One of the most beautiful racing-themed watches for 2014 is a limited edition chronograph from Oris, created to celebrate their partnership with Audi Sport racing (the race team arm of Audi). Known as the Oris Audi Sport Limited Edition ref. 01 774 7661 7481, the watch is very much part of the larger Oris Artix racing chronograph collection, but with a very appealing mixture of finishes and materials. It is also one of the very few watches I know of that has a very legible silver-toned dial – which immediately makes it unique and appealing, in my opinion.
Last year, in 2013, we took a look at a very similar limited edition Oris Artix watch with the Artix Calobra Limited Edition Racing watch (hands-on here). For 2014, Oris seemed to feel that the “Artix” part of the name was no longer necessary. Also, while I am not typically a fan of “dual-branded” watch dials, this one with the tasteful “Audi Sport” logo doesn’t bother me.
The standard architecture of the Artix case is overall really good. You have 44mm of width in something that doesn’t feel too thick. Part of that is because of how the caseback is designed. The brushed surfaces of the case are also nicely done in fitting with the industrial modern racing theme. Perhaps the best part is that the case is now in titanium with a tungsten bezel insert.
In titanium, the case is much lighter feeling than the steel models, and the case finishing looks great with the finishing on the dial. If you think about it, finding racing watches with full Arabic numeral dials is hard these days, and this is one of the rare exceptions – although the lack of the 12 o’clock hour marker might annoy some.
You can’t help but love the seriously prominent applied hour markers on the dial and nicely sized hands. Together, these give me a “wow factor” that I don’t often have with timepieces in this style family. Note the Artix style dial that uses a disc under the running second dial to create a sort of gauge-style indicator. This allows for a bi-compax chronograph layout which is more attractive and helps give the dial symmetry.
The Oris Audi Sport Limited Edition watch has a case that is water resistant to 100 meters and has a very well-done AR-coating on the sapphire crystal. Inside the watch is the Oris calibre 774 which I am happy to see that they clearly indicate is a base Swiss Sellita SW 500 (an ETA Valjoux 7750 clone). Kudos to them for being clear about that. The movement uses a red painted automatic rotor typical of watches in the Oris brand.
Just looking over the watch I continue to be impressed by the thin rotating timing bezel and the larger-feeling dial. The pushers and crown are precision detailed and the overall look and feel is top notch for Oris. Attached to the case is a perforated racing-style leather strap with a titanium deployant buckle.
Oris has decided to make the Audi Sport Limited Edition watch limited for a reason, but I think it would have worked well as a standard collection model for a few years. With a price that isn’t wild, I think the watch will be a sleeper hit when it first comes out, but will surge in popularity a few years from now, when more people learn about it. Price is only about $500 more than non-limited edition Oris Artix watches in steel cases, versus this one’s titanium case. Limited to 2,000 pieces, the Oris Audi Sport Limited Edition ref. 01 774 7661 7481 watch has a price of $4,100. oris.ch