Pioneer of the Skies

11.06.2013 - Pioneer of the Skies

Swiss watch manufacturer Oris pays tribute to Oskar Bider, a genuine aviation pioneer. In July 1913, aged just 22, Bider became the first flyer to cross the Alps. At the same time, he set a new altitude record, piloting his Bleriot XI monoplane up to 3,600 metres in the thin mountain air to conquer the Jungfraujoch ridge.

Born in Langenbruck, close to Oris’ headquarters, Oskar’s life was an extraordinary adventure. He worked in Argentina as a gaucho before returning to Europe to train with Bleriot, who called him “an outstanding talent.” Bider went on to establish a series of remarkable aviation milestones. The first flyer to cross the Pyrenees from Pau to Madrid and then the Alps from Bern to Milan, his other achievements included the first non-stop flight from Paris to Berne and, in 1919, becoming the first pilot to circle Switzerland, achieved in 7.5 hours.

Now, in 2013, the Oris Oskar Bider Limited Edition celebrates the Centenary of his courageous Alpine crossing. The watch features Oris’ distinctive Big Crown casing, with signature details including a coin edge top ring and Big Crown numerals. Vintage styling shines through in the domed plexi glass, the guilloche finished dial, the hands with Super-LumiNova® and the dark brown leather strap with a brush-finished pin buckle. The case back features a beautifully engraved tribute to Oskar Bider and limited edition numbering.

Limited to just 300 pieces and presented in a wooden box, the Oris Oskar Bider Limited Edition epitomises this extraordinary moment in Aviation history.