The limited edition Oris WilliamsF1 Team (Ref. 01 773 7685 4184-Set RS) may not only be an ultimate present for just about any F1 fan around the world, but is also a nice choice if you simply look for a sporty chronograph with modern design that doesn’t look like yet another Omega Speedmaster or a Rolex Daytona “homage”.
Coming in a daringly oversized stainless steel body whole 45 millimeters in diameter, the watch was definitely not designed with a business suit in mind. However, if you happen to be a man of heroic proportions, it may still look good with formal attire, especially if you change the black rubber band for a stainless steel bracelet.
On the other hand, I must admit that the matte black dial with its dull grey metallic accents of hands, Arabic numerals, and block-shaped hour markers plays nicely with the rubber strap and the finely satin-brushed body and lug attachments.
Polished accents here and there combined with brushed surfaces help to provide the sporty chrono with that extra grain of style that you expect from a watch that will accompany you in your office.
On yet another hand, the glossy blue rings on the Oris WilliamsF1 Team chronograph counters at 12 and 6 hours and a central chronograph indicator of the same color not only invests the watch with energy, but also makes it more versatile: you can wear it with jeans and a sweater if you plan to go to a party, but don’t have a spare “party” watch.
Although dial opening on this collection of XXL-sized wristwatches is fairly large, the Swiss-based watchmaker for some reason opted for a pair of thin hour and minute hands, which led to even thinner strips of Superluminova applied to the hands and hour markers. As a result, the timekeeper’s nighttime legibility suffered to a degree. The first of all, for a person with not that perfect eyesight reading the piece in darkness, may be problematic. The second problem lies in the very nature of chemical lume. Unlike tritium micro-tubes that are filled with radioactive gas that glows on its own for at least a couple of decades since the watch is assembled, Superluminova needs to be ‘recharged’ daily and also tends to lose its brightness easily. The thinner the strip of the luminous compound, the faster it dies.
As usual, the Swiss watchmaker uses a relatively new Sellita SW 500, a natural-born chronograph caliber that was designed to make up for ever-worsening situation with a deficit of the good old ETA Valjoux 7750 chronographs that are still a de facto standard in the industry. I am not sure how far have they gone in personalizing it (perhaps, their customary red oscillating weight is the only modification to the caliber that they made), but I am pretty positive that Oris 773 (that’s how they prefer to call it) will be efficient and reliable enough for you to visit your local serviceman only for a regular check-up and maintenance.
With a total production run limited to 600 pieces, it will probably not become a true rarity, but, knowing that this may be an only WilliamsF1 model in town, will help to keep its resale price from falling like a rock. Also, the MSRP of below €3000 makes it a nice choice, too.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Oris WilliamsF1 Team Limited Edition (Ref. 01 773 7685 4184-Set RS) specification
Movement: Automatic, Oris 773 (based on caliber Sellita SW500), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Oris-branded red oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 45.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap on stainless steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on the inside
Back: Transparent, mineral glass