The new Oris Hank Aaron Limited Edition is a charitable home runZach Blass
- The Oris Hank Aaron Limited Edition uses the Big Crown Pointer Date 40mm as a framework with blue, red, and white colours inspired by his uniform
- It is a collaboration between Oris and The Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, a US-based non-profit.
- The watch is limited to 2,297 pieces in honour of his still-standing MLB RBI record
“I am not concerned with how I am perceived as a baseball player. I am concerned with how I am thought of as a human being.” Hank Aaron. Anyone who loves the game of baseball knows the name Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron. A humble hall of famer, Aaron’s incredible MLB career includes being the first player to break Babe Ruth’s longstanding all-time home run record in 1974, the record for most career RBIs (2,297), and total bases (6,856), the latter two records he still holds to this day. But, where Aaron truly measures himself is not by his successes on the field. Greatly influenced by his mother, who believed his platform should be used to help others, his integrity and character led him to be equally focused and devoted to his efforts towards social change off the field.
Aaron, while beloved today, endured discrimination throughout his career – receiving hate mail and death threats as he inched closer and closer to the all-time home run record. Why? To put it simply: because of the colour of his skin. Beginning his baseball career in the Negro Leagues in 1951, Aaron would join the MLB three years later in a time where segregation was still prevalent. Through his experience with discrimination, segregation and racism, it became very clear to him that he needed to use his platform for change beyond the baseball diamond. After retiring from baseball, Aaron and his wife Billye would go on to found the Chasing the Dream Foundation in 1994.
Hank Aaron once said: “I hope I have set a pattern in life, not only for my kids, but for all the people in the world: that if you try a little harder, no matter how large an obstacle might be, you can succeed. I don’t want any kid, no matter who they are, to think ‘I can’t do it.’ The fact is, they can do anything they want to.” This is the core aim of the Chasing the Dream Foundation: to support disadvantaged youth with scholarships that allow them to develop their skills and pursue their passions.
The foundation, Oris explains, has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships to youth with limited opportunities. The initial goal was to provide grants to 755 youths, one for each of Aaron’s career home runs. To date, the Chasing the Dream Foundation has helped over 800 kids into higher education, many going on to become athletes, musicians, doctors, scientists and educators. With an aligned mission of change for the better, Oris decided to follow up their Roberto Clemente Limited Edition with this new Hank Aaron Limited Edition to commemorate Aaron, who sadly passed in 2021, and support his foundation’s mission.
Rolf Studer, Oris Co-CEO explains: “To be able to collaborate with the Hank Aaron family and the Chasing the Dream Foundation, and to commemorate Hank Aaron, is a true honour. Mr Aaron is an inspiration. He broke down racial barriers, rewrote the record books and devoted his life to the service of others. For Oris, it is a great privilege to be able to support his legacy and the foundation as it continues its mission to bring Change for the Better to the lives of disadvantaged young people.”
The Oris Hank Aaron Limited Edition, like the Roberto Clemente Limited Edition, utilises the Big Crown Pointer Date for its framework. Where it subtly differs is through its blue and red accents which honour the colours of his Atlanta Braves uniform (rather than the black and yellow accents of Clemente’s Pittsburgh Pirates uniform). Cased in stainless steel, the watch is 40mm in diameter, 11.2mm thick, and 48mm lug-to-lug, with a depth-rating of 50 metres. The Big Crown Pointer Date, a model which has long been a core design within Oris’ catalogue since 1938, uses four central hands: a cathedral set of hours and minutes hands, a stick central seconds hand, and a pointer hand that extends to the outer perimeter of the dial to indicate the calendar date.
Rather than exhibit the Sellita-based automatic Oris calibre 754 within, the Oris Hank Aaron Limited Edition is handsomely engraved with a motif of Aaron completing the swing of his bat. I imagine some collectors would have loved to see a 10 year-backed Oris in-house calibre used in the watch, but it is more befitting of the man it honours to use a more humble workhorse calibre and keep the price of the limited edition lower and more accessible for fans of baseball, Hank Aaron, and his efforts on and off of the field. It is a numbered limited edition, and it is sold in a special presentation box which includes a quick release blue leather strap with white stitching, a blue, red and white NATO fabric strap, and a strap tool. Overall, it is a watch which technically meets all of the requirements of a casual daily wearer, with a very versatile colour scheme that allows it to be worn well with a wide range of wardrobes. But, most importantly, it is a fitting tribute to Hank Aaron both as a legendary athlete and incredible man.
Oris Hank Aaron Limited Edition pricing and availability:
The Oris Hank Aaron Limited Edition will be available in July 2023 as a limited edition of 2,297 pcs. Price: CHF 2,300
|Model||Hank Aaron Limited Edition|
|Case Dimensions||40mm (D) x 11.2mm (T) x 48mm (L2L)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Dial||White with blue and red accents|
|Crystal||Domed sapphire crystal|
|Strap||Blue leather strap with white stitching and stainless steel buckle. Also supplied with alternative blue, red and white NATO fabric strap with stainless steel buckle and strap change tool|
|Movement||Automatic Oris 754 calibre (base Sellita SW200-1)|
|Power Reserve||38 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
|Availability||July 2023, limited edition of 2,297 pcs.|