With its new Oris Royal Flying Doctor Service (Ref. 01 735 7672 4084-Set LS) that was presented last week at Baselworld 2013, the Swiss-based maker of affordable timekeepers keeps exploring the niche of vintage styled watches with a sweet modern flavor. Featuring the same 44 mm body with the easily recognizable grooved bezel as their previous “pilots” (like, say, the classic Oris Challenge International de Tourisme 1932 Limited Edition), the device also sports a quite contemporary dial with its hands and scales resembling instrument gauges on military planes.
The first thing that catches attention on this timepiece is, of course, a set of two crowns. One of them is quite standard: it is used to operate main time zone indicators and wind the watch if necessary. The other operates the second time zone display, which is placed on the rotating inner bezel of the piece.
Some people may find the design a trifle cumbersome, but it is in fact very efficient and reliable.
While many oversized watches are sometimes equipped with thick bezels that steal a great deal of dial real estate, this particular model comes with a very thin bezel that leaves enough space for the GMT chapter ring with easily readable luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers, while, at the same time, allowing the main time display to still play the main part in the show.
Of course, the pulsometer scale is still too tiny, but it is here mainly for decorative purposes, so lack of readability is not an issue here.
I am also not really sure why the calendar is separated into two apertures of different sizes. While I dig the idea of making the apertures as large as possible, the way it was done looks like an afterthought to me. Perhaps, placing the day of week and date displays at 9 and 3 hours respectively would look too obvious, but it would also make the watch feel more visually balanced. And I don’t really believe that it was difficult to modify the Sellita SW220-based Oris 735 automatic caliber that way.
Still, besides this minor annoyance, this is a beautiful watch and I am pretty sure that Oris will be able to sell every single of 2000 numbered pieces that it plans to produce.
Coming with an MSRP of $1950, it makes a really nice choice for a modern gentleman with a taste for vintage style.
Oris Royal Flying Doctor Service Automatic (Ref. 01 735 7672 4084-Set LS) watch specification
Price: $1950 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Oris 735 (base Sellita SW220), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, day of week, date, second time zone (GMT)
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Sword-shaped, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Dark brown leather strap with stainless steel buckle or multi-part steel bracelet with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, double-cambered, antireflective on the inside
Case back: Transparent, engraved