For 2022, Swiss Oris has launched a uncommon higher-end watch that makes use of the normal watchmaking ornament strategy of cloisonne enamel. The watch is the second from the model to have fun the Chinese language story of the Monkey King (Solar Wukong), which is a theme the model beforehand explored within the 2021-released Oris Solar Wukong watch (on aBlogtoWatch right here). The thought was to include a popular culture and artwork reference in a manner that Oris felt tied in nicely with the model.
Oris usually produces watches within the sub-$5,000 worth level, however this particular Solar Wukong Artist Version is a restricted version with a retail worth close to $30,000. Greater-end Oris watches aren’t with out precedent. Precisely two years previous to Oris’ debut of the Solar Wukong Artist Version, it launched the 18k gold-cased Aquis Carrysfort Reef watch (aBlogtoWatch hands-on right here). In a metal case and priced greater than Oris’ gold diver’s watch, the aim of this Solar Wukong Artist Version watch is to include worth from the artisanship obtainable to Oris as a perform of being positioned in Switzerland’s watchmaking area.
Oddly sufficient, concerning the 2 Solar Wukong watches to date — neither of them incorporates a lot imagery of the Monkey King himself. The primary watch has an inventive rendition of the character’s particular quarterstaff weapon within the type of the seconds hand on the dial. On this new watch, there’s lastly an engraved rendition of the Monkey King on the rear of the metal case, however the dial doesn’t straight allude to the story or the Havoc in Heaven movies from the Sixties upon which these watches are themed. This could be as a consequence of mental property rights points or maybe as a result of Oris is setting itself as much as do a sequence of Solar Wukong watches and creating an assortment of timepieces that can assist full the theme.
That is additionally in all probability the primary Oris watch I do know of that’s fully devoid of branding and textual content on the dial. The model that prides itself on producing “watches that make sense” would usually not produce one thing as creative (versus utilitarian). The case watch is the distinctive Aquis diver, right here at 41.5mm-wide in metal and waterproof to 300 meters. The steel-on-steel rotating diver’s type bezel has a brand new minimalist look. For many who know watches, the form of the case will point out that this Solar Wukong Artist Version is an Oris watch, however for everybody else, the branding is extremely discreet.
Cloisonne enamel is an inventive method that’s comprised of three foremost phases. The primary part has the artist use small wires to create the define of a composition. These wires are sometimes constituted of gold and create little chambers (which is what the time period “cloisonne” interprets to). As soon as the chambers are produced by hand, they’re then stuffed in with explicit colours of enamel paint. That is one other difficult process to do in miniature on a watch dial. The ultimate part is a baking course of that completely units the colours.
What precisely is the blue and inexperienced dial made from? To many, the dial will merely look creative and summary. It’s, nonetheless, alleged to symbolize a scene from the film through which Solar Wukong enters the underwater palace of the Dragon King. That is the place the Monkey King ultimately acquires his magical workers weapon. Thus, the dial is an inventive illustration of an underwater gateway and why Oris felt it made sense for a diver’s-style watch.
The watch has an unique caliber 400 computerized motion (that has an relevant 10-year guarantee) and an extended five-day energy reserve (120 hours) . Working at 4Hz on this kind, the motion affords simply the time and seconds over the hand-painted enamel dial. Hooked up to the watch is the usual Aquis metal bracelet, which comes with a diver’s extension within the clasp.
In all, we have now a practical metal instrument watch with a fascinating motion and a “basic luxurious” handmade creative dial impressed by a narrative well-known in lots of elements of the Chinese language group. Oris has clearly recognized a client group and created an attention-grabbing product extra akin to these produced by higher-end Swiss manufacturers. In some methods, it’s an experiment, however on the identical time, I feel Oris has legitimacy together with some distinctive items just like the Solar Wukong Artist Version into its normal catalog of $2,000 – $4,000 USD watches. It helps raise the model notion for all customers and permits for novel areas of artistic expression. Oris will make 72 items of this limited-edition set and worth for the reference 400 7769 4185 set is $27,500 USD. Be taught extra on the Oris watches web site right here.