American Watch Brand: Oak & Oscar
Welcome back to our American Watch Brand series. Today we’ll be featuring a brand from Chicago, Illinois—Oak & Oscar. Chicago is my home town, so this watch brand has a special place in my heart. (Oak & Oscar’s modern yet classic designs are also a point in their favor.)
Oak & Oscar was founded by Chase Fancher, and he launched his first model, the Burnham, in 2015. Despite being a new brand, Oak & Oscar immediately appealed to watch collectors. The Burnham sold out in less than a year, and their second model, the Sandford, followed suit. After only a few years, Oak & Oscar has secured its place in the watch industry.
The Burnham and the Sandford may not be available, but last fall Oak & Oscar released their third model—the Jackson. The Jackson is a manually wound, flyback chronograph with a column wheel and 60 hour power reserve. According to Fancher, they’re “definitely hitting above [their] weight class with this piece. . . . Only the big brands have ventured to do something this awesome and none with the stacked register at the 3H subdial that tracks both elapsed hours and minutes.”
The Jackson is Oak & Oscar’s first chronograph, and personally, I believe they nailed it. This sport watch was designed with a two-register chronograph but it offers all of the information that a three-register chronograph would have provided. Fancher knew this was his end goal, so he “went on the hunt and found the Eterna Movement Company Caliber 39 which offered just what [he] wanted plus a healthy power reserve and a super fun and rare flyback feature.”
This watch and its design are incredibly well thought out. The Jackson provides quite a bit of information, such as a running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, elapsed hours and minutes sub-dial at 3 o’clock, a wrapped tachymeter scale, an orange center sweep seconds hand, and a date window at 6 o’clock. Despite featuring all of this information, the dial is easy to read and the design is not overwhelmed.
Oak & Oscar is not only known for their attention to detail but also their Horween leather straps. The Jackson comes with two straps: a 20mm tapered leather strap and a custom-made orange leather rally strap. Both straps are made of Horween leather and are hand crafted by Indiana-based Woodnsteel. Dustin Case is the founder of Woodnsteel, and he and his team hand stitch the leather two-piece straps that come with every watch.
As mentioned above, the watch is powered by the Swiss-made Eterna Caliber 3916M, which boasts a 60-hour power reserve. This watch is guaranteed to be reliable, not only because it features a tried-and-true movement but because it is assembled and tested in Switzerland, inspected and tested for a second time in New York, and inspected for a third and final time in Chicago.
Similar to the Burnham and the Sandford, there will be only a certain number of the Jackson available for purchase (150 grey timepieces, 150 navy timepieces, and 100 charcoal PVD timepieces). The grey and navy timepieces are priced at $2,850 and the charcoal PVD timepieces are priced at $3,150. These watches also come with a watch wallet, co-designed by Oak & Oscar and Woodnsteel. The watch wallet uses the same soft Horween leather as the straps, as well as protective wool felt and detachable Tasman suede pouches. The wallet holds three watches, as well as a strap tool.
If you’re interested in the Jackson, then you should be aware that Fancher expects the model to sell out as quickly as their first two models. Fancher expected “stock to last a little bit longer than the Burnham but so far it is selling faster than predicted.” Once the watch is sold out, you won’t be able to purchase it directly from Oak & Oscar. You’ll either have to wait for Oak & Oscar’s next model or purchase it on the second hand market.
As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of Oak & Oscar’s newest watch. It’s a cool watch that’s created by a small independent watch company. What’s not to love?!
We’re going to explore some of the best American watch brands in this seven-part series, and each article will focus on one of our favorite American watch brands. See the first article here: American Watch Brand: Detroit Watch Company