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The Next Hour Neuchâtel
Fbg de l’Hôpital 78
2000 Neuchâtel
SWITZERLAND

Marking the 10th anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organisation: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition, with steel case (41 mm), special engravings on the case back, green dial, luminous hands and indices, self-winding movement Oris 751, green textile strap created by Erika’s Originals exclusively for Oris, additional brown leather strap. Limited to 2,011 pieces, delivered in a leather travel pouch.

Imagine looking at a map of Africa for a place where you can make a difference. With its huge geographic and demographic diversity, how would you ever decide where to go? This was the question Swiss entrepreneur Christian Gross and German-born Dr Misha S. Kruck answered for themselves in 2011 when they founded the aeromedical rescue organisation Okavango Air Rescue (O.A.R.) in Botswana to service a sparsely populated country with lots of remote communities. The couple had complementary experience. Christian was a conservationist as well as a businessman and had already established environmental organisations such as Animal Management Consultancy and the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife. Misha had vast medical experience and had worked all over the world, including during stints at International Red Cross and Rega, the Swiss air rescue service. They moved to Botswana in 2011 and set up O.A.R., a privately-owned and independently funded service that operates helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, as well as a polyclinic, to bring quality medical care to locals and tourists visiting the country.

Oris announces a partnership with O.A.R., and a new watch made to celebrate the service’s 10th anniversary. Oris continues to be passionate about organisations that bring Change for the Better – and about air rescue services. O.A.R. joins Rega and the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia on Oris list of partner aeromedical organisations. The new watch is based on the Oris Big Crown ProPilot. Its green dial is inspired by the grasses of the Okavango Delta, and it comes on an exclusive green fabric strap created by Erika’s Originals.

It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, covers a flat area of more than 20,000km2, and in 2014, it became the 1,000th site to be inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the most spectacular sites on Earth. The delta, which is made up of grasslands, marshes, lagoons and thousands of islands, is produced by seasonal flooding, peaking between June and August, Botswana’s dry winter months. During this period, it swells to three times its normal size, causing one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife. Botswana is home to the ‘Big Five’ game animals: the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros. Together with giraffe, hippos, cheetah, crocodiles and many other species, they make the Okavango Delta one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. Almost as diverse is the human population, which is made up of five ethnic groups, each of which has its own language. In the main, their livelihood comes from the delta.

Until the Okavango Air Rescue (O.A.R.) was established in 2011, the area was unserviced by an aeromedical organisation. Local people and tourists requiring medical evacuation from remote areas had to wait for aircraft to arrive from neighbouring South Africa. Today, O.A.R. covers the delta area and the Southern African continent, flying two PC-12 fixed-wing aircraft and two Bell Jetranger 206 III helicopters. Visitors to the country are encouraged to take up a ‘patronage’, a contribution that helps the organisation continue its mission. O.A.R. asks for a minimum of 150 pula, around US$15, an annual figure that’s roughly equivalent to buying a can of Coke once a month. The successful system was developed by Switzerland’s Rega air rescue service. In an emergency, O.A.R. will send a medically equipped helicopter and an emergency doctor to rescue patrons – and non-patrons. Any charges are considered later, usually through an insurance company. If those rescued don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay, O.A.R. waives the cost.

The Big Crown ProPilot’s signature features – a robust case, highly legible dial and oversized crown – make it the perfect pilot’s watch. Here, safari detailing celebrates Okavango Air Rescue’s mission to provide medical support to remote areas of Botswana. The green dial mimics the grasslands of Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta, where the O.A.R. has been operating for 10 years. Limited edition Limited to 2,011 pieces, each delivered in a leather travel pouch. Available August 2021.

Price: USD 2,500

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