If you know anything about Oris, then you’re probably aware of its diving heritage. Both the Aquis and Sixty-Five lines have fans all over the world and with the brand’s entrenched aquatic history comes conservationist endeavors through the sale of limited-edition timepieces. In 2017, we’ve already seen the Hammerhead LE and the Great Barrier Reef LE II and now we have the latest update to the conservation collection.
The Oris Clipperton Limited Edition benefits Clipperton Island, a tiny French atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is, unfortunately, covered in trash and debris. This impacts the diverse surrounding ecosystem, in particular its role in the migration of various species of sharks. It’s the world’s most isolated landmass, approximately 685 miles from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The 2.3 square mile coral atoll surrounds a freshwater lagoon and you can spot a large variety of bird species as well as coconut palms throughout the island. It’s currently uninhabited by humans, although it has a checkered past over the centuries as a landing spot for pirates, military personnel, and guano miners. In recent years, the only visitors tend to be scientific researchers, fishermen, and, on occasion, shipwreck survivors.
Back in June, Oris announced that it was sponsoring the “Clipperton Expedition,” which supported a group of scientists, photographers, and conservationists on a visit to the remote island. Only accessible by boat, it took over 80 hours for the crew to reach the landmass. Six months later, this watch is the culmination of that trip and the brand’s efforts in getting the word out about the atoll and its precarious future.
The Clipperton LE has a gradient blue dial that reflects the deep blue of the lagoon inside the atoll, which reaches a depth of 40 m at some points, so it’s good thing the Clipperton LE offers 300 m water resistance. Inside the 43.5 mm case, the Oris Caliber 733, which is based on the Sellita SW 200-1, offers a 38-hour power reserve. The dial is quite striking on the wrist and the color dances with the light in a similar manner to the constant motion of the ocean.
One of the more appropriate aspects of the timepiece is the presentation box that the watch comes in. Made from regenerative algae, it is an active demonstration in how Oris has embraced the landmass and its commitment to ocean conservation. The Oris Clipperton LE costs $2,000 on a rubber strap and $2,200 on a stainless steel bracelet. It is limited to 2,000 total pieces and will be available in retailers in February.