Young Chicago based brand Oak & Oscar has built a loyal following among enthusiasts over the past several years through its clean, simple interpretations of classic sports watch designs, outdoorsy spirit, and focus on build quality. The three-hand Olmsted collection is one of the cornerstones of this brand philosophy, and for its latest release, Oak & Oscar has reinterpreted the Olmsted with even more rugged field watch capability. The new Oak & Oscar Olmsted Matte adds a stealthy black ceramic coating to the core design, along with a cleaner and more symmetrical dial layout.

The 38mm stainless steel case of the Oak & Oscar Olmsted Matte is elemental and classically compact, with long, tapering sports lugs and a narrow smooth bezel. With a 100-meter water resistance rating, its field watch design isn’t just for show, but the largest departure from previous models comes with the all-new ceramic coating. This tough matte black surface, applied and cured in the United States, both aids with scratch resistance and adds a more modern touch to the compact and classical case geometry, leading to a more aggressive overall look. The embossed caseback finishes this blend of classic aesthetics and modern finishing with a futuristic geometric leaf pattern, flanked by four six-pointed stars representing the brand’s home city of Chicago.

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Like the case, the dial of the Oak & Oscar Olmsted Matte is focused on fine details, giving a unique feel to simple traditional elements. The Olmsted’s signature sandwich dial is the immediate visual centerpiece, The rounded stencil numerals present an interesting blend of military influence and comfortable warmth, while orange accents on the minutes track and the distinctive counterweighted seconds hand add a burst of color. While previous versions of the Olmsted included a date display, the Olmsted Matte deletes this option in favor of a balanced, minimalist look.

Oak & Oscar powers the Olmsted Matte with a modified ETA 2892A2 automatic movement. In order to properly accommodate the no-date dial of the Olmsted Matte, this movement removes the date adjustment crown position as well as the date wheel entirely to remove the “phantom date” issue sometimes associated with similar designs. Performance is relatively standard, with a 42-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Oak & Oscar individually tests, regulates, and cases these movements in its brand headquarters in Chicago, reinforcing the brand’s focus on American assembly and manufacturing wherever possible.

The Oak & Oscar Olmsted Matte is packaged with a pair of classic strap options. The first is a Horween leather strap in medium saddle brown. Mounted on matching black ceramic coated hardware, this leather strap is a solid traditional option, which looks in initial images to complement the more vibrant orange accents on the dial well. An olive-drab nylon strap is also included, featuring bright orange contrast stitching.

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With the Olmsted Matte, Oak & Oscar has added a layer of rugged modernity to its signature minimalist field watch collection. While not strictly a limited edition, Oak & Oscar does claim the Olmsted Matte’s production numbers will be limited due to the complex and time-intensive ceramic coating process. The Oak & Oscar Olmsted Matte is available now for ordering through the brand’s website, with shipping expected to begin in winter 2020/2021. Initial launch pricing for the Oak & Oscar Olmsted Matte stands at $1,475, but once shipping begins pricing is expected to rise to the full MSRP of $1,550. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.

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