Introducing the Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition Watch
Monday - 07 February 2022
The new Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition watch draws from the ever-popular Oris Aquis watch but features a unique Métiers d’Art dial and a specially engraved caseback that celebrates the legendary mythical figure of the 16th-century novel, Monkey King. This new Oris Aquis Limited Edition watch is the brand’s second Sun Wukong limited edition watch. It is powered by the Oris Calibre 400 and is exclusive to just 72 pieces worldwide.
The rebellious monkey who could transform into 72 different images, seize the Dragon King’s crown treasures, and rebel against heaven has been paid homage to once again by Swiss watchmaker, Oris. Although this is not the first time the brand has devoted a timepiece to the 1961 Chinese animated feature-length film, The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven (adapted from the original 16th century novel) – it does still mark a first for Oris in terms of its unique dial. The Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition uses a hand-decorated cloisonné enamel dial to present the time on. It is the first time the Holstein-born brand incorporates a Métiers d’Art dial into its portfolio.
Spinning staffs and sea plastic dials...
When we delve into the world of Métiers d’Art, the results are nothing short of breath-taking. Just the name gets us watch enthusiasts excited. Métiers d’Art is the title given to a very niche palette of dial techniques that covers everything from enamelling, damascening, engraving and marquetry. These watch dials are -for better words – pure works of art. A level of craftsmanship that can only be fully appreciated by those who understand the layers and depth of skill required to produce such a dial, given the modern-day demands of this competitive industry. And if there has been one Swiss luxury watchmaker to stand out recently for its dedicated approach to thoughtful designs and unusual watch dials – it’s Oris.
The dial of the new Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition has been released in the wake of last year’s recycled plastic dial. The 2021 Oris Aquis Date Upcycle watch uses the PET plastic recycling process to produce random patterns created from ocean plastic to create a dial that is completely unique to the next. In that same vein, the meticulous and painstakingly precise hand-applied techniques required to produce the cloisonné enamel dial technique for the new Sun Wukong Artist Edition watch produces an equally unique result. The dial of this special Métiers d’Art edition takes a staggering three days to create, whilst Oris once again borrows design codes from its Aquis line to offer the wrist a robust and functional daily beater.
Also in 2021, came the predecessor to this special Monkey King-inspired wristwatch. The Sun Wukong Limited Edition model, limited to just 2000 pieces worldwide, had red and gold central hands that were an obvious nod to the Monkey King’s staff, whilst a repeated pattern across its blue dial created the impression of a spinning staff in super high speed, illustrating the motion of the Monkey King has he defeats his enemies. It is an image depicted from a story that is embedded in Chinese culture. The mythical character was born from stone but had divine, supernatural powers that he harnessed to defeat enemies and rebel against heaven. Incorporating pop culture in this way has enabled Oris to tap into watchmaking in a new and artistic way that ties in well with the brand’s values. Interestingly, this second Sun Wukong iteration, like the former, incorporates very little imagery of the Monkey King himself. It does, however, boast a special engraved rendition of the fictional character on the back of its steel case. Let’s take a closer look at the new Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition watch.
It's all in the details…
The cloisonne enamel dial technique is a very artistic procedure that requires much skill and patience to produce. The workmanship and skillset to produce such a dial is sadly depleting in an industry that now sees modern watchmaking technology swoop in and replace traditional time-honoured techniques. Still, for those who adore the authenticity of a handcrafted dial – there is a niche market to be explored – and Oris brings that to the wrists of 72 lucky enthusiasts.
The beauty of the new Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition watch is all in the details of its dial. The cloisonné enamelling process involves three phases. The first requires the artist to create an outline of a composition using small wires, often made from gold. These wires create the chambers or “cloisonne” by which different coloured glass powder is then poured in between. This makes up the second stage. The third and last stage is the setting and baking stage, which creates the polished enamel finish. Choosing the right shade of the dial is not merely a colour-picking process either. The high temperatures required during this stage of dial manufacture will change the complexion of the paint and thus, the trial and error stage of this colour-blending phase is crucial to the outcome of the dial itself.
To the untrained eye – the finish on the dial of this Oris Sun Wukong Limited Edition watch will look abstract and artistic. To those who understand the movie, however, resemblances between the texture of the dial and the Dragon King’s underwater palace can be made. This artistic representation of water blends perfectly with the aquatic aspirations of the much-loved Aquis watch that Oris borrows from to create the Sun Wukong watch.
The other details…
The case of this new limited edition Oris Aquis watch is crafted from stainless steel in Oris’ usual multi-piece construction and measures a 41.5mm diameter. Topped with a domed anti-reflective pane of sapphire crystal glass, the white gold-plated dial with a blue-coloured cloisonné enamel finish is protected from damage. Super-LumiNova-filled hands guide the way to accurate timekeeping at night, whilst the hour track goes without any numerals or indexes, keeping the dial minimalist and simple. A special engraving of the Monkey King is adorned to the surface of the Oris Aquis caseback and the watch is 300-meter water-resistant. Beating inside the robust case of the Sun Wukong watch is the Calibre 400, developed entirely independently by Oris in 2020. It is COSC-certified, delivers an impressive 5-day power reserve once fully wound, and comes with a 10-year warranty.
Attaching to the brushed and polished Aquis steel bracelet is a diver’s extension feature that enables the Sun Wukong Artist Edition watch to be worn over the top of a wetsuit if required. To finish. The watch comes completed in a special cherry wood presentation box with a light-blue lining and a crest inside the lid. If you’d like to get your hands on one of the 72 limited-edition pieces of the new Oris Aquis Sun Wukong watch, you can call and speak to a member of our sales team today on 01335 453453.
Technical Specifications of the new Oris Sun Wukong Artist Edition watch
- Case: 41.5mm – stainless steel – multipiece case construction - 300-meter water-resistant – specially engraved caseback featuring an image of the Monkey King – domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front – screw-down crown – screw-down caseback
- Dial: Blue cloisonné enamel - Métiers d’Art – white gold plated – Super-LumoNova-filled hands – lollipop central second hand – no hour indexes or numerals
- Movement: Oris Calibre 400 – in-house developed – 5-day power reserve – COSC-certified – 10-year warranty – 28,800 vibrations per hour – 21 jewels
- Strap: Aquis stainless steel bracelet – brushed and polished links – folding clasp – diver’s extension feature
- Price: £21,000
- Availability: Limited to 72 pieces worldwide
- Reference: 400 7769 4185-Set