Timekeepers Club / November 28, 2022

Oris Coulson Limited Edition

Oris ventures into new territories with aerial firefighters Coulson Aviation and a watch with a 3D-printed carbon fibre case produced using an innovative process that appears in watchmaking for the first time. Oris’s new partnership with Coulson Aviation is about innovation and protecting the environment.

To mark this important partnership between Oris and Coulson Aviation, Oris has created a watch based on the Big Crown ProPilot and inspired by the innovation and daring spirit of the two independent companies.

Its most striking feature is its fiery, gradient orange dial, a clear symbol of the perilous environments Coulson’s brave pilots rush towards while most are obliged to turn away. Surrounding it is a carbon fibre case produced using an innovative, patented 3D printing process never seen before in watchmaking.

Devised by Switzerland’s prestigious ETH Zurich university (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), it prints carbon fibre and a highgrade polymer developed in aerospace called PEKK simultaneously, weaving them together to create an ultra-lightweight, extremely rigid material. The process is so precise that you can fix the material’s pattern, where typically carbon fibre watch cases are random.

Completing the high-tech, lightweight profile are a grey-PVD-plated titanium fixed bezel, screw-down crown and case back, and a black textile strap. The watch, movement included, weighs just 65 grammes. Inside it is Oris’s equally innovative, highlyanti-magnetic five-day automatic Calibre 400. Only 1,000 pieces will be made.

Yes, it’s dangerous. We fly the Boeing 737 passenger jet at 200 feet over people’s burning homes” - Britton and Foster Coulson discuss the vital but often dangerous business of aerial firefighting.

Britton, Foster, introduce yourselves...

Britton Coulson: I’m Britton, and with my brother Foster, I’m co-president of the Coulson Group, which includes Coulson Aviation. I joined in 2004, and today, I oversee technology development, quality control inspections, and fire-mapping and intelligence system operation and development.

Foster Coulson: I’m Foster, I joined in 2007, and I’m co-president of the Coulson Group. We’re the third generation of Coulsons leading this family-run business and we’re excited to take it into the future.

And explain what Coulson Aviation does...

FC: We’re a privately-owned family company based in British Columbia, Canada. We’ve been in aviation almost four decades and clocked up over 160,000 safe flight hours. Today, we employ 450 people and we’re best known for our aerial firefighting division, whereby we send aircraft and attack crews to fight wildfires across the globe. Proprietary innovations we’ve introduced mean we can now attack fires 24/7 and on multiple continents simultaneously.

BC: Yes, and that makes us the only commercial operator worldwide that runs 24 hours a day. We’re focussed on making our service more effective through advanced technologies – every minute we can save makes a huge difference to the environment and to the lives of those affected by wildfires.

What aircraft does Coulson operate?

BC: We’re the only aerial firefighting company operating both fixed-wing aircraft and Type 1 helicopters. Our fleet currently features custom-designed Hercules C-130s, Sikorsky S-61 helicopters, Boeing Chinook CH-47 helitankers, Sikorsky Black Hawk UH-60 helitankers, and our custom-converted Boeing 737 FireLiner™ fleet equipped with our proprietary RADS-XXL technology.

We see devastating wildfires on our TVs. Just how serious is the problem?

BC: It’s very serious. Climate change has made the world hotter and in some places drier. When you put higher temperatures and lower humidity together, you get wildfires. The impact of these fires on the environment, on wildlife and of course on people’s lives is often impossible to calculate. And we’re starting to see fires in parts of the world where they’ve never been a problem before.

Do most fires start naturally?

FC: Not necessarily, no. It can be lightning strikes, but we know that human negligence is very often the cause. In the LA Basin, more than 90 per cent of fires are started by people or events such as electrical malfunctions. Millions of acres are destroyed each year.

What’s your greatest challenge?

BC: Everybody wants to kill wildfire. What’s the solution? We want to know: how does the fire work? Where does it go? What does it like and what doesn’t it like? We want to understand our enemy better. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, but there’s surprisingly little aerial intelligence or understanding of the predictability and non-predictability of wildfire.

What innovations are you working on?

FC: We’re working with San Diego University on a supercomputer that predicts fires. We scan areas at 80,000 feet using thermal imaging cameras so we can see fire through heat, and so we can see fire growth. This helps with predictability.

How is Coulson Aviation funded and how much does it cost to run each year?

BC: For the most part, we’re a self-funded company that provides emergency services to governments. It costs tens of millions a year to run our services.

Just how dangerous is the work?

FC: Put it this way. We fly the Boeing 737, the same aircraft that transports passengers at 36,000 feet, at 200 feet over people’s burning homes. We are risk-averse and pride ourselves on safety, but yes, the nature of the work means the element of risk is high.

Tell us about the Oris and Coulson partnership, and the watch...

BC: It began in Australia. Given our shared passions and values, as well as Oris’s aviation links, it just made sense. It’s a real honour to be working with Oris, and with their help, we can start to mitigate against some of the wildfire damage that happens every year.

FC: We love the watch, not just because it looks great and tells the story of wildfires, but also because that carbon case is so innovative, one of our core values. Our pilots will be wearing it and I know it’ll give them confidence. In our business, it’s not just about being on time, it’s about being in time.

Technical specifications

Oris Coulson Limited Edition

Reference: 400 7784 8786-Set

Limited edition of 1000 pieces


  • Material: Carbon fibre
  • Diameter: 41.00 mm (1.614 inches)
  • Grey-PVD-plated titanium fixed bezel
  • Glass: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Grey-PVD-plated titanium screw-in security crown
  • Caseback: Titanium, screwed, see-through sapphire glass, special engravings
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar)

Dial and hands

  • Orange
  • Applied numerals and printed indices with Super-LumiNova®
  • Hands filled with Super-LumiNova®


  • Oris Calibre 400
  • Automatic movement
  • Highly anti-magnetic
  • Accuracy: -3/+5 seconds a day (within COSC tolerances)
  • Power reserve of 120 hours


  • Centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds
  • Date window at 6 o’clock, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second

Strap and buckle

  • Black textile strap with grey-PVD-plated folding clasp

MSRP: CHF 4'200

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