July 28, 2016
by James Stacey
As a follow up to their very limited and entirely sold-out Burnham, Oak & Oscar has announced the Sandford, a handsome Swiss-powered GMT sport watch. Offering a similar appeal and aesthetic to that of the Burnham, the Oak & Oscar Sandford continues the brand’s design-focused and reservedly rustic style in a watch with an independent 24-hour hand and a crown-controlled internal rotating bezel.
In a fitting tribute for a GMT watch, the Sandford was named after Sandford Fleming, who was instrumental in the development of the Canadian railway system and the early adoption of standardized time zones. The watch is 40mm wide in either brushed steel or charcoal PVD finishing with 20mm lugs and a cuff-friendly thickness of just 12mm. The Sandford sports a double-domed and anti-reflective sapphire crystal and, with both signed crowns being of the screw-down variety, water resistance is a welcome 100m.
Like the Burnham, the Oak & Oscar Sandford has a charcoal grey sandwich dial with a Super-LumiNova BGW9 sub layer. The dial also carries over a few interesting design elements, including the use of a distinctive “7” (not only on the dial marker, but also on the date wheel), the date display at six, and an eye-catching use of orange accents. The seconds hand is bright orange and its counter balance will line up perfectly with the logo at 12, in what Oak & Oscar calls the “Stonehenge effect.” Aside from its bright orange and luminous arrowhead tip, the GMT hand is color matched to the dial, making for a legible but not overly complicated implementation for that fourth hand.
GMT functionality is supported by Oak & Oscar’s use of the Soprod C125 automatic Swiss movement. The C125 ticks at 4Hz and has 42 hours of power reserve supporting time, date, and the independently set 24-hour GMT hand. The movement has been custom decorated for use in the Oak & Oscar Sandford, with blued screws, additional bridge finishing, and a custom rotor – all of which can be seen via a sapphire display case back.
Additionally, the Sandford has a rotating 24-hour scale on its internal bezel, which is controlled via the crown at two o’clock. This functionality allows an owner to easily view up to three time zones, with home time on the main hands, GMT on the 24-hour hand, and a third timezone read by rotating the bezel to reflect the +/- of a given timezone vs GMT.
For those of you who don’t remember the full Burnham kit, Oak & Oscar doesn’t just ship you a watch in some boring box. The Oak & Oscar Sandford comes in a custom watch wallet produced by Defy Mfg Co, a Chicago-based apparel brand. The wallet is a pretty cool design, made of Horween leather (the same used for the Sandford’s strap), the interior is finished in wool felt with three suede pockets for your favorite watches. In a further stroke of cleverness, each of the watch pockets can be detached from the wallet, should you want less bulk while traveling. I’ve seen the original Burnham case, and this one looks like an effective evolution of the concept. It is a good example of the thoughtfulness and design acumen that sets Oak & Oscar apart from the rest of the micro-brand world.
Along with the watch wallet, the Oak & Oscar Sandford also comes with a Horween leather strap with a signed buckle and a green nylon strap with custom orange stitching and special hardware from Crown & Buckle. The entire production run of the Oak & Oscar Sandford will be just 300 units, with 200 in brushed steel and 100 in the PVD. The Oak & Oscar Sandford should ship this fall and the brand is offering a discount for pre-orders, with the stainless Sandford on offer for a price of $1,750 USD (vs $1,850 retail) and the PVD version pre-selling for $1,850 USD (vs an eventual price of $1,950). I love a GMT and was a big fan of the Burnham, so the Sandford’s allure is undeniably strong. With a distinctive design, a handy complication, and some rather cool packaging, I’d be surprised if the Oak & Oscar Sandford doesn’t quickly sell out – especially given the following that Oak & Oscar earned after the success of the Burnham. oakandoscar.com