Thomas here, resident Oris fan. I’m happy to announce another summer release from Oris and another two limited editions, this time in partnership with the humanitarian organization Wings of Hope. Wings of Hope is a nonprofit that uses small aircraft to provide medical support to vulnerable communities. The watches are in the newest style of Oris’s Big Crown line, naturally — pilot-inspired watches for an inspiring pilot organization. They use the formidable Calibre 401 as well. And we see another gold option from Oris, elevating an already classy design.

Oris is honing its craft. Sure, the Calibre 400 and its variants speak to the brand’s technical developments. But I’m talking more about Oris’s partnerships with organizations dedicated to positive change. We were graced with the beautiful Aquis New York Harbor LE last month, a watch produced in partnership with Billion Oyster Project. Less than a month later, Oris is back, now with two watches, in collaboration with just as worthy an organization. Personally, I think it’s another home run.

Wings of Hope

Wings of Hope was founded in the 1960s as an aeronautical humanitarian effort to bring medical support to remote or impoverished communities around the globe. It now reaches over 65,000 people a year in 50 countries. This kind of work looks like anything from medical supply delivery to transporting patients from remote communities to healthcare facilities. As president and CEO Bret Heinrich explains, “Wings of Hope is the nicest two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee that very few people have heard of.” And it’s true. Primarily funded by corporate and private foundations and individual donors, communities benefitting from Wings of Hope pay nothing for the service. Here’s hoping that these two watches from Oris help a few more people hear about them.

Wings of Hope Limited Edition

This is a fun release because it’s a two-for-one. No, the purchase price of one doesn’t get you both (wouldn’t that be nice?). But a new watch release is always nice, and doubly so when it’s two.

The “standard” Wings of Hope Limited Edition is a stainless steel affair built on the new-ish Oris Big Crown design. Previously, we’d only seen two models of this design —2021’s Hölstein Limited Edition and the unlimited Big Crown in blue, which is currently available. It’s an elegant yet simple design with updated numerals and hands. The coin-edge bezel is gone too, with a polished smooth bezel taking its place.

The Wings of Hope Limited Edition is the first of this new design to come with an off-white dial. Also, the diameter is a stepped-up 40mm. This visually opens up the face of the watch, a nice effect and one that leans a little further into its pilot’s-watch roots. The blue and red accent of the small seconds hand and its sub-dial adds a flair that — combined with the off-white — reminds me of an American Baseball motif. Oris has true baseball watches, and that fact may be influencing what I’m seeing here.

Wings of Hope Limited edition caseback

The specs

The see-through case-back displays the Calibre 401. With a 120-hour (5-day) power reserve, anti-magnetism, accuracy within COSC tolerances, and a 10-year service interval and warranty, it’s yet another 400-equipped watch from Oris pushing the watch industry into the future.

The stainless steel case and the signed screw-down crown combine with a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. The case is water resistant to 50 meters and is paired with a simple brown Cervo Volante deer leather strap. The underside of the strap shows an imprinted stag beetle, the logo of Cervo Volante (which means “stag beetle” in Italian). This company is another of Oris’s partners, this time on the environmental front, upcycling unused deer hides into premium leather goods.

This version of the Wings of Hope Limited Edition is limited to 1000 pieces and comes in a special presentation box. It will retail at CHF 3,300 and become available in October 2022.

Wings of Hope Gold Limited Edition

Part of this release is a solid 18K yellow gold version of this limited edition Big Crown. Reverting back to the standard 38mm size, it retains similar dial and sub-dial colors. The minute and hour hands match the gold case. The numerals are also a dark gold color, though they retain the Super-LumiNova lume. All other specifications remain the same.

I’m not one to drool over gold watches, but the new Big Crown has a lovely, clean design. It warms up in yellow gold without crossing my personal line into gaudy. It’s an excellent execution of a gold watch. This watch is limited to 100 pieces and costs CHF 15,500. It comes in a cherrywood presentation box. As of this publishing, it’s available on Oris’s website.

Wings of Hope Limited edition

Another change for the better

One of my favorite aspects of writing about Oris’s limited-edition collaborations with beneficial organizations is that I get to learn more about and feature these positive efforts that people are working towards around the world. Sure, this is another watch release announcement, but the nature of how Oris does business is forcing the typing hand of watch-blog editors all over the web to spread the good word.

That’s part of the plan, too. As Rolf Studer, co-CEO of Oris, remarked in my recent interview with him, the brand’s role in activism is one of leverage. Oris uses its platform and watches to raise awareness about worthy organizations that benefit from the exposure. Another couple of watches, another conversation piece, another chance for a conversation to happen. Considering Wings of Hope relies extensively on donations to survive, every conversation is worth something.

What do you think of these new watches from Oris? What do you think about Oris’s environmental and humanitarian initiatives? Let us know in the comments below. You can find more information on Oris’s official website.

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