Oak & Oscar Olmsted FEW: A Watch That Makes You Want to Have a Drink

Oak & Oscar Founder Chase Fancher is not only really into watches, but also about good bourbon and whiskey. In fact, he used it even in the brand name, as ‘oak’ refers to the oak barrels these spirits get their character in. In case you were wondering, Oscar is the name of his dog, his third passion. Located in Chicago, it is unsurprising that Oak & Oscar has a warm relationship with FEW Spirits, a small-batch distillery inspired by pre-prohibition times with whom it shares the city. What is surprising is that it took them this long to join forces and make a fantastic watch, that comes with an excellent bottle of ‘Bottled in Bond’ bourbon.

Collaborations seem to work best when there is a genuine love and connection between the two parties. With the Oak & Oscar Olmsted FEW, this is undeniably the case. The watch is based on the Olmsted 38, as you could have already guessed from its name, but it comes with one significant difference. I am not talking here about the FEW-logo, although that actually looks nice, but the matte salmon-colored dial. Usually, I am not one to quickly promote splurging extra money on limited editions with a different dial color, but this is the exception to this rule. The matte finish is the big difference, which goes very well with the sandwich dial construction. The grainy texture ensures that it remains a field watch but a good-looking one that also feels at home with a suit, tie, and hat as worn in pre-prohibition times (if they had worn wristwatches back then).

Fancher has an eye for detail as well as moderation, as he resisted the temptation of making the chapter ring also in a matte salmon color. Instead, he opted for a silver color with numerals matching the dial. The strap is Horween leather from the famous Chicago-based tannery, with an additional nylon strap added for good measure. On the back, we find a unique caseback insert. Most brands opt for a sapphire crystal so that you can get to admire the movement; in this case, you would have seen a Sellita SW300-1, which is a good performer but not overly memorable. Instead, Fancher got a barrel that FEW Spirits used to age the ‘Bottled in Bond’ bourbon you get when buying this and found a local craftsman to turn it into a caseback insert. That is more challenging than it sounds, as wood is not often processed with the exact precision requirements used in watchmaking. The beautiful result adds further to what makes this watch so special.

The remaining details are much the same as standard edition Oak & Oscar Olmsted models. This means that the $1,850 priced watch comes with a 38mm large case of satin-finished stainless steel featuring a double domed sapphire crystal finished with an anti-reflective coating. The sandwich dial construction has, of course, luminous numerals, and as a true field watch, it is the Olmsted FEW water resistant up to 10 ATM/100 meters. Oak & Oscar limits this watch to just 50 pieces. While I drink to this sense of exclusivity, I also hope that Fancher won’t leave it at that, as the potential of this watch is so much greater.

For more info, visit Oak & Oscar, here

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