It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Oak & Oscar. The Chicago-based brand, founded by former real estate analyst Chase Fancher (check out our 2017 profile here), exemplifies everything that is interesting about the current scene of American independents. The three watches they’ve produced so far stand out among a sea of derivative designs and feature unique details that keep their faithful following coming back for more. Today we’re happy to announce that the fourth release from Oak & Oscar, the Humboldt, has officially been introduced.
The Humboldt doesn’t stray too far from the neo-classic design language that previous Oak & Oscar timepieces, like the Sandford GMT and Jackson Flyback Chronograph, had established. The sandwich dial, after being noticeably absent on the Jackson, makes a triumphant return and the colorways, with ample usage of blue, gray, and orange, continue over from the previous editions. What is new here, however, is the introduction of a 12-hour bi-directional bezel, that can be used to measure elapsed time or a second time zone, and the option of a stainless steel bracelet.
The 40-mm model is inspired by Alexander van Humboldt, an influential 18th-century explorer, philosopher, and natural scientist that is perhaps most famous for his extensive travels and writing on the Americas. More importantly for Oak & Oscar, who have focused on naming their various models after Chicago-based historical figures, he’s also the namesake for Humboldt Park in the city’s West Side.
The Humboldt features the kind of detail we’ve come to expect from Oak & Oscar, solidifying its standing as a brand driven by enthusiast appeal. These minuscule details, often laid to the wayside by bigger, more-established brands, include the date window at 6 o’clock being color matched to your choice between the charcoal gray and navy blue dials and the drilled 20-mm lugs that allow for a more fluid strap changing experience.
Inside the watch is the workhorse ETA 2892-A2 caliber, with a 42-hour power reserve, that is visible through the display back. Water resistance is tested to 200 meters for additional reliability, while the sandwich dial layout that features Super-LumiNova on the bottom layer will ensure a high degree of legibility wherever you take the watch.
The previously mentioned stainless steel bracelet, the first time the option has been available for an Oak & Oscar timepiece, was the result of 18 months of research and testing. Built to the brand’s specifications, the bracelet has a fully articulated link design that gradually tapers from the 20-mm solid end links to the 16-mm buckle. If you’d prefer to keep it classic, there’s also the option for American-made Horween leather. A highly-breathable nylon strap comes with each model and features custom orange stitching.
Priced at $1,750 on the bracelet and $1,550 on the leather, the models are available for special pre-order pricing starting today at $1,650 and $1,450, respectively. In addition to the secondary nylon strap, each model comes with a strap changing tool and a waxed canvas watch wallet that was built in Chicago. The Humboldt has a two-year warranty and portions of the profits will go towards the local Chicago dog rescue, One Tail at a Time.
Another bit of good news for collectors that have followed Oak & Oscar over the years is that the Humboldt will be Oak & Oscar’s first non-limited release. Delivery is expected for next spring.
Check out more information on Oak & Oscar here.