Oris is introducing a new movement in its third collaboration watch with the Carl Brashear Foundation. Meet the Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401 limited edition watch of 2,000 pieces.

I am pretty sure you will remember the recent introduction of the Oris caliber 400 movement. The 400 is an in-house movement with a power reserve of 5 days. It is anti-magnetic (2,250 gauss) and comes with a warranty of 10 years. My colleague Ben (our in-house Oris guru) wrote an opinionated piece on the Aquis with caliber 400 here. But, today, we are showing you the new Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401, which is limited to 2,000 pieces in total. It is a bronze variation on the popular Oris Diver Sixty-Five model.

Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401

Carl Brashear Cal. 401

The partnership between Oris and the Carl Brashear Foundation has been very fruitful, paving the way for this, a third watch to support this good cause. The Carl Brashear Foundation supports veterans and vulnerable people. You can read about their program and background here. What all three Oris Carl Breasher Limited Editions have in common, is their use of bronze and using the Diver Sixty-Five as a base.

This new Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401 has a 40mm wide bronze case, with a blue dial. The bronze is a nod to the diving helmets Brashear wore during his career as a US Navy Master Diver, but it is also a material that will develop its own story. As you probably know by now, the bronze material will patinate over time. Each watch case will age in a unique way. Your skin (moisture) and oxygen (in the air) causes this chemical reaction. In a few weeks or months, no Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401 watch will look the same.

Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401

In-house Caliber 401

This caliber is the second version of Oris’s new generation of movements. In general, the caliber 401 movement is equal to caliber 400. The difference becomes immediately clear when you take a look at the dial of the Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401. This new movement has a small running second at 6 o’clock instead of a central seconds hand. Additionally, it has no date complication. Aside from that, caliber 401 shares its specifications with the caliber 400. Since magnetism is a daily “threat” for our mechanical watches, Oris ensured the movement is protected against a maximum of 2,250 gauss. This anti-magnetism is achieved by the use of special alloys for the movement.

Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401

Oris also claims this movement to be more accurate than chronometer specifications. Normally, a chronometer-certified watch has to perform between +6/-4 seconds per day on average. Oris ensures that the Carl Brashear Cal. 401 will more accurate than that, namely between +5/-3 seconds per day on average. On top, there’s a 5-day power reserve. Let’s also not forget about a 10-year extended warranty. You can activate this warranty for your Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401 by signing up for the MyOris program. I believe this is a clever approach by this Hölstein brand. It is good for the customer and good for the brand’s contact list, enabling them to contact you with interesting propositions and offers.

The Oris caliber 401 has a ticking speed of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a hacking feature. It means you can stop the second hand from running when you pull the crown into its 1st position.

Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401

Blue and bronze

The combination of blue and bronze is pretty hot. Actually, I have a rose gold watch from another brand and have asked the manufacture to see if it would be possible to have a blue dial fitted. I think it is an amazing combination, and timeless. The gilt hour markers and hands really stand out on the navy blue dial of the Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401. Super-LumiNova has been applied to the hour markers and hands.

The bronze uni-directional bezel of the Carl Brashear Cal. 401 has a lumed dot at 60. The minute track is printed in this gilt color, or “faux patina” if you prefer. Only the ORIS wordmark and the writing and printing around the small seconds sub-dial are done in white. In all honesty, I could have done without the printing of “Water Resistant — 10BAR/100M” and “5 Days” and “Swiss Made”. None of those lines is necessary, in my opinion. And while they aren’t too disruptive, I would err on the side of less dial text rather than more. In its defense, the printing is done in such a way as to balance the dial.

Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401

Erika’s Originals

The watch comes on a woven elastic nylon webbing strap, specifically produced for this Carl Brashear Cal. 401 by Erika’s Originals (we reviewed the brand’s straps here). Those straps are comfortable and of amazing quality. The case back of the Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401 is made of steel, as certain skins do not respond well to bronze. It is the reason why — very often — the case backs of bronze cases are made of steel or titanium. Some brands even refuse to use bronze crowns, for the same reason. This screw-down case back has the diving helmet medallion embossed and indicates the unique number of the limited edition series. The bronze crown on this watch is screw-in, ensuring its water resistance.

Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401

Price and availability of the Carl Brashear Cal. 401

The Oris Carl Brashear Cal. 401 will retail for CHF 3,900, and you will receive it in this beautiful wooden box. Another good thing about Oris is that the brand always manages to have the watches available quickly after their introduction. In this case, Oris expects them to be in the boutiques starting in January 2021.

More information on the new Carl Brashear Cal. 401 can be found on the official Oris website.

Watch specifications

Carl Brashear Cal. 401 Limited Edition
01 401 7764 3185-Set
Case Material
Multi-piece bronze case, uni-directional rotating bronze bezel with timing scale in relief, Bronze screw-in security crown
Case Dimensions
Diameter: 40mm
Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
Case Back
Stainless steel, screwed, special engravings
Caliber 401, self-winding, small-seconds, power reserve: 120 hours
Water Resistance
100 meters
Blue woven elastic nylon webbing strap with bronze buckle, specially produced in partnership with Erika’s Originals
Time, uni-directional bezel
10 years warranty