Rega, one of Switzerland’s proudest and most trusted organisation, was founded in 1952. It is a privately-run non-profit organisation that is funded by a patronage system which at last count, was more than 3.6 million; almost half of the Swiss population. It is also one of the most recognised and respected air rescue services in the world, with its fleet of red and white helicopters and planes (for repatriation flights worldwide).
In 2020, during the pandemic, Rega organised more than 16,000 missions and brought medical assistance by air to 11,000 people in distress, as it served as an integral part of the Swiss healthcare system, and is able to reach anywhere it covers from its bases within 15 minutes of an emergency call.
Oris has been a partner to Rega since 2016, and produced a watch for Rega in that year, and again in 2018. This year, the watch is designed to Rega’s specifications and produced in 21 different limited editions, each 100 pieces, paying tribute to all 21 of Rega’s fleet of helicopters and planes. Each of the 21 aircraft (7 Airbus H145, 11 Agusta Westland Da Vinci, 3 Bombardier Challenger 650) are identified by their registrations as well as a relief of the craft on its own case back.
The design requirements from Rega were numerous. They needed watches that had a clean, ultra-legible dial that can be read in s split second. They also needed a watch that didn’t reflect light, and with no glare. In terms of functionality, a GMT hand and pulsometer were needed. These are very practical functions as the GMT is needed to record logbook times and the pulsometer serves as a backup to the electronic machines. And finally, reliability, accuracy, and robustness goes without saying. Oris added an additional red triangle for timing the “golden hour” (the first hour after injury which a patient’s chances of recovery are highest).
This resulted in the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet LE, a stainless steel watch with a black dial and high contrast white hands and numerals filled with high-grade Super-LumiNova. The case and clasp are coated in anti-reflective gunmetal grey PVD. A second-time zone is clearly indicated as well as a pulsometer engraved onto the bi-directional bezel. The watch comes with both a black leather strap and a hygienic, easy-clean red rubber strap, complete with a quick-change system. the watch pouch also comes with a number of elastic straps suitable for tweezers, plasters and bandages, which can then be upgraded to become a first-aid kit.
This is certainly a very worthwhile collaboration for a very worthy organisation. At times like these, the watch is certainly a very good reminder of all the good people are doing out there.
- Case: 41mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel with gunmetal grey PVD coating
- Dial: Black
- Crystal: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
- Water resistance: 100 meters
- Movement: Automatic Oris Calibre 798 (Sellita 330-1)
- Power reserve: 42 hours