2022 has been a banner year for independent Swiss brand Oris. In the midst of several major series updates, the brand has also unveiled a broad range of limited edition designs, largely centered around its central brand message of ecological conservation. For its last major release of the year, Oris looks to highlight a faster-paced, more aggressive form of conservation than its usual focus of waterway cleanups – aerial firefighting. The process of using aircraft to drop massive amounts of water has become a crucial part in battling the worsening threat of wildfires in California, Australia, and South America in recent years, and aerial firefighting organization Coulson Aviation stands at the forefront of this hazardous field. To pay tribute to Coulson Aviation’s tireless efforts to combat wildfires around the globe, Oris introduces a proprietary, patented 3D-printed carbon fiber case construction process, combining this bleeding-edge technology with the stark, vivid colors of a brush fire. The new Oris Coulson Limited Edition delivers striking results both technically and aesthetically to create what may well be the brand’s most dramatic release of 2022.
Although the lines of the Oris Coulson Limited Edition’s 41mm-wide case may be familiar to fans of the brand, the case material itself is anything but. Developed in conjunction with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, this case is made through a unique 3D printing process that prints both carbon fiber and PEKK aerospace-derived polymer simultaneously to create an extremely light and rigid carbon fiber composite case. In addition, this process is so precise that it allows Oris to direct the striation pattern of the carbon fiber material, which is ordinarily random. The brand uses these striations much like brushing on a metal case, to add highlights and depth to an otherwise matte surface. While the overall shape is shared with the Big Crown ProPilot series, Oris gives the Coulson Limited Edition a markedly different feel in images, with radial striations atop the athletic unchamfered lugs and horizontal stripes of black and gray running the length of the tightly packaged case sides. The Big Crown ProPilot line’s distinctive half-fluted “turbine” bezel design returns here in moody gray PVD titanium, as does the series’ eponymous oversized crown at 3 o’clock. Oris tops this case with a PVD titanium caseback and a sapphire display window, and rates the watch for a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
For the dial of the Coulson Limited Edition, Oris takes the clean layout of the Big Crown ProPilot line and overlays it with a fiery, eye-catching new color palette. The stark matte-white modernist alpha handset, clean applied Arabic numerals, and airy outer seconds track are all series standbys, but the matte gradient dial surface immediately sets this watch apart at a glance. Fading from radiant orange at 6 o’clock, to bold red, and finally reddish-black at 12 o’clock, this unique dial design captures the chaotic, vibrant colors of a wildfire in initial photos, particularly when paired with the optic white dial hardware and charcoal-colored case material. Although mismatched date windows are ordinarily a divisive subject, the decision to use a black date display at 6 o’clock is a punchy, high-impact choice here.
Like many of its upper-echelon models, the Oris Coulson Limited Edition is powered by the brand’s in-house Calibre 400 automatic movement. The Calibre 400 has become a flagship for the company since its introduction in late 2020, and the movement offers top-flight performance figures including a massive 120-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate alongside excellent magnetic resistance, a 10-year recommended service interval, and a claimed accuracy rating of -3/+5 seconds per day. Interestingly, while this qualifies the Calibre 400 for COSC chronometer certification, Oris does not submit these movements for COSC approval. Like other iterations of the Calibre 400, the movement inside the Oris Coulson Limited Edition offers utilitarian finishing. The simple matte blasted three-quarter plates and brushed skeleton rotor may disappoint enthusiasts accustomed to more ornate movement decoration, but the execution of this straightforward finishing is clean and precise. Oris completes the Coulson Limited Edition with a clean, stitchless black textile strap on a PVD deployant clasp.
With its innovative case construction, excellent movement performance, and dynamic color palette, the Oris Coulson Limited Edition is a blazing, attention-grabbing finish to Oris’s 2022 release schedule. Only 1,000 examples of the Oris Coulson Limited Edition will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Oris Coulson Limited Edition stands at $4,500 USD as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.