Tag: oris williams f1 chronograph
It’s strange how sponsorship pairings just click sometimes. Intentional or no, every once in a while, a team and their sponsor will resemble each other beyond the superficialities of brand partnership, and the resulting synergy can produce some truly great successes. A great example of this in the watchmaking world is the 11-year partnership between Oris and Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Both companies, while not necessarily the flashiest or most well-known in their respective sectors, have a reputation for quietly producing some of the most capable, technically advanced machinery in their fields.oris williams f1 replica
The reasons for this between the two varies, however. In the case of Oris, while the company produces cutting-edge and innovative mechanical pieces such as the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, the first-ever wristwatch with a mechanical altimeter (find out more on that in Mark McArthur Christie’s excellent write- up here), the brand has simply never captured the greater public’s interest in the same way that the larger Swiss watchmakers have.
Williams, however, is a different story. While modern fans (up until this season) have had to watch the weakest decade in the team’s history, those with longer memories will know the truth. This team, which hasn’t captured either the driver’s or the constructor’s title in 17 years, is the second-most successful overall across the sport’s 55-year history, surpassed only by Scuderia Ferrari. Williams has racked up nine constructor’s championships (1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1997), and seven world driver’s championships (Alan Jones in 1980, Keke Rosberg in 1982, Nelson Piquet in 1987, Nigel Mansell in 1992, Alain Prost in 1993, Damon Hill in 1996, and Jacques Villeneuve in 1997) since its inception in 1978.oris williams day date
Since then, Williams has had a reputation for technical innovation in their cars, from 1980’s FW07 which perfected the ground effect concept pioneered in the Lotus 78, to the brutally powerful and aerodynamically clean FW11 of 1986, to a car that more than two decades later is widely regarded as the most technologically advanced racing car of all time- the 1992 FW14B. Williams’ 1992 entry into the Formula One World oris williams f1 chronographChampionship was and still is a technological marvel, with a laundry list of innovations- the semi-automatic gearbox, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and perhaps the most advanced technology ever fitted to a Formula 1 car- the active suspension. Essentially a computer-controlled hydraulic system connected to the car’s suspension, the active suspension system preloaded the car for each corner of a racetrack, allowing the car to stay far more level than otherwise, and vastly improving aerodynamic efficiency. oris williams f1 skeleton replica
In the hands of Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, the car won 10 of the 16 rounds that year, and Mansell glided to an easy driver’s championship with 9 grand prix victories. The car was so dominant, in fact, that almost all of its technologies, with the exception of the semi-automatic gearbox, were outlawed by 1994, ostensibly in the interest of “promoting driver ability”. The team remained a major force through the 90’s, but by the mid-2000s had hit a slump from which they still have not fully recovered. 2014, however, has brought new hope to the Grove, UK-based squad, in the form of new Mercedes power, arguably their strongest driver lineup in years with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, and a new title sponsor with a legendary history in motorsports- Martini and Rossi. So far this season, Williams Martini Racing has shown itself to have perhaps the second fastest car on the grid, and an impressive midseason string of podiums by young Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas have already made this Williams’ most successful season in many years.
Accompanying this Williams resurgence are a strong lineup of team-branded watches from Oris. The attractive black TT1 Williams F1 Team Day Date is a solid automatic 3-hander with an interesting lugless case design, and the subtle blue accents bring vibrance to the black-on-black-on-black piece. At 43mm, it is slightly on the large side, but as it is lugless, it wears far smaller than it is. The real gem of the collection, however, is the WilliamsF1 Team Limited Edition Chronograph, limited to 600 pieces to celebrate the team’s 600th Grand Prix.
A 12-hour automatic chrono with dials at 12 and 6, and a surprisingly well-balanced dial, this watch shares the blue accent color scheme with the TT1 Day Date, but in my opinion wears it far better. In addition, the lugs are free-swinging, similar to the design of the Laco Atacama (reviewed here), adding versatility to the 44mm size, and blend into a very high-quality rubber deployant strap. The WilliamsF1 Team Limited Edition generally retails for around $220, and the TT1 Williams F1 Team Day Date goes for around $230.
There is a certain balancing act that must be respected when designing a successful “automotive-themed” watch, with many examples simply falling prey to the uncanny valley of making the watch look much like a car, wheel, or gauge. With the new Oris Williams Engine Date, the brand has found an equilibrium with a legible steel sport watch that won’t look out of place in a pit lane. Oris has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Willams F1 and the new Williams Engine Date is far from their first automotive themed watch (they also work with Audi). Using the same distinctive case design established by the previous Oris Williams models, the Oris Engine Date adds some dial skeletonization and detailing to further establish a connection with automotive designs.
Much like the REPLICA Oris Williams Day Date, the Williams Engine Date uses a 42 mm steel case with a mix of brushed and polished finishing. With an anti-reflective sapphire crystal up front and a mineral crystal display case back, the Engine Date is water resistant to 100m. Despite being automotive-themed, the dial design is legible, with large numerals at three and nine and wide luminous hands.
The skeletonization is limited to the center of the dial and the minute numerals are printed horizontally, rather than following the curve of the dial. The movement is finished with an anthracite coloring and I rather like how it integrates with the main dial. With a long minute hand and minute track on the rehaut, the proportions are strong and the design is eye catching, especially for a watch at this price point. The seconds hand and the marker beneath the date window at six are blue, a match for Williams F1’s team colors.
For the Williams Engine Date, the titular “engine” is Oris’ calibre 733, a modified Sellita SW200-1. With 38 hours power reserve and a beats at a 4 hz rate, this automatic movement is finished with Oris’ instantly recognizable red oscillating weight. While the SW200, which is essentially direct competition for the ETA 2824, is not a fancy movement, it is perfectly acceptable at this price point and offers excellent reliability, performance and serviceability for its cost.
Available on either a steel bracelet or a race-ready rubber strap with folding push-button clasp, the Oris Williams Engine Date replica will have a price of 1,400 CHF. With a sporty race-derived design that doesn’t get in the way of its ability to be watch, the Oris Williams Engine Date offers a nicely sized interpretation of the modern automotive-themed watch. https://www.perfectwrist.co/