Oris has decided to pay homage in 2016 to the Carl Brashear (January 19, 1931 – July 25, 2006), the first African-American who became the United States Navy’s master diver with the limited edition timepiece. This newcomer is inspired with the vintage-inspired Divers Sixty-Five watch that was introduced last year.
Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Watch boasts a bronze bezel and a case with stainless-steel back and a blue dial with rose gold indices. The new Oris has the same shape as the aforementioned Divers Sixty-Five model, but it comes with increased diameter of 2mm, still measuring reasonably 42mm in diameter.
The case incorporates the unidirectional rotating bezel with a raised minute scale for tracking dive times, a look that recalls a number of diver’s timepieces in the Oris archive. Underneath domed sapphire crystal glass lies a dark blue dial that looks very eye-catching in contrast with the bronze case and bezel.
The charming retro-styled dial is slightly curved and comprises applied rose gold plated markers that are filled with Superluminova for the best visibility under low lightening conditions. Instead of the usual numerals, a deep midnight blue dial features more traditional diver’s markers – the triangle at the 12 o’clock position, horizontal bars at 3 and 9 o’clock positions, as well as small circular markers everywhere else except at the 6 o’clock position where a small date display is situated.
An interesting thing about the color of the dial is that in the same circumstances, it appears almost black that is a subtle, yet attractive nod to the watch’s inspiration. The vintage looking dial is nicely rounded by a bold, gilt minutes track. The hands are also rose gold plated and filled with the same lume substance as hour markers.
The beating heart of the Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Watch is Oris Caliber 733 automatic movement based on Sellita SW200 that features a date function. The mechanism oscillates at the rapid frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and it can store enough energy to keep the watch ticking for at least 40 hours.
The watch dedicated to the first African-American Master Diver in the U.S. Navy is constructed to resist water pressure up to 100 meters (approximately 330 feet) which means that it may not be perfect for taking it to great depths, but it is quite enough water resistant for other water (and underwater) activities.
From the rear, the stainless steel case back shows Carl Brashear’s helmet and his very personal motto: “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down” together with an engraved limitation number.
Oris Carl Brashear timepiece (ref. 733 7720 3185 LS) is produced in the limited series of 2,000 pieces, each presented in a luxurious wooden box with US Navy Master Diver badge on the inside of the cover. The watch will be available from April 2016 for the retail price of $2,580.
Carl Brashear was a United States Navy sailor who was not only he U.S. Navy’s first African-American master diver, but also the first amputee diver. Brashear was a pioneer against racial prejudice and the inspiration for the 2000 film “Men of Honor” starring Cuba Gooding Jr.