This lovely dive watch by Oris is dedicated to Carl Brashear, the U.S. Navy’s first African American master diver. Brashear, born in 1931, overcame racial descrimination in his long naval career that began when he was just 17, and in 1966 lost the lower part of his left leg following an accident during a mission to salvage a hydrogen bomb. After rehabilitation, he continued his work underwater, becoming the U.S. Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968. His story inspired the 2000 film Men of Honor, in which Brashear was played by Cuba Gooding Jr., alongside Robert De Niro.
The watch has a bronze case, a material that is bright, almost like red gold, when new, but progressively develops a darker patina as shown in the photo below.
The case is 42 mm in diameter, with a unidirectional rotating bezel with a relief minute scale. The minute indications on the bezel run all the way around the dial, making the watch suitable for timing events in minutes or hours, or, with a bit of mental arithmetic, programming countdowns. The watch has a stainless steel caseback (bronze would stain the skin) with an engraving of Brashear’s helmet and his favourite slogan, “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down.” The watch is water-resistant to 100 metres.
The dark blue, curved dial is a beautiful combination with the bronze case. The indices are applied, plated in rose gold and filled with SuperLumiNova. The hour, minute and second hands are also rose-gold-plated and filled with
luminescent Super-LumiNova. The strap is in dark brown leather with a bronze pin buckle
The self-winding movement is the Oris Calibre 733, based on the Sellita SW200, with date at 6 o’clock. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz, and has a 38-hour power reserve. The stop seconds feature enables precision time-setting.
Reference and price
The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition is reference 733 7720 3185 LS, a limited edition of 2,000 pieces. Its price is €2,600, CHF 2,700. The watch is supplied in a special presentation box.