Oris announces an exceptional series of 21 limited-edition watches built to the specifications of the iconic Swiss Air-Rescue Rega
Oris's partnership with the iconic Swiss Air-Rescue Rega continues with a third limited-edition watch that flies even higher than before
If it wasn't for aviation, it's possible the Swiss watch industry would never have taken off. Early pilots discovered a watch was a vital tool and turned to makers of Swiss pocket watches for tools they could refer to while helming their makeshift contraptions.
Oris, for its part, was making watches for those pioneer aviators as early as 1910. We have catalogues from the time in our archives showing pocket watches with cases decorated with Blériot-style aircraft.
It was aviation that pushed Oris to develop our first wristwatches in 1917, and then in 1938, the Big Crown, a watch with an oversized crown created for gloved airmen.
The model has been in constant production ever since and has become our signature design, fuelling Oris's reputation as the creator of ultra-reliable, ultra-precise tool watches for adventurous people.
Through the decades, Oris has partnered with many leading organisations, military units and display teams linked to the world of aviation. These have made us one of the first names in high-functioning pilot's watches. Innovations such as the Worldtimer (with its push buttons that move the hour hand forwards and backwards in one hour jumps) and the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter have brought useful functions to the wrists of pilots (and plenty who aspire to be pilots) all over the world.
In 2016, we entered into one of our proudest partnerships with Swiss Air-Rescue Rega. Rega, which you can read more about over the following pages, has been offering an aeromedical service for almost seven decades and is recognised worldwide for its excellence and professionalism.
We created a watch for Rega that year and again in 2018. Now, we're delighted to announce a third piece. But this one's different. Built to Rega's specifications and in 21 iterations, it's a landmark collection.
“Oris has a reputation for creating ultra-reliable, ultra-precise tool watches for adventurous people”
Turning the air red
With its red helicopters, Rega is one of the most recognised and respected air rescue services in the world. Oris celebrates it with 21 limited-edition watches, one for each of its aircraft
Rega, one of Switzerland's proudest and most trusted organisations, was founded in 1952. It's now patronised by almost half the Swiss population, and is among the world's most recognisable air rescue services, symbolised by its iconic red helicopters and crew members in their red uniforms.
Today, it serves as an integral part of the Swiss healthcare system, with 13 helicopter bases and a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft. From these bases, Rega operates 18 rescue helicopters and can reach anywhere in the area it covers within 15 minutes of an emergency call. Each base has a crew of pilot, paramedic and emergency flight physician ready to go, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
While it's famous for its high-altitude mountain rescues, Rega's service covers all medical emergencies, from road accidents to sudden illness, such as a cardiac arrest. Last year, Rega also repatriated more than 750 patients back home to Switzerland, either by one of its three ambulance jets, or scheduled passenger aircraft. Rega says its mission is to “provide assistance wherever a person's life or health can be preserved or protected through our intervention”.
During the pandemic, the organisation's role has become even more significant. In 2020, it organised more than 16,000 missions and brought medical assistance by air to 11,000 people in distress. Thanks to previous investments made in patient isolation units, it also repatriated 140 Covid-19
patients on board its ambulance jets.
To this day, Rega remains a privately run, non-profit organisation funded by a patronage system, whereby private individuals make regular contributions to the running of the service. At last count, it had more than 3.6 million patrons.
Oris is extremely proud to partner Rega and to have worked with its teams to produce 21 limited-edition watches, each a series of 100 pieces carrying a case back engraved with one of the service's 21 aircraft.
The Rega fleet
Rega operates 18 rescue helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft. Each of these 21 aircraft, identified by their registrations, has its own case back in the new Oris Big Crown ProPilot Rega L.E. collection. Only 100 of each will be made
Airbus Helicopters H145
FOR VERSATILE OPERATIONS ACROSS SWITZERLAND
The twin-engine H145 features cutting-edge avionics and navigation technology, is equipped with a four-axis autopilot, and can also perform satellitebased approach flights with extreme precision.
Its spacious cabin means that it is predestined for special intensive care patient transports, such as with a heart-lung machine or a mobile incubator for premature babies.
