The Swiss watchmaking brand Oris continues to honors iconic musicians from the world of jazz. After a very successful model that paid tribute to one of the most important jazz figures of all time, Chet Baker, next in line of watches that pay homage to jazzy tunes is the Oris Thelonious Monk Limited Edition that celebrates the exceptional talents of one of America’s finest jazz pianist and composer.
Thelonious Monk (1917–1982) was one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time and one of the guiding lights of modern jazz. He was also one of the first creators of modern jazz and bebop. Monk had a unique improvisational style and he’s remembered in particular for the use of dissonance in his music.
He made numerous compositions that have become jazz standards, including “Round Midnight,” “Ruby, My Dear,” “Blue Monk,” “In Walked Bud,” and “Well, You Needn’t”. “Round Midnight” from 1944 has become the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.
Monk is the second-most recorded jazz composer in the world after Duke Ellington. Also, he is one of five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine (after Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and Duke Ellington, and before Wynton Marsalis).
The Oris Thelonious Monk Limited Edition Watch is housed in a round stainless steel case which measures 40mm in diameter and features a sunray finished smoke blue dial with polished dots and nickel hands. This novelty celebrates Monk’s distinctive style with the uncommon arrangement of 11 minute markers between the 10 and 12-hour markers, which is a nod to his dissonant technique.
The new Oris watch is tooled with Oris caliber 733 automatic movement, which is based on SW200. Its case is polished and shielded with anti-reflective sapphire crystals. The water resistance is assured down to 30 meters (100 feet).
From the rear, the case back is engraved with the words ‘MONK ALWAYS KNOW’, which refers to one of Monk’s many memorable quips inspired by the letters on his custom-made ring. The ring seems to say ‘KNOW’ to audiences, but when approached, one can actually read ‘MONK’. The case back is also engraved with a limited number of the watch. The watch is produced in 1,000 specimens.
The new Thelonious Monk timepiece (ref. 733 7712 4085) is teamed with a black leather strap, ending with a stainless steel folding clasp. The watch will be delivered in a special wooden box with a satin gray lacquer finish. It will be available as of May 2015. The retail price is CHF 1,800 (approximately $1,900).
Oris has a history of making timepiece tributes to musical greats. Besides Chet Baker and Thelonious Monk, the Swiss manufacturer also launched limited editions timepieces that celebrate several jazz musicians – Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie.