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Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Based in Hölstein, Oris is one of the few remaining independent Swiss watchmakers in an industry dominated by large conglomerates. Aviation has always been a strong focus for the brand, and they began producing their "big crown" pilot watches back in 1938. For the past few years, Oris has partnered with the air-rescue foundation Rega, an independent, humanitarian body which provides emergency medical assistance via helicopter and ambulance jet both in Switzerland and internationally. Oris have dedicated two watches in support of this foundation; the Altimeter Rega Limited Edition from last year, and the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition being discussed here.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

All images by Ariel Adams

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

With a 45mm steel case, the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition would be considered a large watch by most standards. This isn't uncommon with aviation watches, which need to be as legible as possible for pilots to refer to mid-flight. By comparison, German Flieger watches in World War II were made with 55mm cases, and even last year's Oris Altimeter Rega Limited Edition had a hefty girth at 47mm. The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition can thus be considered a sensible size, striking a good balance between everyday wearability for the non-pilot and its intended use as a serious aviation timepiece. The case has been PVD coated to a gunmetal grey finish, which the brand advises us is intended to reduce cockpit glare.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition makes use of a 24-hour time scale along the periphery of the dial for its GMT function, with a pointer hand tipped with a stylized red airplane to indicate the time in the second time zone. GMT watches and aviation have a long history, the complication arising from a request by Pan American World Airways to Rolex back in the 1950s to develop a watch which could tell the time in different time zones simultaneously. In that era of aviation, Greenwich Mean Time was the international civil time standard, and thus when Rolex designed a watch to suit the requirements of the Pan-Am pilots, it was dubbed the GMT-Master. The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition is thus a fitting tribute to Rega's pilots who often cross international borders (and time zones) for repatriations of seriously ill patients.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This release is based closely on an existing model in the brand's aviation collection, the Big Crown ProPilot GMT Small Second. Unlike the production model, the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition has a solid caseback engraved with Rega's logo and the watch's serial number, and features a black dial rather than the ProPilot's grey. This was likely an aesthetic decision to provide as much contrast to the red design cues as possible, which is Rega's corporate color. Rega's red logo can be found at 3 o'clock on the dial, while the "GMT" text at 6 o'clock and the GMT hand's "airplane" tip are also in red. The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition will also be supplied with a special presentation case, again printed with the Rega logo.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

These differences aside, the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition is otherwise identical to the Big Crown ProPilot GMT Small Second. The hands and Arabic numerals are large, white, and coated with Super-LumiNova for maximum contrast and night legibility. A date aperture can be found at 3 o'clock, while the small seconds sub-dial occupies the 9 o'clock position. The case has a coin-edged bezel which is angled in a way that resembles the turbine of a jet engine, but unlike the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer (which we covered here), this bezel does not operate as a time-setting mechanism for the GMT function, which is a shame.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The case of the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition is water-resistant to 10 Bar (approximately 100m), making it suitable for swimming with if the wearer was so inclined. It comes attached to a grey textile strap lined with red leather (another nod to Rega), equipped with a folding clasp in gunmetal grey PVD-coated steel featuring an embossed Oris logo. The signature large crown is also PVD coated, screws down into the case, and is deeply grooved to make setting and winding the watch easier, a feature designed to aid pilots wearing gloves. The dial on the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition is covered by a domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on the inside.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Powering the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition is the automatic winding Oris Cal. 748, which is based on the Sellita SW 220-1. This movement features a ball-bearing rotor and hacking seconds, 28 jewels, offers a relatively meager power reserve of 38 hours, and oscillates at the modern frequency of 28,800 A/h or 4Hz. The fast movement somewhat accounts for this lackluster power reserve, but I would have liked to see Oris install either multiple or larger mainsprings to compensate for this, as surely a 45mm case offers plenty of room. Prospective wearers will need to keep quite active or make use of that large crown to ensure the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition stays wound.

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition is being produced in 2,000 units and has a sticker price of 2,550 CHF, which is 300 CHF more than the production model Big Crown ProPilot GMT Small Second. In my opinion the pops of red against the black dial in this model are visually more appealing than the yellow and white on grey palette of the production model, but justifying the extra cost will likely boil down to one's individual support of Rega and their humanitarian work. Particularly for those that wanted to get on board with the Altimeter Rega Limited Edition but missed the boat (or should that be helicopter?), the Oris GMT Rega Limited Edition offers an attractive and well-sized GMT pilot's watch for the price. oris.ch

About the Author

JS
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Comments

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  • PollyO

    I’m repeating myself here – following comments on the last Oris post – but a 38 hour movement just puts me off. Just doesn’t seem right. Everything else about Oris I generally like.

    • Wear it or put it on a winder, then the short power reserve is not much of an issue. Cheers.

      • PollyO

        Its a (relatively) pricey Pilots watch. If i crash my plane in the jungle, i would like at least 48 hours to find my way out (having forgotten to put my watch back on that was thrown clear in the crash) and still know when to take my lunch break.

        • Tea Hound

          You’d be ok. You’d simply use your Breitling Emergency II, three Apple Watches, portable solar powered generator and Jet Pack to escape.

          • PollyO

            And my Rubber B strapped Richard Mille to frighten away predators.

  • “I would have liked to see Oris install either multiple or larger mainsprings”

    That is no small feat. Starting with an Oris caliber 110 family movement would have a longer power reserve, but they are not automatics, etc.

    Nice watch but the price is a bit steep. I prefer the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer even though it is larger and quite a bit more expensive. The bezel system on the Worldtimer for adjusting the time is very cool.

    • malingerer

      I’d concur re Oris Big Crown ProPilot Worldtimer, it just has better aesthetics. Good call!

  • Good Gene 42K18

    wonderful

    • DanW94

      We don’t need the lobotomized Good Gene, we need the unpredictable, sinister Gene like you get in The Unforgiven. Everything’s not wonderful…

      • Good Gene 42K18

        Thank you for your contribution. I value you.

        • Jay Wick

          I’m ok
          You’re ok

          • Good Gene 42K18

            You are not OK. “You’ve got to let love rule.” <–Lenny Kravitz

          • Jay Wick

            We liiiiive for love

          • Good Gene 42K18

            I do. I am not a hatter.
            Great watch!

          • DanW94

            I figured you didn’t make hats. This new age you seems more like the dreamcatcher type….

      • Kuroji

        I do not like assassins or men of low character.

  • Ross Diljohn

    38 hours? I’ve taken naps longer than that.

    • Tea Hound

      I’ve been in meetings longer than that (at least it’s felt that way).

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Crying out for a big onion crown. Don’t like the logo, the coin edge bezel or the case colour, other than that it’s ok. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e86e3d4e8bc841c42c02d33e98bcb665078ea478141dc1c297a664248a83eea9.jpg

    • Tea Hound

      Apart from the logo, this is a pretty nice watch for the price, as many Orises (?) are. I particularly like the strap on this one.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        There are dozens of Orisisis (?) i would buy before this. The logo alone is enough to put me right off. Snag the strap….ruined! and i have to put on loads of talc before iwear rubber.
        This one would do just fine
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/782914c89b145cfc11abf59cef5ad9dd266d44197209fc495a12395297501d59.jpg

        • PollyO

          Oris dive watches are beautiful. Pilots are nice also generally. Quite frankly I’m yet to see a branded or dedication watch that looks better than the original it’s based on. It always just makes it look like a watch you get for free in a trade show gift bag.

        • Tea Hound

          No complaint from me.

  • BNABOD

    Oris makes decent watches at usually decent prices that usually can be had for much cheaper grey so w a bit of patience this could be yours for 1300-1500 bucks and that is not a bad deal. Oris was my opening salvo in the fancier watch world, I have since moved on from them but they always have that unique coolness to them. The PR is a bit disappointing but again you are getting the basics here but to be competitive I still think brands will need to really up their game on the maintenance timeframe and PR to stay in the game long term

  • SuperStrapper

    Going from the previous article to this one took 4.6 seconds to load the page. I timed it. Mechanical chronograph tho, so It could have been off by a hundredth of a second or so.

    • Kuroji

      Just be glad your Internet doesn’t come over a shit line-of-sight microwave link like mine.

  • egznyc

    That red logo at 3:00 is terribly distracting and competes with the 24 hour hand. Otherwise a very pleasant design. The price is a bit steep but I get it: limited edition and all …

  • TrevorXM

    Wow, do I ever dislike this new website format. Stayed away a couple of days after the change, still don’t like it. Now I see another rip-off Rubber B sponsored post not allowing comments…

    Nah, I’m just going to remove A Blog To Watch from my bookmarks.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      A tad harsh, but goodbye.

    • SuperStrapper

      Sure kid

    • Good Gene 42K18

      That’s very sad. You are valued here. Great watch!

  • mtnsicl

    It’s a very nice looking watch. Although I think the numbers are a little plain looking. And, I’d like to see the caseback.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      scroll down a wee bit.

  • SuperStrapper

    This just in: rubber b for AP article took 8.8 seconds to load this new format sucks I’m leaving forever see you tomorrow

  • Tea Hound

    Rubber B – no comments allowed. F??king cowards.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      They did the first time. Then they stopped. This is now the third time.

    • egznyc

      Rubber b is the real deal; don’t you understand?!? They’re so comfortable and form-fitting, it’s like wearing nothing at all (on the wrist, of course).

      • Kuroji

        Rubber B is the closest you can get to going bareback without getting herpes.

  • Playboy Johnny

    Rubber B = Overpriced garbage

    Big respect for Oris.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Comment for Rubber B post::

    I’ve just seen a Rubber B on a PP. I will never unsee that.

    • Playboy Johnny

      Only the most uneducated moron, would put a Rubber B junk strap on a AP or PP.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I concur.

        • Jay Wick

          Is that, like, the same as ‘I agree’?

          • Raymond Wilkie

            I concur.

          • Jay Wick

            Stop making me look up word definitions!

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Aye (Scottish for yes )

          • Jay Wick

            Lots of Scottish blood coursing through me veins, Raymond (by way of DK)

    • Jay Wick

      Will you unsee Undone?

  • SuperStrapper

    ABTW staff: when you allow for comment disabling, wrongful articles get the hate mail.

    If Oris never entertains advertising here I might know why.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Would have liked an opportunity to leave an encouraging comment for Rubber B. Rubber B is so fabulous. They make very good watch. #YouDoYou

    • Jay Wick

      Who do you see
      If you break your rubber b?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Your banjo string?

      • Good Gene 42K18

        They will never break. Wonderful product. Great watch.

        • Jay Wick

          Ok. But what if you break your rubber. Then what?

          • Juan-Antonio Garcia

            You become a proud papa

          • Jay Wick

            Papa don’t preach

  • Piero

    I have a lot of respect for Oris, but today I am here with popcorns hoping to read comments about Rubber B.

  • Jay Wick

    Oris consistently makes the best valued Swiss watches. Point final.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Wow ( and i speak for the masses here ), Opening up new look website? Let’s open with a bang ( not a big bang ) Something special, something that we can get remotely excited about. What are we presented with? a really rubbish Oris ( which i didn’t think was possible ) and a Rubber B strap item that we can’t even comment on that is just awful on any watch.
    I’m not about to jump ship, i really like this blog, but of late your choices have been a wee bit insulting

    Continued success.

    R.

    • Ross Diljohn

      To be fair there are probably only so many watches you can discuss without repetition (trust me,I have been going through the archives out of boredom)…and Rubber B is growing on me…dear god.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Then I’m afraid there is no hope for you.

        • Ross Diljohn

          How long do I have doctor? Days? Weeks? My god man,I just came here to see nice watches not contract Syphilis B!

          • Raymond Wilkie

            If you don’t look at it, it might go away.

    • Kuroji

      I came to this review specifically for the Rubber B comment thread.

  • Jon Snow

    LOL. While Hodinkee has a review of the new Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph, this site is busy shilling for an overpriced strap seller.

    • Tea Hound

      “new Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph” – which is rather nice, isn’t it? But I’d much rather read about how brilliant Rubber-B straps actually are. So brilliant, no feedback is needed.

    • SuperStrapper

      WOW THE CARL BRASHEAR CHRONOGRAPH ALL OF OUR DREAMS COME TRUE AT ONCE

  • Ross Diljohn

    Rubber B is back bitches.

    • Jay Wick

      So sayeth Elton!

    • IG

      Rubba B in da houz

  • MeaCulpa

    This watch has a GLARING fault, nobody that’s serious about horology would EVER buy a watch without the possibility of fitting a Rubber B strap.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    I think non-Swiss should buy as many Rega-Orises as they can, because Regas main job is to save stupid tourists from the Swiss alps who thought it`s a good idea to climb the Matterhorn in a T-shirt and flip-flops.

    • Ross Diljohn

      That crowd would buy a knockoff TAG.

  • Kuroji

    The new page design makes extremely inefficient use of my computer monitor and all the fading in pictures are making me angry. There is no good reason to use this transition.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Fading in pictures?

      • Kuroji

        Does that effect not work for you? I wish it didn’t work for me.

  • Larry Holmack

    Ahhhh…it’s okay. I like some of their other watches much more than this one.

  • AllYourFache

    Well, I love it. Speaks to me in good ways, gotta find one or two.
    Take that, watch nerds.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Like it very much, except the size, a 42 would have been nicer.
    BTW, like the new site, change is good. Some will complain, but they always do no matter what.
    The best for this coming year.

  • Ceton95

    Hi All, it could be great to know on all gmt watches if the numbers of the second time zone are also illuminated by superluminova or please post picture in the dark of the watches.
    The interests to have a gmt watch are : have time in a new zone and see time at night.

    Thanks a lot