October 16, 2010
by Ariel Adams
Based on the good ol’ Oris BC4 watch, comes this special limited edition version that was made for, and tested by the French 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment (4ème Regiment d’Helicoptères des Forces Speciales). These are one of the main helicopter regiment guys in France. Would it be a good idea for anyone to make more watches to celebrate US regiments and divisions? While I am sure these guys in France are as hardcore as they come… on the world scene the French military doesn’t exactly have a bad-ass “we are gonna win and beat the crap out of you” reputation. That pretty much ended with Napoleon. And these days most people just remember him as a funny little man as opposed to a brilliant military leader- but I digress.
According to Oris, the 4e RHFS watch (that totally could have been named better) was actually tested by the 4th regiment – which is pretty neat. Like I said, the watch is based on the Oris BC4 collection, but has some fun differences. First is the 42.7mm wide steel case (water resistant to 100 meters) with PVD gunmetal gray coating. It has an aviation style black leather strap with white stitching and a very easy to read dial.
Oris watches tend to always have highly legible dials, but this one is a great mix of style and beauty. There is something even classic to it. There are also indicators of what the special edition is all about. First, note the blue, white, and red colored tip at the end of the chronograph seconds hand. French flag anyone? There is also the lightly done logo of the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment in the subsidiary seconds dial. Nice integration of the date window in the chronograph hour subdial – and properly done on a black disc. The chronograph pushers are simple looking, but functional. Overall this watch has a distinct “tactical” feel to it that will feel at home on most men’s wrists.
Crystal is AR coated sapphire, and said to be domed on both sides. Interesting… I wonder the effect that this has. I have probably seen it before but not realized that the crystal was “double domed.” SuperLumiNova on the dial for darkness viewing completing the list of features you want in a serious performance piece. The French helicopter boys much has loved it (expect for that one guy who I am sure held on dearly to his digital watch – ugly but reliable right?). Inside this limited edition Oris watch is a ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. Oris hasn’t indicated the amount in this limited edition. Why? Cause they probably don’t know how many they want to make yet. So if demand is high, so will the numbers. Look for this watch soon in the $3,000 – $4,000 range.