The guys at Fratello have been around for quite some time, but haven’t been riding that limited-edition freight train that seems so common of late when it comes to online publications. In fact, it was only at the beginning of this year that they first partnered with highly regarded though criminally undervalued, Frederique Constant to release their very own Manufacture Moonphase concoction to critical acclaim. So when we learned that our Dutch brothers had been working in secret with Oris, we knew something good would soon be adorning the wrists of watch enthusiasts across the globe.
Now that collaboration has been released to the world, we’re happy to announce that the watch itself not only meets but exceeds expectation and brings together all the design ethos we’ve come to expect from the bear brand, but along with enough cues from Holland to make the piece a worthy addition to the world of horology in its own right.
Speaking with Dave Sargent, community manager at Fratello he explained how the watch came to be. “It was at Baselworld in 2018 when one of our editors Mike Stockton saw the 80th anniversary bronze pointer date with green dial and was later reminded of it when Oris then released a steel watch with red dial. He had the idea of blending the red metal with the red dial”.
Mike got in touch with Oris and procured one of the new dial variants and had a local watchmaker transplant it in place of the green resulting in a one of kind Oris that looked fantastic on wrist. After proudly showing off his new custom piece to the rest of the Fratello team, the idea was struck upon to take the idea that had now been test driven and see if Oris would be interested in collaborating to bring it to the watch community at large. They did and the rest, as they say is history.
As you would expect from Oris, the watch, packaging and presentation is second to none all the while keeping in check the amount of materials needed to transport and store the watch itself. With a deep past dealing with ecological issues this has been a primary focus of the brand for quite some time and we’re happy to see this continue when it comes to limited editions such as this Big Crown Pointer Date.
Inside you are greeted with not one but two strap choices, the first already affixed to the watch and the other neatly stowed to the side. A handy strap removal tool is also supplied which saves trawling desk drawers for drawing pins or straightened out paper clips (don’t say you’ve not tried it). The watch does indeed bring the best of both worlds, with the perfect marriage of deep oxblood red plus gilt date numerals, minute track and bronze case work. Other stand out features include the historical nod of replacing the word Automatic on the dial with Anti-Shock; Something Robert-Jan Broer, Fratello founder and Scottish Watches podcast guest was keen to include after seeing this on vintage Oris watches at their Holstein museum.
So enough of the chit chat, how does it wear, how does it feel and how does it look? Well when Fratello decided to send the watch out to us for review they picked the right person to look at it for two reasons. 1) I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for bronze watches at the moment and 2) I can have a review put together by the time the watch is lifted from embargo, not when the watch is needing it’s second service (I’m looking at you Rick).
On wrist it feels delicately balanced, I had thought being bronze at 40mm it would be a little top heavy but this is not the case at all and weighing the watch and strap combined only comes in at 78g. With an industry standard lug width of 20mm it opens up endless possibilities if you want to delve into the world of replacement straps having trialled the two that come in the box, and an accommodating lug to lug of 47mm means it wears well no matter the size of wrist you happen to be blessed with.
The coin edge bezel catches the light from all angles while the dial works well with the cathedral handset to display the time no matter how much or how little light is available and the lume as you would expect from Oris is exceptional to keep you on time even during the night.
Beating within is the tried and tested SW200 which we have grown to love of the past few years and I actually prefer over the ETA equivalents, delivering up to 38 hours of power and ticking away at 28,800 vibrations per hour it’s designed to deliver many years of reliable service while boasting accuracy levels of movements many times the price.
Any way you look at it this collab is something special. We’ve been big fans of Robert and his team just a stone’s throw across the water from us in Scotland over to Holland, and of course we’re huge believers in Oris as they constantly deliver but are never scared to push boundaries, be it full bronze watches or skeletonised titanium pieces.
If you’re just as keen as we are on this new Fratello x Oris release then you better get your skates on as in a world where a limited edition can mean as many as 10,000 pieces, here they mean it when they say it and there are only 300 pieces available (of which quite a few have already been ear marked).
To find out more and to secure your very own numbered piece visit https://shop.fratello.com/
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date × Fratello limited edition
- Luminous cathedral hands
- Screw-down crown
- Screw-down case back (decorated with the Fratello logo)
- 50 meter water-resistance
- AR sapphire crystal
- Limited to 300 pieces
- Euro 1,950 (including VAT)
- Bronze case
- Automatic Oris 754 (base SW200-1)
- 20mm lug width
- 43mm to crown
- 40mm width
- 47mm lug to lug
- 12mm thick
Got into the horological hobby only a few short years ago; but got, as us Scots like to say, “baw deep” pretty quickly. Thanks to buying a lemon of a Rolex he spent hours researching why his watch wasn’t working and along the way gained an interest in what makes them tick. He now runs the Scottish Watches website and keeps cohort Rick in check on the twice weekly Scottish Watches podcast.