Oris is commemorating the first ship to be built entirely in Switzerland with the launch of 151 Oris Hirondelle Limited Edition watches.
The timepiece harks back to the historic Hirondelle steam ship, a paddle steamer that was launched in Ouchy, Lake Geneva in 1855 and was the first ship to be built entirely in Switzerland. It famously sank into Lake Geneva in 1862.
When the Hirondelle hit an underwater rock at the edge of the fairway of Becque-de-Peilz in Lake Geneva, fortunately all 350 passengers survived but the ship sank fully following a strong storm.
One hundred and four years later, in 1966, a skilled team of divers found the Hirondelle wreckage.
In recognition of the significance of the ship to Swiss culture, Oris has produced the Oris Hirondelle timepiece, limited to just 151 pieces, in remembrance of every year that has passed since its historic sinking.
The Oris Hirondelle Limited Edition features subtle hints of the ship’s past. Inspired by the Hirondelle’s throttle gauge, a power reserve indication disc, including replica throttle markings "full”, "half" and "dead" adorns the watch.
Meanwhile, the black dial features wave detailing and applied indices filled with super luminova. Its titanium case has gunmetal-grey PVD coating and the top ring boasts tungsten inlay. The timepiece includes a patent rotation safety system for the timer top ring. The case back also shows the Hirondelle near Montreux with Dents du Midi Mountains in the background.
As a diving watch, the Oris Hirondelle Limited Edition is an aptly commemorative timepiece for the SS Hirondelle.