The Swiss watchmakers have devoted their new Oris BC4 RHFS Limited Edition (ref. 674 7616 4284 Set) automatic chronograph watch to the 4e Régiment d’Hélicoptères des Forces Spéciales (4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment) that was established in August, 2009 and is now based in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Despite being a “pilot’s watch” (well, it is not a B-Uhr, but it is still styled like a plane’s instrument gauge,) the new BC4 RHFS is presented in a comparatively compact body and is equipped with a natural-born chronograph movement.
For a reason unknown, the Swiss watch brand has ditched the compass functionality of the original Oric BC4 Flight Timer watch for their chronograph line, so the extra crown in the upper right part of the case that provided the watch with much of its mojo and originality, has also gone.
However, thanks to its 42.7 mm stainless steel case covered in gun metal PVD coating and a color scheme of its large dial, the watch still retains some of the masculinity of the original model. The effect, by the way of speaking, is further emphasized with the timekeeper’s extra large lugs: while not really long, they are quite massive making the watch look even more impressive on a normal wrist. Still, the watch somehow doesn’t look too big, partially thanks to its more or less average lug to lug length of just over 51 millimeters. While, measuring almost 17 millimeters thick, the watch seems to be more suitable to be worn with casual dress, I can imagine wearing one with something more formal although you would need to be dressed really sharp in order for this massive watch to look like a nice accent, not a sign of bad taste.
While most of “military” watches use bright white Superluminova to cover the hands, hour indexes and / or numerals, this model uses a lot more subdued black-and-light-gray color scheme that makes the BC4 RHFS look even more menacing, if not downright intimidating.
Unfortunately, the rest is pretty simple and, frankly, rather boring. Just like about 99 percent of available chronographs on the market, the Oris BC4 RHFS Limited Edition uses a standard chronograph movement made by ETA.
In this particular case, it is a well-known ETA Valjoux 7750 base caliber, which defines the watch’s standard tri-compax dial layout with a 30-minute totalizer at 12 o’clock, a 12-hour subdial at 6 o’clock and a small second hand at 9 o’clock. The small date window inside the 12-hour subdial is also standard for the movement.
Well, if you are not a watch collector, and if you prefer time-proven design and reliability to originality, then the use of the 7750 is, perhaps, a good thing. At least, you will not have any trouble with servicing or repairing the watch in your own town.
Oris BC4 RHFS Limited Edition automatic chronograph watch (ref. 674 7616 4284 Set) specification:
Price range: $3850 (MSRP)
Movement: ETA Valjoux 7750, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Complications: Date, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Gun metal PVD-coated stainless steel
Bezel material: Gun metal PVD-coated stainless steel
Bezel shape: Octagonal
Case size: 42.70 mm
Case height: 16.60 mm
Lugs: 22 mm
Dial: Gun metal gray
Hands: Steel, gray Superluminova
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with contrast stitching and gun metal PVD coated folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated
Case back: Solid, stainless steel with official logo of the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment and an engraved serial number