This year, Oris begins the next chapter in its story with the launch of the high-performance Oris Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition. The partnership between Oris and the highly successful Williams Team began in 2003, and more than a decade later their relationship is truly cemented by this year’s major launch: the company’s first carbon fibre timepiece. And it has been used in a way that is unprecedented in the watch industry. The cases of the new Oris Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition (limited to 770 pieces) and core-collection Oris Williams Chronograph Carbon Fibre Extreme are made of carbon fibre and titanium, but not just any carbon fibre. Oris has developed and patented an innovative manufacturing technique derived from processes shared by the Williams Team to produce a fully carbon monocoque case middle, weighing a mere 7.2 g. The titanium case back and sapphire crystal can be mounted straight on, without special gaskets or ‘containers’.
Given the incredible strength-to-weight ratio of carbon fibre, it’s no wonder the material has become so prevalent in Formula 1 cars, from the monocoque to suspension wishbones. Oris’s new technique exploits carbon fibre to yield three key watchmaking benefits. The first two are rigidity and water-tightness: in most carbon fibre watches these can only be achieved by adding extra components such as metal reinforcements, or metal ‘containers’, but Oris’s solution bypasses the need for these. The third is in post-production. Processing carbon fibre after it has been moulded and hardened is labour-intensive and costly. For example, milling tools are used up to 300 times with steel cases whereas milling carbon fibre allows only 10 – 15 cases. To make this unique composite, up to 35 sheets of pre-cut fabric are layered manually in individual moulds and twice hardened under pressure at 130 C in special ovens. No single layer is randomly oriented. The result is a totally integrated carbon case with perfectly aligned carbon fabric.
Dida foto 2: Le fasi principali del processo di lavorazione: dai fogli di tessuto rinforzato con polimeri in fibra di carbonio fino alla cassa definitiva dell’Oris Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition