Introducing: The Oak & Oscar Atwood Chronograph

Available in three versions, it’s the Chicago-based independent brand’s smallest and thinnest chrono yet

The new Oak & Oscar Atwood chronograph watch
The Atwood is available in panda, reverse panda in navy blue and reverse panda in charcoal grey (pictured here).
Oak & Oscar

If you’ve been following the “microbrand” scene for the past decade or so, you’re no doubt familiar with Oak & Oscar. Founded in 2015 by Chase Fancher, this small Chicago outfit builds considered, robust, handsome tool watches using Swiss movements and American design acumen. Retailing for between roughly $1,500 to $3,000, Oak & Oscar products aren’t the type of fare that make you wonder about their quality; rather, when handling one, you can be assured you’re wearing a watch that delivers outsize value considering its price. 

While past O&O watches have always impressed, the new Atwood might be my favorite yet. As the company’s smallest and thinnest chronograph at 39mm, it echoes the current taste for a more manageable case diameter. Sized for the contemporary wearer, it also clocks in at just 12.9mm thick — and this despite a Swiss-made, manually-wound, flyback-equipped movement from Sellita. (More on that in a moment.)  

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Produced in 316L stainless steel with a sapphire exhibition caseback and a sapphire crystal, the Atwood’s brushed case and smooth bezel conform to the established profile of previous Oak & Oscar chronographs. Within the top crystal is a dial available in one of three iterations: panda, reverse panda in charcoal grey, and reverse panda in navy blue. Each is a triple-register design with a 30-second counter at 3 o’clock; a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock; and a running seconds at 9 o’clock. However, you’ll notice distinctive pops of orange that split each register in three — when combined with the dial typeface, the effect is reminiscent of the “exotic-dial” or “Paul Newman” versions of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. 

These pops of color carry over to Oak & Oscar’s signature orange seconds hand with a logo counterbalance. A 54-unit tachymeter scale is present in the angled rehaut, while the hour indices are actually cutaways — that’s right, this is a lumed, textured “sandwich” dial in the style of Panerai and other makers. Powering the dial is the hand-wound Sellita AMT5100M, which not only provides chronograph functionality, but flyback functionality, to boot. (No need to stop and reset the chronograph before restarting it — a single button push takes care of this.) Built by Sellita’s experimental AMT Manufacture, the AMT5100M is a high-end, column wheel-activated caliber featuring 58 hours of power reserve and 23 jewels.

Watch with brown leather strap on top of a book next to a whiskey glass on a table.
Oak & Oscar Atwood Chronograph
Oak & Oscar

With its pump pushers, considerable crown and smooth bezel, the Atwood is a distinctly clean design — but it’s got yet another trick up its sleeve: For the first time, Oak & Oscar is offering a stainless steel bracelet. With its flat link/Oyster inspiration, its 20mm-to-16mm taper and its quick-adjust clasp, it adds further vintage vibes to what’s already a great-looking piece on a leather (or any other) strap. (The Atwood can be ordered on either the steel bracelet or a Horween leather strap, but both come with an additional, secondary nylon strap, a strap-changing tool and a waxed canvas watch wallet.)

Named like other O&O watches for a historical personality — Charles Atwood was co-architect of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (aka the Chicago World’s Fair), for which he designed the building that now houses the Museum of Science and Industry — the Atwood manages to combine established company design language with just the right amount of vintage inspiration. At $2,650 on steel or $2,450 on leather, it’s just the thing to excite collectors, while someone in search of his first chronograph should find it an equally enticing proposition. Furthermore, being an Oak & Oscar, its good looks will be matched with superb build quality.

One can only hope that this model stays in the brand’s catalog for quite a while and spawns even more cool dial designs further down the road.

Watch with silver metal strap sits on its side on a table.
Oak & Oscar Atwood Chronograph
Oak & Oscar
  • Diameter: 39mm
  • Movement: Sellita AMT5100M hand-wound
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Price: $2,450-$2,650 

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