INTRODUCING: Flame to please with the Oris Coulson Limited EditionD.C. Hannay
Oris has a long history at the forefront of environmental issues, releasing a continuous series of limited editions to benefit causes from ocean reef health to pollution. Their newest release continues the tradition. The 1,000-piece Oris Coulson Limited Edition is designed to bring awareness to the very real problem of wildfires (or bushfires in Australia), often exacerbated by climate change throughout the world.
Coulson Aviation is an independent aerial firefighting organisation from Canada, but their work takes their specially equipped aircraft all over the world, including Australia, the US (and specifically California), and South America. Suffice to say that the work they do is crucial in controlling the wildfires that are becoming more and more prevalent today. With its bold, orange fade-on-black, the Oris Coulson Limited Edition pays tribute to this important work with some thoughtful details and an innovative case material.
Based on the Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot, the first thing you’ll notice about the 41mm case is the layered appearance of the black carbon fibre material, but this isn’t your standard composite case. The case is actually 3-D printed, a first for a Swiss carbon watch case, which allows precise control of the layered pattern, as opposed to the sometimes random look of other composites. With 3-D printing becoming more prevalent, I expect to see more of this in watch design in the future. Of course, the case is lightweight, with a grey PVD bezel and caseback contributing to its scant 65-gram weight. The big, screwdown crown ensures water resistance to 100 metres, and the visible, specially marked and numbered caseback also screws down. The front and back crystals are both domed sapphire and AR coated.
The can’t-miss-it dial is rendered in a striking orange fade, reminiscent of the Rolex Deepsea “Cameron”, but with a completely opposite feel meant to evoke fire, and it certainly does. Visibility will not be an issue with the Coulson, as the bright white applied numbered indices and markers explode off the dial. The same goes for the white baton hands and seconds tip, and all of these elements are liberally doused with Swiss Super-LumiNova that emits a cool blue glow. A six o’clock date window will keep fans of symmetry happy.
The movement is Oris’ in-house Calibre 400, the so-called “Calibear”, due to its appearance that resembles the Oris bear mascot’s face. The 400 was a huge upgrade for the brand upon its release, offering a jaw-dropping five-day power reserve, -3/+5 seconds per day accuracy, improved antimagnetic properties, a recommended service interval of 10 years, and accompanying 10-year warranty. As stated before, you can view the movement through the sapphire caseback, although a small portion is partially obscured by the limited edition-marked outer ring.
The black woven fabric strap looks properly utilitarian, and features a comfortable burnt orange leather lining. A thoughtful touch is the matching grey PVD clasp, an upscale alternative to a standard pin buckle. As nice as the standard strap is, I could easily see swapping it out for any number of leather, canvas, or even rubber options based on personal preferences.
It’s nice to see a company back up their talk on charitable issues, and Oris has been at it for quite some time. They’ve taken action beyond just releasing limited editions (although Oris has put out a pretty good amount), from supporting humanitarian relief to volunteer work (that sometimes even involves the watch press corps), so their corporate goodwill goes beyond lip service. That the commemorative watches themselves are as good as they’ve been is a bonus for the collector, and the Coulson Limited Edition is a bold continuation of that legacy.
Oris Coulson Limited Edition pricing and availability:
The Oris Coulson limited edition is available now as a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, and comes in a special presentation box with a numbered certificate. Price: US$4,500
|Coulson Limited Edition
|Multi-piece carbon fibre case with grey-PVD-plated titanium fixed beze
|100m (screw-down crown)
|Front: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside. Exhibition caseback.
|Black textile strap with grey-PVD- plated folding clasp
|In-house automatic Oris calibre 400
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date
|Now. Limited Edition of 1,000 pieces.