The modern luxury watch industry relies on a pantheon of celebrity ambassadors to help promote sales, ranging from movie stars to musicians, artists, and Formula One drivers. The latest brand ambassador to join the modern watch market doesn’t quite fit the typical “luxury brand ambassador” mold, however. To start with, he’s short, fuzzy, lives in a swamp, and he’s been in a long-term relationship with a pig for nearly 50 years. Of course, I’m referring to Kermit the Frog, star of the Muppets franchise and beloved by adults and children alike the world over for his countless film, television, musical, and stage performances. It’s not the most intuitive choice for a specialty collaboration design with a Swiss watchmaker, but it’s not totally without precedent, either. Unlike the legions of Mickey Mouse-themed timepieces that have saturated the watch market for the better part of a century, Oris takes a subtler, more organic approach to integrating Kermit into its design language. The new Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition offers a surprisingly nuanced and on-trend integration for the classic Muppets character, combining cheerful color and muscular modern design into what may well be the most intriguing ProPilot X model to date.
The 39mm-wide brushed titanium case of the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition is more or less identical to the standard-production ProPilot X Calibre 400. Like the standard model, this is a cleanly futuristic take on the classic pilot’s watch format, with sharply angled lugs, brutalist wedge-like crown guards, and an intriguing jet turbine-inspired split-level bezel design. Around back, the only addition to the sapphire display caseback is a single line of engraved “Kermit Edition” text, while the sporting 100-meter water resistance rating remains unchanged.
Naturally, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition’s bright green dial is the element that stands out the most at first glance. This bright, grassy matte “Kermit Green” hue is a far cry from the deeper emerald shades that tend to dominate the current green dial trend, but it feels in line with the brand’s broader coloring strategy. When taking to account the salmon pink dial option of the standard ProPilot X Calibre 400, or the playful pastel hues of 2021’s Divers Sixty-Five Cotton Candy, this lighter lime green tone fits right in, although it is undoubtedly a bit vivid to wear regularly. One would be forgiven for overlooking the Kermit the Frog connection entirely at first glance. For the vast majority of the time, there’s no outward-facing Kermit branding at all. On the first of each month, however, the dial-matching date wheel displays a smiling Kermit face. It’s a subtle and genuinely fun integration and one that visually harkens all the way back to the ‘70s-era opening of “The Muppet Show” that featured each of the show’s characters similarly framed by stage arches. Outside of the new color and the tidily-added Kermit the Frog branding, the rest of this sharply minimal dial should feel familiar to fans of the brand, from the printed line indices to the aggressive brushed alpha handset. That said, the light green base hue can make the white dial text challenging to read in certain lighting conditions.
Like its standard production counterpart, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition is powered by the brand’s in-house Calibre 400 automatic movement. The Calibre 400 has grown to become the de facto flagship powerplant for Oris in recent years, with impressively robust performance. A massive 120-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate makes this one of the strongest contenders in its price segment. This robust reputation is only improved by the stated accuracy of -3/+5 seconds per day, which falls within COSC chronometer tolerances (interestingly, Oris does not submit these movements for chronometer certification). Lastly, a hefty 10-year recommended service interval and 10-year warranty make this a reliable movement as well. Aesthetically, the Calibre 400’s finishing is straightforward and businesslike, with matte blasted three-quarter plates topped by a brushed skeleton rotor. As with the standard model, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition is paired with a bespoke three-link bracelet in brushed titanium. With its unique faceted end links and streamlined angular design, this bracelet gives the watch much of its sporty, modernist overall character on the wrist.
Although Kermit the Frog may not be the most intuitive choice for a futuristic pilot’s watch collaboration design, the new Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition combines subtle presentation, joyful color, and a rock-solid base platform to create one of the brand’s most charismatic releases in recent years. Although Oris calls this model a “special edition,” the production of this watch is not strictly limited. The Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition will be available through authorized dealers in April 2023, and it carries an MSRP of $4,400 CHF as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.