You don’t have to know about jazz to appreciate Oris’s Thelonious Monk Limited Edition watch, but a little knowledge is always useful. The aforementioned Monk was considered one of the greatest jazz composers and pianists. He was known for the dissonant chords and melodic twists of his compositions as well as his percussive, abrupt way of playing the piano. It was definitely all about the notes you don’t hear with Monk.
He was a stylish man, known for his natty line in suits, hats and sunglasses. He even bagged himself a British aristo by the name of Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter.
However, it is his jazz skills that Oris pay homage to with this watch. Oris is known for its jazz limited editions having done ones for Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson and this is a rather fabulous-looking addition to that tradition.
Despite this being touted as a homage to Thelonious Monk, you can just enjoy this watch without knowing that. Its relative simplicity, sea-blue sunburst dial and domed sapphire crystal front and back means it is works as a fabulous-looking watch, whomever it’s dedicated to.
It is only when you look a little closer – really close in fact – you notice the dial-side reference to Monk’s syncopated style. In between the 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock markers there are 11 graduations rather than the usual 10.
The back of the watch is engraved with the less subtle “Monk always know”, which refers to a well-known Monk track as well as to the inscription on a ring he always wore. This is also an automatic, containing Oris’s own 733 calibre, which is based on a Sellita SW200 movement.
Look and feel
Despite being 40mm, this feels like a very elegant watch. The blue dial adds an element of interest, elevating it from the usual white or cream dial and black leather strap combination that is common among most dress watches you’ll see.
Aside from the jazz references, it is a clean, simple design that makes it the ideal timepiece to share.
We would suggest you channel the Monk himself with a natty suit and even more interesting hat, but that isn’t for everyone. However, mannish tailoring is key, as seen on J Crew’s own Jenna Coleman, so you could suit it, in something like denim, in order to add a touch of Monk-like subversion.
To get the look, click on the board
Need to know
If you’re going to do a limited edition watch that is supposed to embody someone’s personality, then this is the way to go. It works whether you know about who inspired or not. And it is only £1,250, which is pretty reasonable for a limited edition.
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