Oris has become nearly as well known these days for its devotion to charitable causes as for the remarkable value-to-price ratio that sets it apart from so many other makers of Swiss mechanical watches. Its latest special-edition timepiece, the Big Crown ProPilot Okavango Air Rescue Edition, continues the growing legend, with a textured green dial inspired by the marsh grasses of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Specifically, the watch pays tribute to Okavango Air Rescue (O.A.R.), an aeromedical organization founded in Botswana in 2011 by a Swiss entrepreneur and a German doctor, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary (hence the odd limited edition number of 2,011 pieces). Operating both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, O.A.R. is a privately owned and independently funded air service that brings quality medical care to the locals and tourists of Botswana, particularly in the African nation’s Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of grasslands, marshes, lagoons, and thousands of islands. It is this stunning natural vista that inspires the green of the dial as well as its organic, undulating pattern.
Suitably for a watch celebrating the accomplishments of rescue pilots, the limited edition hails from Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot family and includes all of its familiar hallmarks, including a coin-edge motif on the side of the case echoing the look of jet turbines and the large, fluted, screw-down crown that gives the model its name. The multi-part stainless steel case measures 41 mm in diameter and has a double-domed sapphire crystal over the dial, whose hands and hour markers are coated in Super-LumiNova and which features a date window at 3 o’clock.
The solid, screwed caseback continues the tradition of Oris’s special editions developed in cooperation with charitable organizations, hosting a relief engraving and a limited-edition number. Behind it beats a Swiss-made automatic movement, the Sellita-based Oris Caliber 751, which stores a 38-hour power reserve when fully wound and is equipped with an instant date-change function, a date corrector, and stop-seconds capability.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition comes mounted on a new green fabric strap created exclusively for the Hölstein-based watchmaker by Erika’s Originals. An additional brown leather strap (pictured above) is also supplied, with the entire ensemble packaged in a special leather travel pouch and priced at $2,500.