Tribute in a timepiece

shopping April 23, 2018 15:24

By The Nation

7,740 Viewed

Swiss watchmaker Oris pays tribute to the US Navy’s first African-American master diver Carl Brashear with the launch of his namesake second limited-edition chronograph with a bronze case and two-counter dial.

Brashear was born in Kentucky, USA in 1931 and joined the US Navy in 1948. He graduated from the Navy’s diving programme 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 US Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968, and then qualified as a Master Diver in 1970. 

The Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition uses bronze for its case, bezel, crown and pushers, a highly unusual material in watchmaking. 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.

Inside the watch is the Oris Calibre 771, a special movement with a two-counter chronograph and a formidable 48-hour power reserve, 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 a classic look, which is further enhanced by the absence of a date indicator. The subdial at 3 o’clock is a 30-minute counter; the subdial 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 with a vintage brown leather strap.

A couple of finishing touches complete the story behind the watch and the stainless steel case back features an embossed traditional diver’s helmet and Brashear’s famous mantra “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down.” 

Find out more by calling (02) 163 0555 or visit