OceanicTime Archives

2021-01-20

ORIS Carl Brashear Calibre 401 Limited Edition

Has Oris has just delivered the ultimate Divers Sixty-Five variant? 

I have to admit as someone who isn’t exactly the biggest fan of Oris’s most prevalent diver’s model (and therein lies the reason why I’ve never warmed to the Divers Sixty-Five – it's kinda' like a SWATCH, tons of bloody iterations) – this is pretty damn appealing!

This is the new Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition watch and it has a hell of a lot going for it. 

First of all, it’s been made in honor of the legendary US Navy Master Diver, Carl Brashear – 

it is also powered by Oris’s brand new, high-performing, in-house Cal. 401 but aesthetically it has imo an absolutely stunning color pallet of bronze and the deepest navy blue.

Carl Brashear, btw had his incredible story depicted in the 2000 film, Men of Honor, in which he was portrayed by Oscar award winning actor, Cuba Gooding Jr. 

Carl was only 17 years old when he first joined the Navy in 1948; despite facing discrimination on account of his race he graduated from the Navy’s diving program in 1954. 

In 1966, he lost the lower part of his left leg in an accident during a mission to salvage a hydrogen bomb.

After an exhausting period of rehabilitation, he became the US Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968, and then went on to qualify as a Master Diver in 1970, becoming the US Navy’s first African American master diver. Carl Brashear retired in 1979. 

He died in 2006 aged 75.

In 2014, his foundation created the annual Navy Diver of the Year award to recognize the Navy diver who most embodies the courage and unwavering determination to succeed as displayed by Carl Brashear. It is just part of his incredible legacy. 

In 2016, Oris produced a LIMITED EDITION watch cast in bronze to honor Carl Brashear.

The 2,000 pieces proved extremely popular and, in 2018, a SECOND limited edition timepiece – this time an automatic chronograph, also cast in bronze and limited to 2,000 pieces - was produced.

A typical diver’s watch based on the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, it’s a fitting tribute to a man who brought about significant, meaningful change during his lifetime, and whose legacy endures today. 

So that’s Carl, an icon of a man and a military diving legend – so how about this, the third model that Oris named in honor of him.

Well, we know it’s based on the retro inspired Diver’s Sixty-Five model in bronze but what sets this model apart from the slew of DSFs before it is that it is powered by Oris’s manufacture movement, the Caliber 401 which is made its debut as the Cal. 400 is an AQUIS.

This is only the second model to be powered by the Cal. 400 / 401 which boasts a ton of innovations that make it a mechanical diver’s watch movement to be reckoned with. Here’s why: 

The Cal. 401 has been engineered to be highly anti-magnetic – using more than 30 non-ferrous and anti-magnetic components, including an Si (silicon) escape wheel and an Si anchor.

In testing by the renowned Laboratoire Dubois, Calibre 401 deviated by less than 10 seconds a day after exposure to 2,250 Gauss.

The Cal. 401 has a five-day power reserve so it’s ready to go when you are. 

It delivers this longer period of use via twin barrels, both of which house an extended mainspring, each long enough to store two-and-a-half days of power. 

It’s highly accurate, to -3/+5 seconds a day, better than a chronometer.

The Cal. 401 is offered with a 10-year warranty. Oris recommended 10-year service intervals only on all Cal. 400 series watches. 

This means that barring accidental damage or water-resistance checks, you shouldn’t need to take your Carl Brashear Cal. 401 Limited Edition for a service until 2031 at the earliest!

Basic spec. for the watch includes: a 40mm in diameter multi-piece bronze case, a box-shape sapphire crystal, and a domed, dark navy blue dial with golden / bronze hands and markers.

The case-back is in Stainless steel with a special old school, deep sea diver’s helmet motif. Water-resistance is limited to just 10bar AKA 100m. 

The watch is presented on a Marine Nationale-style woven strap in blue with a white pinstripe down its middle and a solid bronze buckle, which were specially produced in partnership with Erika’s Originals.

As a Limited Edition of 2,000 pieces, each watch is delivered in a special presentation box, shown below.

The new Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition ref. 01 401 7764 3185-Set has a Swiss retail price 3,900CHF and is available from January 2021.

Thoughts? This 401 powered beauty has the good looks to go with its high-tech, mechanical beating heart. 

I absolutely love the minimalist approach to the dial design, love the colors combo too. I’d be absolutely tickled pink with one of these! What do you think?

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