Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby TemerityB » May 19th 2017, 3:19pm

I don't like talking about myself here a lot, but I've mentioned I was a traveling and recording blues musician for many years. In that light, I've always been really enamored with the Oris "culture series," where every year they fashion a watch or two in tribute to a legendary musician. In the past, they've issued models for Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, and others. I still consider my aging "Dizzy" one of the prized watches in my meager collection. One of the things I like best about the Oris series is that they designs aren't corny in the least or bang you over the head like sports homage watches do; the designs are based on places and songs and accomplishments, but they're always so tasteful and subtle and I'd wager that most people who'd look at them wouldn't know they're homages in the first place (one that didn't work, for me, was their Thelonius Monk watch, which looks like a basic Artelier with blue dial - not enough homage in the homage).

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I bought the Dizzy gray a long while back, and while I got it very inexpensively, it didn't come with the box it was originally packaged in, which was supposed to include a CD and other stuff and instead came in a generic Oris retail box. No big deal; I wanted the watch, not the toys, but it's something to remember when buying gray - returns from defunct jewelers and such can result in watches being resold in boxes that they weren't originally in.

But I digress. When the Oris homage to Chet Baker first came out in 2012, I was instantly smitten, but being the cheap bastard I am, not so much with the $1,850 list price for a watch with a good but not exceptional Oris caliber 733, which is essentially a Sellita SW200. So I waited it out - but the darn thing didn't even show up on that many gray sites. But I do shop in Manhattan often and I noticed the Tourneau flagship store on 57th Street here in NYC always stocked the watch. Imagine my delight when I walked in and it was suddenly included in the store's small "On Sale" display ... and at 40 percent off, no less. I pounced.

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Notice the subtle musical notes on the dial? If they're read out, that's the first bar or so of "My Funny Valentine," which the tragic but oh-so-gifted jazz star Chet Baker recorded and probably became his best-known reading.

I also got lucky in a fashion when an exceptionally friendly and quite handsome young lady approached me and became my salesperson; after she told me the price, I told her I was interested but only if the watch came in its original packaging. She went over to the Oris counter and I expected her not to find one - but sure enough, the original packaging was there, and it only took her about 15 minutes to dig it all up. Everything was pristine, pretty cool considering this watch has been in the store since it was new, I'd wager. Since the watch has display wrap on it, they also took it and gave it the steam clean while we dickered over the price.

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The nuts and bolts: A quite manly 40mm, sapphire (duh), 38 hour power reserve, leather strap with folding closure, superluminova on the hands and indices (!), the traditional autograph-and-etching caseback with porthole...

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The packaging came with a magazine-like color bio with photos about Baker and his life, as well as - get this - an actual working metronome. Believe or not, these things still get used in studios - just ask any combo that needs to rehearse but their drummer doesn't show up. The thing actually works.

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My lovely salesperson and I got to talking about all things Queens (we both live there) and she wouldn't let me leave before she got me a promo hat, since I had to wait so long for the cleaning and the digging up of the box:

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Hilarious.

In short, I really enjoy these Oris music homages; I just think they're sharper than a tack, they have personal meaning to me, and they're good quality watches, which I can attest to since I've had good luck with the Dizzy piece. I know more than a few of you here will consider me a goof for enjoying such a series, but if you need to find me I'll be goofily staring at my new watch for the next few days while Baker plays so sweetly on my turntable.

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Last edited by TemerityB on May 19th 2017, 6:29pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby foghorn » May 19th 2017, 3:39pm

Chet Baker was the coolest cat in the fucking jazz world. Great trumpet player and the dude could fucking lay back and sing too. His scat singing was as fluid as his horn solos. If they ever come out with an Art Pepper watch I might bite. Cool watch too!!
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby conjurer » May 19th 2017, 3:45pm

A first class essay, T. Absolutely first rate. The watch is beautiful, too. You done fucking good, my friend.

Dibs on the hat.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby TemerityB » May 19th 2017, 3:49pm

conjurer wrote:A first class essay, T. Absolutely first rate. The watch is beautiful, too. You done fucking good, my friend.

Dibs on the hat.


Maybe I'll keep the hat unworn and we can do something forum-centric with it.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby SynMike » May 19th 2017, 3:49pm

Beautiful. Very nice. I love the mechanical wind-up metronome touch. I have owned a few of the Sinatra series. I would love to get one of the Oscar Peterson models seeing as I knew him personally. But I could not afford that one when it came out (I think it was $3200?). But both of the models you have are super cool.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby TemerityB » May 19th 2017, 3:54pm

SynMike wrote:Beautiful. Very nice. I love the mechanical wind-up metronome touch. I have owned a few of the Sinatra series. I would love to get one of the Oscar Peterson models seeing as I knew him personally. But I could not afford that one when it came out (I think it was $3200?). But both of the models you have are super cool.


