Oris introduces its second limited edition bronze watch in memory of the legacy of heroic US Navy Master Diver, Carl Brashear. This is easily one of the most coveted watches released by Oris. He was the most inspirational figures of the 20th century, defying racial tensions, disability and the weight of history to become the U.S. Navy’s first African American and first amputee Master Diver.
His life was immortalized in the Hollywood film Men of Honor, Starring Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as the heroic Carl Brashear and Master Chief Billy Sunday played by Robert De Niro. Oris is delighted to announce the second limited edition watch made in his memory, a bronze-cased, two-counter chronograph.
Like the first watch, a time-only piece, the Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition is based on the Oris Divers Sixty-Five and cast in bronze. Oris has chosen the material again to represent the early diving equipment Brashear used, which was also made of bronze. Like Brashear, bronze has a natural warmth, a quality that makes it an appealing material for use in watches. Bronze also ages over time, developing a natural patina that will make each watch bespoke to its wearer.
Carl Brashear was born in Kentucky, USA in 1931. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1948 as a 17-year-old, shortly after the U.S. Military desegregated, and quickly decided he wanted to become a deep-sea diver. He graduated from the Navy’s diving program in 1954, despite facing discrimination on account of his race.
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 U.S. Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968, and then qualified as a Master Diver in 1970, the first African American to do so. The training for Master Diver certification involved completing a grueling assessment program, including dives to depths of 300 meters (1,000 feet) – in Brashear’s case, all with a prosthetic limb.
After a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy that lasted more than 30 years, Brashear retired in 1979. He died in 2006 aged 75. For such a special individual, Oris has created a special, individual watch. The Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition uses bronze for its case, bezel, crown and pushers, a highly unusual material in watchmaking.
This is only the second time Oris has used it for the case of a wristwatch – the only other time being for the first limited edition made in Carl Brashear’s name. Bronze ages over time, subject to atmospheric moisture and the pH levels in the wearer’s perspiration, meaning each of the 2,000 watches made will take on a unique look.
The new Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition commemorates Carl Brashear’s legendary achievements. The chronograph function remembers that he was repeatedly stopped in life – but always kept going. The watch has a stainless steel case back embossed with a diver’s helmet and Carl Brashear’s famous quote: “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down”.
Inside the watch is Oris Caliber 771, a special movement with a two-counter chronograph and a formidable 48-hour power reserve. It’s based on Sellita’s SW 510 and appears in the Oris collection for the first time. The dial’s balanced; symmetrical layout is known as bicompax and gives the watch its classic chronograph look, which is further enhanced by the absence of a date indicator.
The sub-dial at 3 o’clock is a 30-minute counter; the sub-dial at 9 o’clock a small seconds. The dial is blue, a handsome complement to the bronze case and a reminder of the deep water into which Brashear ventured so often and so bravely. The watch comes on a vintage brown leather strap. Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition has a 43.00 mm diameter and the production is limited to 2,000 pieces. The watch is water-resistant to 100 meters and features a diver’s uni-directional rotating bronze bezel with 60-minute timer and the zero marker is filled with Super-LumiNova®.