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March to the beat of the Oris Art Blakey

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As I alluded to in last week’s Oris review, there were a two watches that I had a few days to spend time with. While last week’s was a design that featured (and rightfully so) a very interesting movement, today’s watch goes in a different direction. It’s a more restrained look, but it has some subtle cues that give honor to a great jazz drummer and band leader. That watch is, simply put, the Oris Art Blakey.

First off, you might be wondering who Art Blakey is – well, you can read up about him right here. For this watch, Oris went into the Atelier (that’s the collection that this hails from) and came up with a very classic-looking dress watch. And then, upon closer inspection, you notice the drumming details that they put into the watch.

The first one you’ll notice on the Oris Art Blakey is right on the dial. Yo usee that outer ring with what looks like misplaced indices? Those are actually representing the clamps – and ring – that will be around the edge of a drum head. With a key, you’d tighten those down and tune the drum. It’s a clever and subtle nod, and it goes nicely with the drumstick hour and minute hands.

The seconds hand on the Oris Art Blakey is something else, though. To my eyes, that’s a conductors baton, and that’s important, because Blakey was also a band leader. Sure, he may not have used the baton, but it’s a symbol of the position in the band, and I like it.

The most visually impressive – and not subtle – tribute will be found around on the back of the watch. That, friends, is a very literal interpretation of a cymbal. This is an awesome detail, and makes me wish it had been incorporated into some sort of mechanical chime as well. Alas.

The Oris Art Blakey comes paired to a lovely, rich leather strap, which itself has a pushbutton deployant clasp. While most wouldn’t consider brown and cream hues for a dress watch, that’s what we’ve got here. Albeit, it’s one with vintage vibes (especially with how the dial curves down at the edges under the crystal), but it still fits the bill.

The nice thing about a dressier watch that is not all polished edges and high-gloss black is that it can be more easily dressed down. I did indeed wear the Oris Art Blakey with a suit (it went beautifully), as well as to my more casual office.

Oh, and it should be worth noting – they did lume the hands and compass points on the Oris Art Blakey, so when the lights go down in the club, you can still read the time. At the end of the day, the Oris Art Blakey is a very lovely, clasically-designed three-hander with some great drumming cues mixed into the watch. If you’re a lover of fine watches and classic jazz (one can only imagine the audio setup you have if that’s you), you can pick up one of the 1,000 examples being produced for $2,100.oris.ch

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition
  • Price: $2,100
  • Who’s it for?
  • Would I wear it?
  • What I’d change:
  • The best thing about it:

Tech Specs from Oris

  • REFERENCE: 01 733 7762 4081-Set
  • CASE: Oris Artelier, 38.00 mm, 1.496 inches, Stainless steel
  • MOVEMENT: Automatic winding
  • DIAL: Silver
  • STRAP/BRACELET: Leather
  • EXTRAS: Special box, certificate, limited to 1000 pieces

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