RedBar X Oris
...and Oris Bear! That's right, the breakout star of Baselworld '17, Oris Bear, was in town and he wanted to party. Naturally, he reached out to RedBar NYC, and naturally we obliged.
So, what exactly does one do with a suit-wearing bear who's on his first trip to the States? Why, you take him out for dinner and drinks at NYC's preeminent BBQ joint, Blue Smoke, and you go nuts with with the down home cooking and primo domestic beers. You also invite around 40 or 50 of your best friends, and, since the "Oris" in Oris Bear is launching a couple of watches, maybe you bring along a metric ton of Oris watches to be ogled, too.
We did just that. All of it. Our Master of Ceremonies for the evening was none other than the epically named VJ Geronimo, Oris' CEO for North America – an amazing friend to RedBars all across this great nation – and let us tell you, he came loaded for, er, bear. (Pun intended.) The guest of honor was none other than the equally epically named Big Crown D.26 286 HB-RAG Limited Edition, which, as with Oris Bear, was also enjoying its first trip to these United States of America. The D.26 is an homage to the Dewoitine D.26, a French-designed, Swiss-made plane first commissioned in 1931, and of which two still exist and are flown to this day. A volunteer group of aviators based in Grenchen known as Hangar 31 are responsible for maintaining and flying these planes, and it is due to them that we have this new limited edition to play with.
In design, the D.26 is all about classical cues, what with its coin-edge bezel, art deco arabics and generously lumed cathedral hands. As an homage to the original Big Crown Pointer Date, naturally it features a – wait for it – pointer date, while the dial is rendered in a lovely shade of green that's neither too garish or too subtle. The solid caseback features an engraving of the eponymous plane, as well as the individual LE number, and the whole shebang is attached to nice, solid leather strap that should age beautifully. The stainless steel case clocks in at a reasonable 40mm.
The grand total being produced? 1931, each of which will be sold for the eminently fair price of $2000.
Of course, this being RedBar, the D.26 wasn't the only watch on display. In fact, we had a little bit of everything, from fellow pilot watches, the ProPilot Worldtimer, with its ingenious bezel-actuated jumping timezone, and the Baselworld 2017 smash hit, the Big Crown 1917 LE; an Aquis Staghorn Restoration LE; and several pieces from their Atelier Collection.
And then there was food. And booze. In fact, Oris Bear lent a hand with respect to the latter, doing his part to work off the cost of the event.
Blue Smoke chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois is definitely a fan...
He's a good bear.
Oris Big Crown D.26 286 HB-RAG Limited Edition