Delivered in the colors and textures that are often associated with those of Audi’s own racing team, the 2014 Oris Audi Sport Chronograph (ref. 01 774 7661 7481-Set) isn’t terribly original with its boring layout and the same design elements we have seen for the last couple of years. However, it is solidly built and I am sure that fans of the German team will definitely love it.
Like the last year’s Oris Calobra limited edition model, the new watch is based on their sporty Artix GT Chronograph that the Swiss brand has presented more than two years ago. However, there is a number of differences (both visual and, well, material) that let this timekeeper stand apart from (and slightly above of) its gorgeous progenitor.
The first of all, the new timepiece is crafted from titanium instead of the traditional stainless steel. Being a lot less dense than surgical grade stainless steel, the alloy is not only lighter but is also more prone to scratches. Taking into a count the way the case combines brushed and polished surfaces, refinishing it could be a bit costly, so bear this in mind while considering this device.
The black ceramic ring of the original was, too, replaced, but this time for highly scratch-resistant tungsten.
The second is, of course, the choice of movement. While the base model was powered by the good (and also the old) ETA Valjoux 7750 self-winding caliber, this one is animated by a newer Sellita SW500-based Orix caliber 774. While there will certainly be a number of cork sniffers that would look at this mechanism with a certain disdain, it is, in fact, a well-made, dependable mechanism that will soon become a caliber of choice among independents due to the unobtainability of ETA-made movements.
Also, for the recommended street price of 3550 CHF, the choice of mechanism is more than adequate. Perhaps, my only gripe with it is the way it is finished. In this price range, a “personalized” oscillating weight is just not enough to justify the price tag.
And the third difference is the color scheme. Instead of visually heavy black elements, Oris decided to decorate the Audi Sport Chronograph with more natural colors and textures. The matt silver dial with its red accents not only pays homage to Audi racing team’s preferred livery but also corresponds quite nicely with the bidirectional rotating bezel, which is crafted from extremely dense tungsten alloy. Decorated with black rubber outer ring, the part provides a comfortable grip even for those with moist fingers but also serves as a nice visual bridge between the case and the black leather strap.
The latter, too, looks almost impeccable with its comfortable perforation, light-grey contrasting stitching and attractive folding clasp in brushed titanium.
At 44 millimeters in diameter, the watch is certainly on the larger side (and the pair of extra-long horns clearly doesn’t help). However, a certain sense of presence is something that most of us actually expect from a chronograph, so this is probably not such a great problem. Just make sure that your wrist is wide enough to house such a prominent accessory.
The watch is available now, but its total production is limited to just 2000 pieces. So, better hurry up.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Oris Audi Sport Chronograph (ref. 01 774 7661 7481-Set) specification
Price: CHF 3550 (approx. $3700 USD)
Movement: Automatic, Orix caliber 774 (base Sellita SW500), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Personalized oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, linear seconds, date, chronograph, tachymeter
Bezel: Titanium, with an “easy grip” rubber strip
Crown and pushers: Stainless steel
Size: 44.00 mm
Dial: Matt silver, brushed
Numerals: Arabic, applied, luminous
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black perforated leather strap with a titanium folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective