Pre-Baselworld 2015: Oris Thelonious Monk Limited Edition Watch

By Jovan Krstevski

I love music specially the genres like jazz; I mean who doesn’t? When it comes to watches; for the life of me, how would I know that it draws inspiration from jazz music? Nonetheless, it all boils down to the watch’s heritage which is nothing new. thanks to Oris. Oris is particularly novel with its watch concept; they simply want to honor the person behind the music capturing the very best character of the musician and immortalizing such a splendid character on the watch’s special features be it on the obvious accents or on the whole design of the watch itself. If you’re not into jazz, I’m not sure how you’re going to appreciate the engineering of Oris watches except criticize why certain functionalities are missing like the seconds hand. After the successful launch of the John Coltrane Limited Edition a year ago, the new Thelonious Monk Limited Edition watch celebrates no other than the mythical jazz musician and composer Thelonious Monk, a revolutionary pianist that penned the “Round Midnight” which today serves as jazz standard.


Let’s go over the design and find the jazz inspiration; oh and don’t forget that it basically draws insights from Monk’s immortal “Round Midnight” which are found on the watch’s many accents. First, the 40 mm steel case is designed to be absolutely simple and as clean as possible as a nod to the very nature of jazz. True enough, the bezel and the lugs along with the crown agree with each other.


If you look at the case back, you’ll see the full name of the watch engraved as “Oris Thelonious Monk Limited Edition” and and a marking saying “Monk Always Know” in big capital letters inspired by his custom made ring. Note that this line was taken from one of his common quips.


Thelonious Monk


Secondly, the dial where most of the jazz inspirations fall. I like jazz but not the design of this watch. I know you need classic appeal but oversimplification tends to be dull and boring. I don’t remember jazz to be boring, don’t you? Nonetheless, the sun ray finished smoke blue dial is quite lame, yeah I need to say it because smoked design? You really must love Oris in order to love this watch.


I also find the polished dots styled hour markers to be redundant even if the special 11 hour markers (not counting the 10 and 11 o’clock markers) are designed to compliment Monk’s dissonant technique. The seconds markers are just above the hour markers in the usual railroad style. Honestly, I would have preferred if the designers really thought this through. On the plus side, the branding is not that intrusive. The watch is protected by a domed sapphire crystal though with anti-reflective coating inside.

The power is provided by an in-house Oris 733 self-winding movement using the same tech on Sellita SW 200 capable of delivering up to 38 hours of power reserve. It’s also water resistant up to 3 bars. I also like the leather strap which comes with a nice stainless steel folding clasp.

Finally, there are only 1,000 pieces of the Thelonious Monk, which for me is only meant for hard core jazz lovers. For more info, please visit


Jovan Krstevski – Founder, Proprietor & Executive Editor

Watch collector, aficionado and a Event profile in the Swedish nightlife. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’  His passion jump started in his early teens, when he was given his first mid-range wristwatch which was an Omega Seamaster. Since then he has always been in love with wristwatches! Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. P.S. He is also a huge fan of The Man of Steel/Superman. Read his articles here.