The world’s fastest motorsport doesn’t take place at the famous race tracks in Daytona or Le Mans; in fact, it doesn’t occur on the ground at all. Instead, it’s air racing, a competition that happens hundreds of feet in the air and comprises planes that can reach over 500 miles per hour. Every year since 1964, the top air racing pilots have descended on Reno, Nevada, to compete in the National Championship Air Races.
Unfortunately, 2020’s race – like so many other events in this unpredictable year – was canceled. It would have been the 57th edition of the Reno Air Races, and it would have taken place over a week in September. Although the event itself was called off, Oris – the official timing partner of the Reno Air Races since 2018 – decided to go ahead and release the watch it had planned for the event: The Oris ProPilot GMT 57th Reno Air Races Limited Edition.
It’s a sleek and sporty take on the GMT category that will have you reaching for your aviator shades.
The Oris ProPilot GMT 57th Reno Air Races Limited Edition
The watch is an excellent new addition to the ProPilot family, with the user-friendly combination of a pointer date and GMT, all in a highly wearable 41mm × 12.2mm grey PVD-coated steel case. It’s both complicated and comfortable on the wrist, while retaining the same approachable price tag for which Oris is known, at $ 2,850.
Oris’ strategy in sport-watch production is to produce two collections, side-by-side – one filled with vintage designs inspired by the Swiss brand’s 116 years of history and another with a more contemporary aesthetic approach. This is seen most clearly in the brand’s dive watch pairing of the old-school Divers Sixty-Five with the modern appearance and build of the popular Aquis. When it comes to pilot’s watches, the brand matches up the fan-favorite Big Crown Pointer Date lineup alongside the contemporary attributes of the Big Crown ProPilot, as clearly seen in today’s HODINKEE Shop update.
The Oris ProPilot GMT 57th Reno Air Races Limited Edition has a clean, modern aesthetic that starts with its 41mm case profile in steel, coated in an attractive, matte slate-grey PVD. The bezel is bold, with a knurled finish that recalls the turbine of a jet. The large crown has a matching finish and screws down, helping the watch achieve its 100-meter water-resistance rating. The dial has a cool black background, with white numerals and neon-blue accents for ultimate legibility in flight.
There are four separate concentric tracks that indicate the watch’s specific suite of functions. The innermost ring is a date wheel, with a bright blue marker that rotates around the dial once per month. The 12-hour numerals are made of molded white Super-LumiNova that is then applied to the dial, giving off a dynamic three-dimensional feel matching the large and luminous baton hands; as a result, the numerals and hands both glow an attractive blue color when in darkness. A simple 60-minute chapter ring follows the hour markers, while the final track lying on the periphery of the dial is the 24-hour second time-zone display that pairs nicely with the long, blue-arrow-tipped GMT hand.
The self-winding Oris 798 caliber is called on for duty in the ProPilot GMT 57th Reno Air Races Limited Edition. This is the same movement found in the Aquis GMT Carysfort Reef Limited Edition that was announced over the summer. It features the workhorse Sellita SW330-1 as a base, which grants the ProPilot a fourth hand with a blue-tipped arrow that can be set in independent, one-hour jumps to indicate a second time-zone. It offers 42 hours of running autonomy, courtesy of Oris’ trademark red rotor. Unlike most Oris watches, however, the rotor is hidden behind a closed caseback that is here decorated with a relief engraving of a pair of planes in flight. This year’s Reno Air Races may have been canceled, but the thrills and stunts carry on with the Oris ProPilot GMT 57th Reno Air Races Limited Edition.
Each watch is individually numbered out of 1,000 pieces and comes with a commemorative box and a black textile strap with a blue leather lining underneath and a grey PVD-coated stainless steel folding clasp. The Oris ProPilot GMT 57th Reno Air Races is priced at $ 2,850 and can be purchased right here.