Mike, Oris being Oris, some of these do end up on the gray market. I was following one on Amazon (cheaper than I paid for mine) but i cold never pull the trigger. I remember the Peterson model, with the circular piano keys. That's another very cool one, for sure.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby svaglic » May 19th 2017, 4:16pm

I love it when patience pays off. Cool watch and the metronome is a neat touch.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby jason_recliner » May 19th 2017, 4:24pm

Best 'new watch' post in ages. Just perfect. Well done TB.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby Thunder1 » May 19th 2017, 4:30pm

A very nice one..good to see a theme in a collection, when possible...a few of the Watch Gods must reside in Queens..
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby kevco » May 19th 2017, 4:53pm

I've been listening to Oscar Peterson. Probably the greatest jazz pianist of his time. I really like Professor Longhair as well.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby Racer-X » May 19th 2017, 5:28pm

Mixing passions, very cool post T.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby Mark1 » May 19th 2017, 5:47pm

Nice watch and a nicer story, congratulations. It's a tastefully done tribute, it is.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby smellody » May 19th 2017, 6:46pm

Very cool. Thanks for sharing. Younger even cooler now T!
   
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby 3Flushes » May 19th 2017, 7:00pm

Very cool T, I really like that dial.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby biglove » May 20th 2017, 6:30am

conjurer wrote:A first class essay, T. Absolutely first rate. The watch is beautiful, too. You done fucking good, my friend.

Dibs on the hat.


Neat story and I love the fact that this watch has deep meaning to you and your passion for music. Is a nice looking watch, too.

As far as the hat goes, my offer is $20. ;)
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby AntFarm » May 20th 2017, 7:06am

What a beautiful watch TB... Love the dial with treble clef and the notes. It's as smooth as the sound from his trumpet...
side note My daughter started playing trumpet last summer and she just loves it. She's actually very good too. The music program in my school district is top notch and she already has big plans in mind for playing. It's interesting because I play her trumpeters like Chet Baker, Alison Balsom, Wynton, Arturo and others. There are so many great players out there both male and female and it's a nice connection I have with her.
But back to the watch. Really beautiful. Enjoy it!
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby eddiea » May 20th 2017, 7:58am

foghorn wrote:Chet Baker was the coolest cat in the fucking jazz world. Great trumpet player and the dude could fucking lay back and sing too. His scat singing was as fluid as his horn solos. If they ever come out with an Art Pepper watch I might bite. Cool watch too!!


Yup, the dude was a genius , a true American treasure.....

Love the watch T...great catch !!!
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby codguy » May 20th 2017, 9:16am

:Thumbsup: :Thumbsup:
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby JAS1125 » May 20th 2017, 4:23pm

Beautiful...thanks for sharing
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby Nuvolari » May 20th 2017, 4:35pm

Will there be one for Zoot Sims, too? Cool x 10 to the 5th power!
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby foghorn » May 20th 2017, 5:19pm

Nuvolari wrote:Will there be one for Zoot Sims, too? Cool x 10 to the 5th power!




Only if shared with Al Cohn
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 20th 2017, 5:46pm

I'm not particularly fond of jazz as such, but if they made a decent Cole Porter or Sidney Bechet limited edition, I'm not sure if I wouldn't regret my vow to stick to vintage watches only.

As to the watch- it's a looker. The long counterweight on the second hand is very much in the style of the 1940s and 1950s.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby foghorn » May 20th 2017, 6:36pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:I'm not particularly fond of jazz as such, but if they made a decent Cole Porter or Sidney Bechet limited edition, I'm not sure if I wouldn't regret my vow to stick to vintage watches only.

As to the watch- it's a looker. The long counterweight on the second hand is very much in the style of the 1940s and 1950s.




If you like Bechet then you must like jazz. Just the early version. You might also like King Oliver and Bix Beiderbecke.
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 20th 2017, 7:02pm

foghorn wrote:
MKTheVintageBloke wrote:I'm not particularly fond of jazz as such, but if they made a decent Cole Porter or Sidney Bechet limited edition, I'm not sure if I wouldn't regret my vow to stick to vintage watches only.

As to the watch- it's a looker. The long counterweight on the second hand is very much in the style of the 1940s and 1950s.




If you like Bechet then you must like jazz. Just the early version. You might also like King Oliver and Bix Beiderbecke.

Jazz in its early form, yes- 1920s and 1930s standards. What came later was far less convincing (not that it was bad, it wasn't- it just didn't move me like the 1930s stuff), and I certainly don't like the current trends in the genre. I'll check out Oliver and Beiderbecke, and if their style is similar to Bechet's, I might like them indeed- thanks for the recommendations, Foggy. I really like Bechet's music for that distinctive Creole and French vibe- but more than that, I like how expressive it is; in that respect, it's similar to the blues (which, along with classic rock, constitutes a large part of what I listen to).
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Re: Waited It Out: Oris LE Chet Baker

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 21st 2017, 3:13pm

May I only add- I did check out Beiderbecke, and you were right to recommend his music to me, foghorn, as that's exactly the sort of jazz that I like.
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