Introducing: The Oak & Oscar Olmsted FEW Limited Edition
I’ve known Chase Fancher since he first appeared in the press lounge of the now-defunct Baselworld back in 2015. None of us knew who he was or how he got there, but he was friendly, a bit quirky, and super passionate about the watch brand he was about to launch. Eight years and many successful watches later, his passion project/watch brand has finally gone full circle with this new release. The Oak & Oscar Olmsted FEW Limited Edition is the perfect blend (no pun intended) between whiskey and timepieces.
I love this project and what it means to Chase and his Oak & Oscar family. The watch perfectly combines the essence behind the brand with its love for whiskey in an elegant and fun way.
Oak & Oscar
If you have wondered why the new Olmsted FEW Limited Edition is such a big deal, let me bring you up to speed. Chase Fancher, founder of Oak & Oscar and friend of Fratello, chose the name for a specific reason. Oscar is the name of his beloved dog. “Chief Mascot,” as he is titled on the brand’s site, Oscar is immortalized in Chase’s watch company, and that’s the coolest thing ever. The first part of the brand name, Oak, signifies Chase’s love for things aged in oak barrels — namely, whiskeys and American-made bourbons. Having a watch that bears the name Oak & Oscar and is a collaboration with a distillery is already a great thing. But wait, there is more.
O&O × FEW
A Chicago-based watch brand with close ties to whiskeys needs a local distillery to share its love for bourbons and watches. As the brand explains, “Oak & Oscar founder Chase Fancher and FEW Spirits founder and master distiller Paul Hletko have been friends for years and shared many a pour of bourbon during that time. Oak & Oscar has held numerous tastings at FEW, and several of their bottles can be found in our extensive whiskey collection at our Chicago HQ. For these reasons, collaborating with our two brands seemed like a natural fit.” Perhaps you could call it a match made in heaven. In any case, it’s just a genuine connection that is worth celebrating. And what better way to do that than by creating a timepiece together? The watch is brilliant, and it may even be my favorite from Oak & Oscar to date!
Olmsted FEW Limited Edition
The Olmsted line is Oak & Oscar’s take on the traditional American field watch. It’s a classic time-only piece in a 38mm stainless steel case. The new Olmsted FEW Limited Edition has a two-layer sandwich dial, a signature feature of O&O. For the first time, the Olmsted dial has a matte brown, almost dark salmon hue, and the result is not half bad. Now, usually, I’m not much of a salmon-dial guy. However, FEW Spirit’s color palette inspires this, and it just works. The layout is simple, featuring cut-out numerals to reveal the luminous layer of the dial underneath. Aside from the usual Oak & Oscar logo at 12, only FEW’s name is at 6 o’clock, signifying the collaboration. It is clean and straightforward, but thanks to the little details, it is a highly legible and fun timepiece on the wrist.
However, as we often have it in the watch industry, the fun continues on the back of the timepiece. Collaborations work so well when the two products can come together. Granted, watches and liquids are usually not a great mix. Still, Oak & Oscar found an intelligent way to combine the two. As the brand put it, “Any bourbon enthusiast who also happens to love watches will be charmed by the notion of having a piece of the very barrel used to age the bourbon in their glass forever enclosed in the watch on their wrist. We challenged a talented local woodworker to transform the barrel we selected into 50 wooden coins. We then installed those coins individually in a custom-designed exhibition case back on each Olmsted FEW timepiece.” It’s so awesome to see this coming to life.
Other details and pricing
The new Oak & Oscar Olmsted FEW Limited Edition comes on a 20mm leather strap from Horween, another Chicagoan company and long-time O&O partner. You could also have the Olmsted on a nylon strap. Inside the watch beats Sellita’s SW300, a Swiss-made, 25-jewel caliber with a 56-hour power reserve. The 38mm case measures 44.9mm long and 10.8mm thick, and it has a 100m water resistance rating and a screw-down crown. Finally, it comes equipped with a double-domed antireflective sapphire crystal and drilled lug holes for easy strap changes.
You’ll need to be fast if you want one of the new Oak & Oscar Olmsted FEW Limited Editions. Chase and his crew are only offering 50 pieces for US$1,850 on the Oak & Oscar website. And a bourbon-themed watch would not be complete without a bottle of goodness. This is why the brand is offering a bottle of the Bottled in Bond bourbon aged in the same oak wood as on the case back to buyers (21 or over and legally able to receive the bottle). That has to be one of this year’s most incredible limited-edition packs. Let us know what you think of it in the comments below.