Oris teams with aerial firefighting outfit Coulson to produce a limited edition teeming with innovation.
From collaborations to hype pieces, it seems like there’s a new limited-edition watch around every corner. Due to their proliferation, a collector might be forgiven for overlooking a truly interesting collaboration or for missing out on an innovative material or finishing process. But with its fiery orange dial, a captivating story and an innovative 3D-printed case, the latest release from Oris (oris.ch) is impossible to miss.
Oris is no stranger to collaborations, and many (if not most) of them have a charitable or otherwise altruistic aim. It’s par for the course, then, in Oris’ newest partnership with Coulson Aviation, a Canadian-based company specializing in aerial firefighting. Coulson supplies planes, pilots and equipment to help combat wildfires, supporting firefighters the world over.
The partnership between these two companies allowed Oris and Coulson to work closely together, creating a watch visually reminiscent of fire, and one that reflects the innovation both companies strive for. Oris watches often showcase dynamic dial colors. The Coulson Limited Edition’s dial is rendered in a fiery orange-red gradient, alluding to the incredible dangers pilots and firefighters face.
A remarkable example of a daring feat by Coulson Aviation. The Coulson C-130 spraying fire retardant ahead of the leading edge of the Thomas Fire in California, Dec. 13, 2017.
Coulson leverages innovative technology to analyze fire behaviors. This analysis leads to a better understanding of enemy wildfires, which in turn offers an improved chance of containing those fires. Their work grows increasingly important as climate change and other factors drive the risk of fires worldwide.
Britton Coulson of Coulson Aviation. Similar to ORIS, the Coulson code is, “How can we help the most, and how can we do it better?”.
Keeping Coulson’s innovation in mind, Oris utilized a new 3D-printing technology developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (also known as ETH) to create this watch’s carbon-fiber case. This process has never been used in watchmaking before.
The case itself feels impossibly lightweight, at a featherweight 65 grams. The case material is produced by 3D printing carbon fiber, which is simultaneously woven together with PEKK, a semicrystalline thermoplastic polymer. PEKK (or polyetherketoneketone) possesses a high degree of chemical, heat and mechanical load resistance. The resulting case material is exceptionally rigid and durable. The material is used in Boeing’s space taxis and has shown resistance to radiation and fire, making PEKK a genuinely fitting material for use in this collaboration’s case.
The Coulson Limited Edition has a carbon-fiber case produced using a novel 3D printing process.
"Yes, it’s dangerous. We fly the Boeing 737 passenger jet at 200 feet over people’s burning homes.” –Britton and Foster Coulson
The process of 3D printing this innovative material also allows for a fixed pattern within the material itself. This pattern lends the case itself some visual interest, creating a brushed appearance across the lugs. On the wrist, this piece feels like you are simultaneously wearing a substantial watch and almost nothing at all, such is the disparity between the watch’s light weight and its heavy visual impact.
The state-of-the-art ORIS Coulson Limited Edition. Together, Oris and Coulson Aviation worked on the design, a carbon fibre watch with a vibrant orange dial reminiscent of fire.
A limited edition of 1,000 pieces, the watch is powered by Oris’ automatic Calibre 400, an anti-magnetic movement with a five-day power reserve. The Super-LumiNova on the numerals, indices and hands, as well as the anti-reflective coating on the inside of the sapphire crystal, make the dial supremely legible, important to both pilots fighting wildfires and the everyday collectors glancing at their wrist.
Combining innovation, passion and a desire to help make the world a better place, this partnership between Coulson Aviation and Oris has produced a unique and wearable timepiece. The story behind this watch is sure to be a conversation-starter once the stunning dial draws in curious onlookers.