Swiss watch brand Oris commemorates the extraordinary life of Carl Brashear, the U.S. Navy’s first African American master diver, by presenting a limited edition timepiece.
The Carl Brashear Limited Edition, the first bronze watch from the brand, is based on the Oris Divers Sixty-Five collection and celebrates a man who conquered not only challenges of race, but also of disability.
Brashear joined the Navy in 1948 as a 17-year-old, and despite facing discrimination on account of his race he graduated from the Navy’s diving programme in 1954. In 1966, he lost the lower part of his left leg in an accident during a mission to salvage a hydrogen bomb.
After an exhausting period of rehabilitation, he became the U.S. Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968, and then qualified as a Master Diver in 1970, the first African American to do so. After a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy that lasted more than 30 years, Brashear retired in 1979.
He died in 2006 aged 75. His extraordinary story was the inspiration for the 2000 film Men of Honour, in which Brashear was portrayed by Oscar winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr.
The watch marking Brashear’s life and character is the first Oris watch to be made in bronze, a naturally aging material used in deep-sea diving helmets of the 1950s. It takes its aesthetic from the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, but at 42mm in diameter.
Bronze is initially bright and shiny, and then darkens as its copper content reacts with carbon dioxide and moisture. This means each of the limited run of 2,000 pieces will develop a unique patina over time – and a unique relationship with their owner.
The unidirectional rotating bezel is also made of bronze, with a raised minute scale for tracking dive times, a look that recalls a number of diver’s watches in the Oris archive.
Under the watch’s dark blue dial is an automatic mechanical movement, and the watch is water-resistant to 100 metres.
The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition presents a unique opportunity to own Oris’s first bronze watch, but more importantly to pay tribute to a man whose convictions changed the course of history and to support the Carl Brashear Foundation.
The stainless steel case back of the Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition shows Brashear’s diver helmet with his claim “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down”.
Carl Brasher graduated from the U.S. Navy Diving & Salvage School in 1954. At that time diving helmets were made of bronze. This exclusive timepiece commemorates Carl Brashear’s legendary achievements.
Model: Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition, Reference 733 7720 3185 LS
Oris Calibre 733, base SW 200-1
Automatic winding date movement
Dimensions: Ø 25.60 mm, 11 1/2’’’
Centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date window, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
Power reserve: 38 hrs
Vibrations: 28’800 A/h, 4 Hz
Multi-piece bronze case and screw-in bronze crown
Lug width: 21mm
Water resistant to 10 bar/100m
Diver’s unidirectional revolving bronze top ring with 60-minute timer. Zero markers filled with Super-LumiNova®
Bubble-curved sapphire crystal domed on both sides and with anti-reflective coating inside
Screwed stainless steel case back with special engraving and engraved limitation number
Dark blue, curved dial with applied rose gold plated indices, filled with SuperLumiNova®
Hour, minute and second hands rose gold plated and filled with Super-LumiNova®
Date at 6 o’clock
Dark brown leather strap with bronze pin buckle
Limited to 2,000 pieces
Swiss Retail Price