August 8, 2013
by Ariel Adams
While we are enduring fans of all things “dive + Oris“, their racing-inspired watches have always been both a great deal and great looking. This new limited edition Calobra model for 2013 is a shining example of how Oris does motorsports-themed watches right. Oris isn’t new to the racing watch game, and steadily offers new models each year. The sad thing about the Calobra is probably that it is limited given that this could easily be the base for a larger collection. Having said that, the Calobra is a revision of the standard Oris Artix GT Chronograph that offers much of the same appeal in a non-limited edition way.
For the most part, the Calobra Limited Edition is mostly the Artix GT chronograph with some cosmetic changes, but they are important changes in my opinion. The standard Artix GT Chronograph has quite small baton style hour markers that are applied to the dial. In my opinion they are perhaps a bit too small and throw off the balance of the design. The piece is certainly classy looking, but I feel as though it cannot decide whether it wants to be a racing watch or a casual dress watch. With the Calobra, Oris goes full throttle sport watch, and with excellent results.
The Calobra has a dial of full Arabic numerals painted with lume and accented in red. In fact, unlike the Artix GT Chronograph that has mere hints of red, the Calobra is less shy with the hue offering a bolder look that many want with a sport watch. At the same time the dial isn’t overwhelmed with red, being mostly black and white. A very unique feature in the Calobra is one that most people easily miss with the first few glances. Look at the chronograph sub dials and where the “0” position is. Rather than being at 12 o’clock, the default position for the hands is at 8 o’clock. We don’t know the precise reason for this, but it does add an interesting character to the piece and allows the dial to appear more interesting while the chronograph is not running.
The chronograph sub dials also feel as though they have more legibility and as always, the date window is built into the lower sub dial. To offer a cleaner look, the Artix and Calobra both have a linear style running seconds indicator, which you don’t see very often. The way it works is that there is a black and red colored disc under the dial. A thin window appears to have a line of red advance as the seconds increase, and then go back to zero. It offers a nice way to view the running seconds without cluttering up the dial. Just something you rarely see, especially in watches at this price.