Swiss watch brand Oris has announced a partnership with the Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, known as GIGN, the French police force’s elite special operations unit. In honour of the association, Oris has produced a limited edition version of its innovative Big CrownProPilot Altimeter, known as the Oris GIGN Edition Limitée.
GIGN was formed in 1974. In its capacity as a law enforcement agency and special operations unit, it is licensed to intervene on French soil or abroad. GIGN’s unit has 380 members, which are highly trained paratroopers, equipped to perform high-risk operations, including counter terrorism, hostage rescue and the targeting of organised crime. They execute between 6,000 and 7,000 parachute jumps a year and among them only 26members own the rare degree of «Chuteurs Opérationnels». When jumping, GIGN’s operatives are equipped with high-tech computerised equipment that provides them with critical data, such as distance to the ground, information they need to know before deploying a parachute. While these devices are hugely reliable, there is still a chance they will fail. In the event of such a failure, paratroopers need a back-up device.
For this, GIGN turned to Oris’s Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, the world’s first watch with an automatic mechanical movement and a built-in mechanical altimeter. GIGN acquired a watch and put it through a series of demanding tests, which it passed, leading to the partnership between Oris and GIGN.
The Oris GIGN Edition Limitée is based on the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, but with a few aesthetic points of difference that bring the relationship with the elite French unit to life. The GIGN insignia sits on the dial and case back, and the tip of the central seconds hand is finished with the colours of the Tricolore, France’s national flag.
Only 500 pieces will be made for civilian use. Oris will also make a second limited edition model with a different GIGN insignia on the dial that will be made available exclusively to GIGN paratroopers.
Oris has previously worked with a number of the world’s elite military outfits, including the US Navy Seals and the Italian Army’s Col Moschin Special Forces unit. The partnership with GIGN is the latest seal of approval for Oris’s innovative, high performance watches. The Oris GIGN Edition Limitée will be available from September, priced CHF 3,900.
Model: Oris GIGN Edition Limitée
Ref. No. 01 733 7705 4184 TS, Ø 47.00mm, with meter scale
Limited to 500 pieces
Oris automatic mechanical movement Cal. 733, based on SW 200-1 with date window at 3 o’clock
Integrated Swiss mechanical barometric altimeter and barometer movement, displaying air pressure and altitude
Multi-piece stainless steel case
Water-resistant to 10 bar/100m
Sapphire crystal domed and with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Screwed case back, embossed with GIGN’s insignia and engraved limitation number
Screw-in stainless steel crowns. Oris-patented altimeter adjustment and venting crown with PTFE vapour barrier at 4 o’clock
Black dial featuring GIGN’s insignia, with printed Super-LumiNova® Arabic
Hour and minute hands filled with Super-LumiNova®
Black central seconds hand with blue, white and red tip
Lightweight altimeter hand made from laminated carbon fibre
Olive textile strap with stainless steel folding clasp
Set includes waterproof case
Swiss retail price CHF 3,900