Oris Dexter Gordon Limited Edition
If you had asked me when I started Time 4A Pint, where I thought it would take me, my answer would probably have been “to the pub”.
It most definitely would not have been "to the Jazz FM Awards".
And yet, on International Jazz Day 2018, that’s exactly where I found myself, sipping a few cold beers (of course), and listening to some top notch performances from the best in the world of modern Jazz, courtesy of the lovely folk at Oris Watches.
For those that are more familiar with Oris’ diving, aviation, and motorsport pieces, it may come as a surprise to learn that there’s a musical undercurrent at the Hölstein based brand, however Oris’ relationship with the Jazz community goes all the way back to 1996. A year that saw them sponsor the London Jazz Festival, and produce the first in their long running series of watches that honour Jazz musicians, the Andy Sheppard Pointer Date (LE of 350).
In recent years they’re released pieces celebrating John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Dexter Gordon - three seriously cool cats, and three painfully smooth timepieces that I’d never seen in the metal.
Right up until the point where an Oris Dexter Gordon appeared from a suit pocket, and was palmed to me with the words “Don’t lose this. Fancy another beer? This Jazz is alright isn’t it?”.
You can probably see why I get on so well with Oris.
And so followed 5 days with Oris' tribute to the saxophone playing bebop legend.
I wore it to the pub with jeans and a shirt, to a watch event with jeans and a sweater, and on a particularly hot day with shorts and a polo shirt.
You'll be glad to hear I'm not about to start dishing out fashion advice, but I have good reason to share my satorial circumastances with you.
Watches of this type, and style tend to get referred to as “Dress Watches”, which I think is a terribly lazy, catch all description that those who don’t habitually wear suits (me included) find off-putting. This is a simple, three handed, 40mm steel cased, automatic watch on a leather strap, and you could (and should!) wear it with whatever you want, whenever you want - no suit required.
Looking back at that sentence, using the word simple when describing this watch is perhaps a little unkind, because whilst it is an uncomplicated watch to wear, it’s filled with subtle details that pay tribute to its namesake.
From the sunray grey/brown dial and extra long, gold plated sweep second hand, to the saxophone reed shaped hour marker at twelve, and the easy to miss placement of Dexter’s name around the outer edge of the dial, this watch is cool without showing off about it.
Ok, so it does have that shiny brass medallion on the back, but even the most somber of suits (which again, you don’t need to wear with this watch) is allowed a little pizzazz when it comes to the lining.
So it looks great, but what’s it like to live with?
As I’ve said before, I am not a small man, and I do not have small wrists - and whilst the strap had length to spare, getting it over my hand with the deployant clasp in the correct setting for a good fit proved impossible, and some carefully choreographed sliding around, and wiggling into the notches was required each time I put it on, or took it off.
This is going to be a very personal thing, and I appreciate that I’m probably an outlier, but a regular buckle option would be welcome.
Once on the wrist, it became incredibly easy to forget that I was wearing a watch at all, the domed case back elevating the lugs and crown, and banishing the potential annoyance of a scrape or nick from the well finished, but perhaps overly sharp edges as you move about.
Accuracy wise it kept good time in the 5 days that I wore it, and the modified Sellita SW200-1 movement (as found in 40mm Oris Diver 65) performed as expected, up to and including the slightly noisy rotor whine when giving the crown a few turns to awaken it from slumber.
Deployant irritations aside, I liked this watch a lot, possibly to the point where I’d spend my own money on one. I say possibly, because I liked it, but didn’t love it, and for me to hand over £1,400 for anything, there has to be more than a passing attraction.
Perhaps this is the connection that Jazz and watch collecting share, there are a lot of pieces out there, some we hate, some we like, and some we go out of our way to get our hands on. Having lusted after this watch in the press shots, and then spent a week wearing it, the Oris Dexter Gordon is not that watch for me. But it might be for you. And that's cool.
To learn more about the Oris Dexter Gordon Limited Edition, including pricing in your location, and technical specifications, head to Oris.