governors Island where they spend one year in large mounds – exposed to the elements. A year later, they are ready to be rinsed and placed into reef structures – built by volunteers – and submerged into tanks full of harbour water.” These reefs then help cultivate oyster population growth, and, in turn, the growth of the ecosystem and the benefits a healthy ecosystem leads to.

Tired from our assistance, we then celebrated the launch of the Aquis New York Harbor Limited Edition over lunch on Governors Island, and again at dinner later at the Grand Central Oyster Bar — one of the many oyster shell donors to the Billion Oyster Project. While the Yankee Stadium experience may be more glamorous, Ricardo and I were especially happy to be a part of the day of service. As New Yorkers, it was really gratifying to better understand the project and how it will benefit our city. It is definitely something I would like to do again.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

– Zach

Best Oris meme: Always bear in mind the warranty

Times are changing and, with the market more competitive than ever, brands have to find ways to increase the value of the consumer experience for their products. Warranties are crucial lifelines, security blankets for your timepieces, and often new watches come with a standard two-year warranty. Oris, however, with their in-house calibre powered watches, blows the typical two years out of the water with a 10-year warranty. That means they back the watch for a full decade.

Best Oris moment on television


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A partnership with the Yankees, and placement within the stadium, can’t be cheap. But recently the fruits of the investment were abundantly clear when ESPN announcer Gary Striewski gave Oris a shout-out as the ball went over the sign and into the stands for a home run. Not only did he mention the banner and brand, but the fact that he currently had an Oris watch on his wrist and loves it.

Best Oris wrist shot: The Aquis NY Harbor Limited Edition captures the waters it aims to rejuvenate

Considering the concept of the watch revolves around environmental restoration, with a focus on oysters, it is fitting the new Aquis NY Harbor Limited Edition utilises a mother-of-pearl dial — with a green hue that conveys the colour of the New York Harbor water as it reaches the shoreline.

Best Oris quote: Oris CEO Rolf Studer explains three ways their team are living their values of sustainability

When Rolf and Andrew sat together at the Palexpo during Watches and Wonders, it was clear the brand as a whole was very sustainably cautious. But when asked how the team members individually lived up to their Change for the Better initiative, Rolf explained to Andrew: “We had a team meeting where we each discussed our own efforts. One watchmaker, for example, came with his 30-year-old pen. He explained that he was very young at the time, and it was very expensive for him, but that he still has it, it it will never break, and that’s how I do things.” By buying robust products with long lifespans, instead of cheaper-made products that will need to be repeatedly replaced, the watchmaker was creating less waste.

Another Oris team member presented her dry shampoo. “She doesn’t buy shampoos and plastic bottles anymore, yeah,” Rolf told Andrew. “And, on my end, I brought an apple from our own apple tree to talk about how I try to teach my kids to eat along the seasons. Everybody has an idea, everybody contributes to being more sustainable, and everybody does it in their own way.”

Best Oris releases of the year so far:

HANDS-ON: Oris continues its mission of change with the New York Harbor Limited Edition

Oris and the Billion Oyster Project organisation have teamed up to replenish New York Harbor’s once-thriving oyster reefs, as these crustaceans provide multiple benefits to the surrounding ecosystem — from filtering the water of pollutants to creating a natural storm barrier, protecting the shore from incoming waves. It’s these things and more that have gained oysters their reputation as “ecosystem engineers”. We have a hands-on review for you right here.

The Oris ProPilot X gets a revamp and some fresh new colours

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Oris had my favourite booth this Watches and Wonders. It was so inviting and warm, and the killer coffee and Oris-branded beer definitely didn’t hurt. The headlining Oris news for the fair was the launch of their new ProPilot X Calibre 400, so, if you have not already, definitely check out our video review above that walks you through the Oris booth and their value-driven titanium offering.

INTRODUCING: Oris launches its largest cherry Aquis yet, alongside a duo of subtly two-toned calibre 400 driven divers (live shots)

Feeling bi-metal curious? Looking for a distinct cherry red dial? Oris recently debuted a trio of new Aquis divers, which you can learn more about right here.

HANDS-ON: The Oris Rectangular has all the right angles and a welcome pop of colour

Oris flexed some colourful Art Deco muscle with their Oris Rectangular watch. Ricardo went hands-on with the range here.

INTRODUCING: Oris takes us on a trip to the past with the Hölstein Edition 2022

01 690 7780 4085-Set – Hölstein Edition 2022

As a celebration of how far the brand has come and to show love for their hometown, the brand has released their third in a series of Limited Edition watches. Say hello to the Oris Hölstein Edition 2022.