Oris had a great deal of watches to present to us at Baselworld, while those reviews are incoming shortly I nearly forgot to highlight this very special Limited Edition presented by Oris. Extra special indeed, as Oris announced the 40th Squadron Limited Edition, a watch “that celebrates a new partnership with 40th Squadron Heli, the Belgian Air Force search and rescue team”.
Knowing a hint of what the bureaucracy is like when working anything out with the Belgian Armed Forces, I imagine this took quite a bit of effort by Oris to bring to life, that alone deserves praise! The famous Belgian squadron based at the coastal Koksijde Air Base not accidentally also flew its very last search and rescue mission with its well known Seaking helicopters. The end of an era so to speak and anyone having spent any time in summer at the Belgian coast will have seen these winged rescuers fly over the beaches on numerous occasions.
As the theme is very much Air Force, you can expect this watch to be a true pilot watch, meaning of course, nothing that’ll fly under the radar size-wise. This limited edition version of the Big Crown ProPilot measures a cool 45.00 mm and it is a stainless steel watch coated in grey PVD.
The military-inspired detailing reflects the orange, green and beige colour scheme of the Sea King helicopters the 40th Squadron operates, and the case back is engraved with the squadron’s insignia. It’s water-resistant to 10 bar (100 metres) which should be plenty as this is intended for the Air Force of course.
The watch strap looks and feels as solid as you would expect on a watch that is not just designed to look good but to actually serve its tool functions. The strap has a lively red lining which is only visible when the strap is off the wrist, it adds a nice touch of color to the serious military exterior. This reflects the color of the nose of the Seaking as you can check on the above picture. The clasp on the strap is very well educated and matches the overall watch and style to a T.
It’s powered by an Oris 752 (base SW 220-1) movement that provides it
with big day and date indications. Before I forget, the numerals, five minute-indices and hands are printed with beige Super-LumiNova® P-467C A-Grade for maximum legibility. Result is a very enticing Pilot Watch.
Only 500 pieces will be made, available as of July 2019 and expected retail price of CHF 2150.