Lord's Cricket Ground is not only a venue for cricket matches, but it is also a symbol of the sport’s rich heritage. It continues to be a pilgrimage site for cricket enthusiasts from around the world; the ground remains iconic, especially for India as it won the 1983 Cricket World Cup here. Since its inception in 1814, the cricket ground has been home to Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
Horology and cricket do share a common goal: achieving precision. Therefore, watchmakers have often joined forces with the world of cricket to create special timepieces. The latest collaboration in this regard involves Oris, Marylebone Cricket Club, and, of course, Lord’s. The result: a special bronze edition of the Big Crown Pointer Date (Ref. 754 7741 3161), an iconic model in the brand’s history. Christened “Father Time" in honour of the iconic weathervane placed on top of the clock tower overlooking Lord’s Cricket Ground, the new watch is a limited edition of 1,926 pieces.
The story of the Father Time weathervane began in the 1920s when Sir Herbert Baker, the architect of Lord’s Second GrandStand, gifted it to the ground’s owners – Marylebone Cricket Club – to apologise for the late completion of the building project. The year was 1926. Father Time, a cast iron figure measuring almost a metre-and-a-half and seen stooping over cricket stumps, is a mythical character, who is said to watch over the passage of time. It is believed that he represents Law 12.3 of the Laws of Cricket, laid down by MCC, which says that “after the call of Time, the bails shall be removed from both wickets”. This signals the end of the day’s play.
On the other hand, released in 1938, the Big Crown Pointer Date, characterised by its oversized crown, was initially designed for pilots. The latest Father Time variant is simply stunning in bronze. Watches with bronze cases have gained popularity in recent years due to their distinctive appearance and unique ageing process. Bronze is an alloy primarily composed of copper and tin, and over time, it develops a patina, a greenish or brownish film, which adds a certain character to a watch.
The warm tones of the metal can complement various dial colours and strap materials. The combination of bronze and other materials like sapphire crystal, stainless steel, and leather can create a visually appealing timepiece. Furthermore, bronze is a durable material that can withstand corrosion and rust. The patina acts as a barrier, preventing further corrosion and contributing to the material's longevity.
The Oris Father Time watch is based on the 80th anniversary edition of the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. The difference between the models lies primarily in the dials. While the anniversary edition came with a green dial, the new MCC variant has a white one. The latest 40 mm watch, housed in a bronze case, gets a bronze fluted bezel, lugs, and a large crown at 3 o’clock.
The date track on the periphery is indicated by the red crescent-tipped central hand. There are large Arabic hour markers, and cathedral-style hour and minute hands. For enhanced legibility, the numerals, the light green indices on the minutes track, and the hour and minute hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. The classic Big Crown Pointer Date runs on the Oris calibre 754 with a 38-hour power reserve.
It’s modified internally for the date complication and the signature red bidirectional rotor of the new watch. You can’t see the movement because the steel caseback is closed and decorated with an engraving of the Father Time weathervane and the limited edition number 0001/1926. The Oris Father Time watch comes with a bronze bracelet with a folding clasp and a light brown sustainably sourced deer leather strap, made by Cervo Volante, sporting a bronze pin buckle. Each timepiece is delivered in a special presentation box, decorated with the Father Time logo.