Of the many partnerships that Swiss watch brand Oris has developed over the years, one of its most longstanding and productive has been its collaboration with the Williams Formula One Racing Team, which has yielded a number of notable timepieces with racing-influenced technology and materials, most recently the ultra-lightweight Chronograph Carbon Fiber Extreme that debuted in 2016. This year, Oris rolls out the latest limited edition to utilize that model’s patented carbon fiber process, the Williams FW41. Let’s wave the starter flag and delve into this week’s Watch to Watch.
With a design inspired by the 2018 Williams Fw41 race car, The Oris Williams FW41 Limited Edition makes an instant impression with its 44-mm multi-part case, constructed of carbon fiber in a patented process developed in cooperation with the Williams team, whose telltale checkerboard pattern flows seamlessly onto the carbon fiber dial, whose central chronograph hand and subdial hands are painted in the bright blue color emblematic of the Williams F1 racing team. The black bezel, made of blac DLC-coated titanium, is printed with a tachymeter scale and the dial’s flange, which is assembled into the surrounding case, features the counter scale for minutes and chronograph seconds. The indices and hands are treated with Super-LumiNova for nighttime legibility.
At first glance, the tricompax 12-9-6 subdial arrangement appears fairly standard for a racing-inspired chronograph watch but a closer look reveals another Williams-specific design: the “zero” points for the chronograph counters at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock are not at the usual 12 o’clock position but at 8 o’clock — a visual homage to the design of instrument panels on historical Williams race cars. The date wheel, partially exposed in a large aperture on the right side of the dial, is also unconventional. The small seconds are displayed in the 9 o’clock subdial. The grooved crown and chronograph pushers are in black DLC-plated titanium.
Behind a solid, screwed caseback, also made of black DLC-coated titanium and engraved with the image of a racecar and the watch’s limited edition number, lies the movement, Oris Caliber 774, based on the reliable Sellita SW 500 integrated chronograph caliber. A self-winding movement with 25 jewels, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 48-hour power reserve, it has been enhanced with Oris’s hallmark red rotor. The Williams FW41, which is limited to 410 pieces in honor of the Williams team’s 41st season of racing, is mounted on a black rubber strap with a steel folding clasp and comes in a special presentation box with a certificate of authenticity. The retail price is $4,700.