Owners of Oak & Oscar timepieces received a surprise email in their inbox last Friday. Chase Fancher, the founder of the Chicago-based microbrand, was writing to his network of collectors to announce a highly-limited collection called Batch Nº1 that would be available to ship starting on Monday, August 6. The name is a reference, no doubt, to the brand’s well-known passion for dark spirits.
Longtime WatchTime readers are well aware that Oak & Oscar has represented the upper echelon of the American watch brand indie-sphere since the release of its first timepiece, the Burnham, in 2015. What the small company has been able to accomplish in just three years (and three watches) has earned it a substantial national following with each limited release being a masterclass in both watch design and self-marketing.
However, the release of Batch Nº1 is a slight change in approach for Fancher and his team. The two new watches, both limited to 25 total pieces, are only available to owners of the Burnham Date, 2016’s Sanford GMT, or last year’s Jackson Flyback Chronograph and any friends or collectors their base happen to invite. It’s a refreshing take on the traditional word-of-mouth approach and, over the past few days, it was not uncommon to see Oak & Oscar fans and owners posting links to the invite-only site in their Instagram bios.
Out of respect for the brand, we won’t be linking to the site in this article (you’ll have to befriend an owner or, at the very least, shoot them a DM) but here’s what you need to know about Batch Nº1.
Based off of the Jackson Flyback Chronograph, the two manually-wound watches are available in either stainless steel or charcoal PVD. Both of the models are 40 mm and feature the recognizable stacked register at 3 o’clock for tracking minutes and hours and small seconds at 9 o’clock. The most noticeable difference is the date window that was previously tucked in at 6 o’clock has been scrubbed clean leaving a brand new matte white dial. There’s also the addition of a wrapped tachymeter scale on the watch’s rehaut.
Other than the new “panda” dial layout, the overall color scheme is classic Oak & Oscar. Gunmetal gray for the subdials and tachymeter scale and orange notes found on the chronograph seconds hand and again as a crosshair for the stacked register and small seconds. The movement has once again been sourced from Eterna, but this time is the no-date Caliber 3907M with a 60-hour power reserve and column wheel (the Jackson used Caliber 3916M with similar specs).
Like previous Oak & Oscar releases, Batch Nº1 is shipped inside a modular Horween Leather wallet that can hold up to three watches and was designed in-house by Fancher and his creative director John Hatherly before being produced by Woodnsteel in Indiana.
At press time, it appears that the stainless steel model ($2,650) has sold out but there are still some charcoal PVD versions ($2,750) left. If interested, shoot a note over to firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability.
Click here to read our profile on Chase Fancher and Oak & Oscar.