Oris marks 10th Anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization

Oris marks the 10th anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization Okavango Air Rescue with a limited-edition version of the Big Crown ProPilot that’s inspired by nature. The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition celebrates the landmark achievements of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization.

Oris marks 10th Anniversary of Botswana’s aeromedical rescue organization

Swiss entrepreneur Christian Gross and German-born Dr Misha S. Kruck founded the aeromedical rescue organization Okavango Air Rescue (O.A.R.) in Botswana in 2011 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 organizations 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 is delighted to announce a partnership with O.A.R., and a new watch made to celebrate the service’s 10th anniversary. We continue to be passionate about organizations 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 our list of partner aeromedical organizations.

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. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of nature’s miracles and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Okavango Air Rescue’s service covers the area and beyond.  It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, covers a flat area of more than 20,000 km, 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.

Until the Okavango Air Rescue (O.A.R.) was established in 2011, the area was unserviced by an aeromedical organization. Local people and tourists requiring medical evacuation from remote areas had to wait for aircraft to arrive from neighboring 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 organization 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 Okavango Air Rescue Limited Edition features a robust case, highly legible dial and oversized crown which makes 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 watch case is a multi-piece stainless steel case and the diameter of the watch is 41.00 mm (1.614 inches) with a green dial and luminous hands and indices covered with Super-LumiNova®. The top glass is covered with sapphire, domed on both sides, with an anti-reflective coating inside while the case back is in stainless steel, screwed with special engravings and a stainless steel screw-in security crown. 

The watch is fitted with a green textile strap created by Erika’s Originals exclusively for Oris. Supplied with an additional brown leather strap and the watch is water-resistant to 100 meters. The watch has an automatic winding movement and a power reserve of 38 hours and is limited to 2,011 pieces each delivered in a leather pouch. The watch is priced at CHF 2,300.