Oris Takes To The Skies With The Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E.

Oris Takes To The Skies With The Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E.

A few months ago, Rega, one of the world’s most recognizable air-rescue services, partnered with Oris for a series of limited edition timepieces. So, today, we take a closer look at this landmark collection.

By Rhonda Riche

Looking good and doing good is not just lip service when it comes to Oris. Time, talent, energy, and quality design are invested in sustainability initiatives with various non-profits, benefiting the land and sea. This latest partnership between the independent Swiss watch company and Rega, the non-profit Swiss air-rescue service, sets its sights on the skies and introduces us to the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. fundraising collection.

Moreover, every watch in this 21-model series is built to the exacting specifications of the life-saving organization.

Aviation & Wristwatches: A Marriage of Necessity

It’s the third time the two groups have collaborated, but Oris’ ties to aviation go way back. Early pilots discovered that timekeeping was crucial to flying and turned to Swiss watchmakers to help them develop clocks for their newfangled contraptions. Oris was making timepieces for those pioneers as early as 1910. And it was aviators that called on Oris to develop its first wristwatches in 1917. The Big Crown, a pillar of Oris’ collections since 1938, was created to fit over pilot’s gloves and has been in constant production ever since.

Rega has been providing aeromedical service for almost seven decades and is recognized worldwide for its excellence and professionalism. In a mountainous country like Switzerland, it also plays an integral role in the healthcare system, with 13 helicopter bases and a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft symbolized by its iconic red helicopters and crew members’ red uniforms.

In fact, during the pandemic, it coordinated more than 16,000 missions and brought medical assistance by air to 11,000 people in distress. It also repatriated 140 Swiss COVID-19 patients via its ambulance jets.

An Impressively Broad Limited Collection

Rega operates 18 rescue helicopters (Airbus H145 and AgustaWestland Da Vinci) and three fixed-wing planes (Bombardier Challenger 650). The new collection pays tribute to these 21 aircraft by engraving each iteration with a picture of the aircraft type and its registrations on the stainless steel, gun-metal gray PVD coated caseback.

Each design evokes the close bond the crews and patients often develop with the aircraft. Only 100 of each version will be made.

Ready for Anything and Made for Anyone

Like Rega, the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. is ready for anything. It follows the form and function of the classic Big Crown. The case carries the coin-edge decoration that evokes the spinning blades of jet turbines. The dial is jet black, and the hands and markers, done in a high-contrast white, are coated in Super-LumiNova for visibility. And, of course, it has that large, fluted, stainless steel screw-down crown that gives the model its name.

For extra legibility, the multi-part stainless steel case measures 41mm in diameter and has a double-domed sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coating, over the dial and a date window at 3 o’clock.

For reliability, the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. is powered by the Oris 798 winding automatic movement, with a 42-hour power reserve, an instant date-change function, a date corrector, and stop-seconds capability.

The watch comes with a black leather strap and stainless steel folding “lift” clasp – an Oris patented system – and an additional quick-change red rubber strap and clasp change tool. Plus, with 10 bar water resistance, built-in pulsometer, and red “golden hour” triangle – the first hour after an injury during which a patient’s chances of recovery are highest – it is ready for anything.

Each watch is delivered in a water-resistant red travel pouch made of sustainable, 100 percent natural Ventile cotton. This pouch does double duty as a pocket first aid kit as it includes a number of elastic straps to hold tweezers, plasters, bandages, and more.

The Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. comes in 21 models, each limited to 100 pieces, and is priced at $3,400. For more information, visit the Oris website.

(Images © Oris)

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