October 3, 2018
Alright, time for another limited edition Oris watch in their racing-themed Williams F1 collection. The Swiss watchmaker has once again teamed up with the Williams Formula 1 Racing Team, this time to release the Oris Williams FW41 limited edition, a lightweight chronograph crafted in carbon fiber and titanium. With a consistent carbon fiber pattern across its case and dial, the new Oris Williams FW41 introduces some aesthetic changes to what has proven a successful look in the Williams F1 line, as well as nods to the 2018 Williams FW41 race car.
The exposed date wheel, white-ringed sub-dials, and other touches distinguish the Oris Williams FW41 from the Oris Williams Chronograph Carbon Valtteri Bottas we saw hands-on here. For example, that was similarly very carbon-fibery. There is also a non-limited Williams Chronograph Carbon Fibre Extreme. At 44mm wide, the interesting case design is a multi-piece construction, using carbon fiber and DLC-coated titanium, borrowing techniques from the Williams racing team to emulate the same lightweight style construction seen on Formula 1 cars. The brand says that the technique used is “unique to watchmaking,” but does not elaborate on that technique – a trade secret, perhaps. Anyhow, the middle case made of carbon fiber weighs only 7.2g, and while we can certainly expect the whole watch to be light, its full weight isn’t disclosed.
Aside from the noted carbon fiber, the Oris Williams FW41 watch features a sapphire crystal, titanium caseback, and titanium pushers and crown. Powering the FW41 is the Oris Cal. 774, built off a Sellita SW 500, which in turn, is a clone of the ETA 7750. An automatic chronograph movement with 25 jewels, a power reserve of 42 hours, and a frequency of 28,800 bph, it features the time and date, as well as 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters.
The dial of the Oris Williams FW41, again, is also crafted out of carbon fiber and features blue accents to acknowledge the Williams Racing colors. Note that the chronograph hands are color-coded blue to distinguish them from the running time. Holding the watch to your wrist is a branded rubber strap with a steel clasp. And, just in case, the FW41 is water-resistant to 100m. Oris has limited the production of the Oris Williams FW41 to 410 pieces to mark the Williams team’s 41st season competing in Formula 1.
The styling of the Oris Williams FW41 will be polarizing, as the DLC titanium and all-carbon fiber construction gives the FW41 a very specific look. Personally, I am more intrigued from an academic perspective than I am visually drawn to the Oris Williams FW41. I am a big fan of titanium watches due to their lightweight feel on the wrist, and the FW41 takes that lightweight feel to the next level utilizing the carbon fiber. I’d be very interested to check one of these out and see if it’s as comfortable as I’m imagining it. On top of its potentially polarizing aesthetic, the Oris Williams FW41 also features integrated lugs. As a serial strap switcher, I prefer to be able to experiment with different straps and looks as much as possible, which the Oris Williams FW41’s lugs will not easily allow.
For me, the specialness of the term “limited edition” has been diluted by the watch industry in general, but Oris doesn’t go too overboard with conspicuous branding. They also sometimes go an appreciated step further by sponsoring worthy causes, such as an oceanic expedition to study or preserve the ocean – with a limited Aquis to commemorate it. That being said, the Oris Williams FW41 features unique styling, and I feel they did a good job connecting it to the F1 team and giving it a sense of purpose. The Oris Williams FW41 watch is limited, again, to 410 pieces, at a price of 4,350 CHF each. oris.ch