Number of helicopters 7
Patient capacity 1 lying, 1 sitting
Rotor diameter 11.00 m
Length 13.64 m
Height 3.95 m
2 engines, take-off power Arriel 2E, 2×894 HP
Maximum flying speed approx. 230 km/h
Rescue hoist 90 m, 270 kg
AgustaWestland Da Vinci
HIGH PERFORMANCE FOR MOUNTAIN OPERATIONS
AgustaWestland developed the Da Vinci helicopter according to Rega's strict, clearly defined specifications. The rescue helicopter is used on all Rega's mountain bases.
It optimally fulfils the high demands made of it in terms of flying characteristics, emergency medical equipment and maintenance.
Number of helicopters 11
Patient capacity 1 lying, 1 sitting
Rotor diameter 10.83 m
Length 12.96 m
Height 3.40 m
2 engines, take-off power Pratt & Whitney, 2×778 HP
Maximum flying speed 235 km/h
Rescue hoist 90 m, 270 kg
Bombardier Challenger 650
FOR REPATRIATION FLIGHTS , WORLDWIDE
Rega's three Challenger 650 ambulance jets are used all over the world by
seriously ill or injured people.
Equipped like an intensive care unit, they fly up to four lying patients back home.
Rega's ambulance jets are extremely versatile. Up to four patients – two of them intensive care patients – can be transported lying down at the same time.
Number of aircraft 3
Patient capacity 4 lying
Wing span 19.61 m
Length 20.86 m
Height 6.40 m
Maximum take-off weight 21,863 kg
Maximum flying speed 850 km/h
Maximum range 6,500 km
Fit for purpose
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. was created in partnership with Rega's operational staff – with some truly memorable results
Before designing the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E., we turned to Rega's staff and invited them to take part in a series of workshops where we asked them a simple question: what do you need in a wristwatch?
They told us a number of things: they liked watches that had clean, ultra-legible dials that they can read in a split second; they said they wanted a watch that wouldn't reflect light – no glare; and they said they needed a watch with two tools – a GMT function for recording logbook times and a pulsometer that could serve as back-up to electronic machines that measure patients' heart rates. That the watch should be robust, accurate and entirely reliable was a given.
So we built them the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E.. Its black dial has high-contrast white hands and numerals filled with highgrade Super-LumiNova®. Its stainless steel case and Oris-patented ‘Lift' clasp are coated in anti-reflective gunmetal grey PVD. It has a clearly indicated second time zone. And engraved into its bi-directional rotating bezel are a red triangle for timing the “golden hour” (the first hour after injury during which a patient's chances of recovery are highest), and a pulsometer scale, read off with a whitetipped central seconds hand. We added leather and rubber straps with a quick change system.
But there was more. One pilot had an idea to link watches to individual aircraft to reflect the close bond crews and patients often develop with the them. So we created 21 different case backs, each engraved with the outline of a Rega aircraft and its registrations.
Only 100 of each will be made, making this the broadest but also most limited collection of pilot's watches we've ever conceived. For these special watches, we also created a water-resistant red Ventile® pouch, complete with a second quick-change strap in hygienic, easy-clean red rubber and a tool for changing the clasp. The pouch has a number of elastic straps for tweezers, plasters and bandages so it can be upgraded to a pocket first aid kit. As a package, it's the most collaborative watch we've ever made.
Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E.
While each of the 21 models in the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. series carries a unique case back, they share the same form and functions. Only 100 of each reference will be made
Case Multi-piece stainless steel case with gunmetal grey PVD coating, grey PVD-coated bi-directional rotating bezel with red ‘golden hour' triangle and pulsometer scale
Size 41.00 mm (1.614 inches)
Luminous material Hands and indices with Super-LumiNova® Top glass Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
Case back Stainless steel, gunmetal grey PVD coating, screwed, special engravings
Operating devices Stainless steel screw-in security crown
Strap Black leather strap with gunmetal grey PVD-coated stainless steel folding clasp with Oris-patented ‘LIFT' system. Supplied with additional quick change red rubber strap and clasp-change tool
Water resistance 10 bar (100 m)
Number Oris 798
Functions Centre hands for hours, minutes,seconds and second time zone, date window, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
Power reserve 42 hours
Limited edition 21 models, each limited to 100 pieces, totalling 2,100 watches. Each delivered in a red Ventile® travel pouch.
Swiss retail price CHF 3,100
Available September 2021