As a die-hard Red Sox fan, you can imagine that when I saw that the press materials for the new baseball themed Ashland by Oak & Oscar boasted it as being ready just in time for the postseason, I felt the twist of the knife. While my Red Sox were unable to match their historic 2018 run with a competitive follow up campaign, Oak & Oscar, you could say, remains on a hot streak. The small Chicago based brand has released a series of highly regarded, limited edition timepieces over the last several years, and have not only developed a cult following among watch enthusiasts, but are creating a unique aesthetic that is all their own in the watch space, with distinctive waffle dials, utilitarian case designs, and mechanical complications that offer a ton of utility. While the Ashland is, at its core, a time only watch, it offers a whole new kind of non-mechanical complication that is whimsical, fun, and sure to appeal of baseball fans of all stripes, whether or not your team is playing in October.

Oak & Oscar Ashland*

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Green
  • Dimensions: 39.5 x 46.8 x 12.4mm*
  • Crystal: Sapphire*
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters*
  • Crown: Screw down*
  • Movement: ETA 2892-A2
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather, SuperSkin*
  • Price: $1,850
  • Expected Release:*Available

The key feature of the Ashland, which is a collaboration between Oak & Oscar and Wilson Sporting Goods, is the novel inning tracker bezel, designed to track the progress of a baseball game. Baseball, of course, is unlike almost every other competitive sport in that itís completely untimed. Soccer timers, racing chronographs and the like make sense in sports, but baseball has never been a game that involved the precise keeping of time, so a baseball watch, on its surface, doesnít make a ton of sense.

What Oak & Oscar has come up with here is a small and subtle way for fans to immerse themselves in the game just a bit, by clicking the bezel over a step every half-inning. For true old-school traditionalists, this method of tracking elapsed ďtimeĒ in a game will seem not too far removed from traditional manual baseball score keeping, a lost art if there ever was one.*
The bezel here isnít the only way the Ashland pays tribute to Americaís Pastime. The dial is a lush green with contrasting stark white hour markers, a fairly on the nose but welcome reference to the field of play and its corresponding bases and foul lines. The 12:00 marker is in the shape of home plate, which makes sense as metaphor and functionally, since the bezelís lume pip starts its journey around the dial at 12:00 at the start of the game, and ends there following the bottom of the ninth. The design of the watch is going to feel familiar to fans of the brand, with lots of little details to enjoy upon close inspection, and a satisfying, tool-like appearance at a distance.
The 39.5mm case is largely brushed, with drilled lug holes and 200 meters of water resistance. A sandwich style dial that has become a bit of an Oak & Oscar trademark is also employed here, and the watch is powered by an ETA 2892-A2 movement.
Also notable here are the strap options. With Wilson as a partner, Oak & Oscar is offering straps in the same leather used to make baseball gloves, which should make for a supremely comfortable and supple fit on the wrist. In addition to the copper colored leather strap, the Ashland will ship with a navy SuperSkin strap, a proprietary material developed by Wilson to be particularly durable, lightweight, and moisture resistant. As has become customary for Oak & Oscar releases, the whole package comes in a custom designed leather wallet that can be used for long term storage and travel, and is quite a bit more versatile than the standard, traditional (and supremely wasteful) presentation box.
Kyle Schwarber wearing an Ashland. Oak & Oscar donated an Ashland to his foundation, Neighborhood Heroes.*

The Ashland is available now on the Oak & Oscar website for $1,850. The watch is limited to only 130 examples (with 30 being set aside for Oak & Oscarís partners at Wilson). Oak & Oscar

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