Oris Roberto Clemente Limited Edition Review

by Chamath Gamage
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Oris has been coming out with some fantastic watches in 2020, including Momotaro and Hölstein Edition. Now they have unveiled another stunner, the Oris Roberto Clemente Limited Edition. 

Oris has partnered up with the Roberto Clemente Foundation, which is a humanitarian organisation named in honour of the great Puerto Rican professional baseball right fielder; Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker. This special piece was created to honour the late Roberto Clemente and is released to the public on September 9th 2020, which is Roberto Clemente day. 

Roberto Clemente

Oris designed the Roberto Clemente Limited Edition using the Big Crown Pointer date as the base model. Oris has been making the pointer date model since 1938, with the Big Crown Pointer Date model having deep roots in the Swiss brands history as well. The Oris Roberto Clemente Limited Edition is released in a 3000 limited run, to honour Roberto Clemente’s career hits in his Baseball career. 

So why did Oris create this timepiece?

Roberto Clemente was more than just a Baseball player. Born in 1934, Roberto faced many battles, including discrimination because of the colour of his skin. However, this would only make him more motivated and determined to prove everyone wrong.

Roberto conducting a baseball clinic for local children in his native Puerto Rico

Roberto would go onto become one of the greatest Baseball players the game has seen, which saw him become a Baseball Hall of Famer. Roberto Clemente has won two World Series Championships with the Pirates, while also becoming a 12-time winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. He is also the first Latin American player to achieve 3,000 career hits, with his last hit coming on September 1972. 

Whether playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates or bringing humanitarian aid to help the vulnerable,
Roberto Clemente was always purposeful

Outside of the game, Roberto was an incredibly passionate humanitarian and activist, working hard to bring change to his country and the local community. In 1973, Nicaragua was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake which left 11,000 people dead and around 300,000 people without a home. Roberto, who had already been helping the community during times of need, sent aid. However, he discovered that in the midst of the chaos, his shipments went “missing”, presumably being diverted by corrupt local officials. So to combat this problem, Roberto accompanied the next shipment of humanitarian aids, to ensure that it reached the people who were suffering and needed it the most. On December 31st, he boarded a plane, and to the world’s dismay, it would never reach its destination. The plane crashed into the ocean, and unfortunately, his body was never found. Roberto Clemente died doing what he loved; serving others. 

Roberto Clemente with his wife Vera. It was Vera who continued Roberto’s legacy after his death

After his death, Roberto was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball hall of fame in 1973. The annual Baseball award “Commissioners Award”, which is awarded to the Major League Player of the year was renamed to be the Roberto Clemente Award. Following this tragic incident, the Pirates also retired the number 21 jersey of Roberto Clemente. As a way of honouring Roberto Clemente and his foundation, Oris created this unique timepiece to help keep the legacy going.

Design

Using the base Big Crown Pointer date model as a reference, the Roberto Clemente Limited edition comes with a multi-piece stainless steel 40mm case. The watch retains the coin-edge bezel of previous Big Crown Pointer date models which blends in nicely with the dial. Roberto Clemente’s uniform was the inspiration behind the colour choices found on this limited-edition timepiece. 

The watch features a white dial with black and gold lettering. The Arabic hour indexes have been done in a dark gold colouring, with the date ring being a mixture of black and gold. The cathedral hands, which although filled with Superluminova, doesn’t blend into the white dial directly. 

The main feature of this timepiece is, of course, the pointer date. As we mentioned earlier, the pointer date function has been an iconic feature in Oris’s watchmaking since the late 1930’s. The tip on the pointer date hand has been done in gold to stay with the colour scheme, and while aesthetically it works, readability wise, it could have been done a little better as the tip can blend in with the dark-toned date track. The 21st date has been given a special gold coating as well, as 21 was the jersey number of Roberto Clemente. 

For the case back of this watch, Oris has done a special engraving of Roberto Clemente, with the words “Roberto Clemente Limited Edition” inscribed around the engraving. Each individual watch’s model number is also shown under the engraving in the format of xxxx/3000. 

The standard strap choice for this model is a light brown leather strap with double stitching that’s inspired by a baseball glove. This limited edition piece also comes with a gold, white and brown nato strap. This nato strap certainly does justice to the aesthetics of this timepiece, as the colours of the strap perfectly match the dial. 

Oris has retained the 754 calibre movement that they have used in other Big Crown Pointer Date models for the Roberto Clemente Limited Edition model too. The Oris 754 calibre movement first started as a Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement, which Oris then modified to fit the date complication. The Oris 754 calibre movement functions the hour and minute hands, date centre hand, instantaneous date, date corrector and stop-second feature. The movement has a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. 

How it wears

On a 6.5inch wrist the watch sits perfectly on the wrist. This is thanks to the 40mm case sizing and the 46mm lug to lug length. With an overall case thickness of 11.2mm the watch can easily be worn everyday. 

We feel this is one of the better models from Oris’s Big Crown collection and one that anyone can wear thanks to the colour combination on the dial. White dial with black and gold detailing inspired by Roberto’s Uniform flows well with the light brown leather strap. 

Oris put in great thought into this watch by bringing in the colours of Roberto’s uniform onto the dial. This timepiece brings together modern touches while still having that traditional sense of style. You don’t need to be a Baseball fan to truly appreciate this watch. Oris has done well in designing a watch that will appeal to the general consumer as well has the Baseball fanatic. 

On the wrist, time can be read easily thanks to the simple, well laid out Arabic numerals on the dial. We always loved the numerals and the font used on the Big Crown Pointer Date and was pleasantly surprised to find it unchanged on this variation, especially the ‘4’.  Subtle changes like the tip of the pointer date and the gold detailed 21 between 7-8 hours can be easily missed as they are quite subtle details, but under light, it comes alive. 

As mentioned earlier, the watch comes with two strap options. The light brown leather strap feels strong enough to be worn daily. During my time with the watch, I preferred the brown leather strap over the nato strap.

Being an independent brand, Oris can bring forth freedom to do as they like in the watchmaking world. As Oris states, “Sometimes that means creating a new watch, a new movement or an innovation that will serve our customers’ needs. And often, it means following our heart and doing something that will bring meaningful change in the world. It means doing the right thing.”

A few years ago, Oris brought together the projects they have been working on, that can create change, all under the one banner; “change for the better”. Under this banner, Oris has partnered up with many different organisations all over the world. Organisations that make the world a better place to live, ones that find ways to not only to clean the environment but to protect it as well. Oris has partnered up with local organisations as well, by linking up with the likes of Australian non-Profit organisation; the Reef Restoration Foundation. 

Oris’s partnership with Roberto Clemente Foundation is not only a way to celebrate the Baseball star’s life and achievements, but also for the person that Roberto was and the values he stood for, which was to bring change for the better. We always have loved the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date and this is the perfect addition to the existing impressive collection. 

Oris Roberto Clemente Limited Edition Specification:

  • Case diameter : 40mm
  • Case material : Stainless steel
  • Dial: White with black and gold detailing inspired by Roberto Clemente’s uniform
  • Crystal : Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Water resistance : 50 meters/ 167 feet
  • Movement : Oris 754, base SW 200-1
  • Power reserve : Approximately 38 hours

Australian Retail Pricing : $2,850.00

Availability : Available now, Limited to 3000 pieces worldwide

Enquire at local Authorised dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass
  • Melbourne – Hardy Brothers
  • Sydney – Gregory Jewellers and Wamada Jewellery
  • Perth – Hardy Brothers
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