Category: Oris Watches
Meet the new Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400. It’s made of titanium and comes with a grey, blue, or salmon dial. Inside is the Oris Calibre 400. When the in-house Oris caliber 400 was introduced in June of 2021, it set a new standard for Oris, and on a larger scale, the industry. It was made clear that it was meant to be both accessible and reliable. With a 120-hour power reserve, anti-magnetic properties, and 10-year service intervals, it quickly raised the bar for affordable in-house calibers. It debuted in the Aquis, a perfect match for the no-frills, old faithful ideology of the new movement.
Prior to the Caliber 400, the only other Oris caliber that was developed in-house was the radical Calibre 115. It was built as a skeleton movement (meaning material wasn’t ever removed, it was manufactured with skeletonized bridges and mainplate), featured a whopping ten-day power reserve with a non-linear power indicator, and a new-to-Oris alloy for the mainspring. Take one look at Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115 and it’s clear that Oris is a manufacturer that can hang with the best of ’em when it comes to developing their own intellectual property.
So where does the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 fit into the picture? Somewhere right in the middle, in the sweet spot. It’s fashioned from tech-forward titanium that wears sandblasted and satinized finishes, but its minimalist dial design is reserved and stately, lending an air of simplistic elegance to the watch. It was only a matter of time before Oris rolled out the calibre 400 into new lines; so far, it’s appeared in the Aquis line, the Diver 65, and the Big Crown Pointer Date.
The ProPilot X Calibre 400 might be the best application of the calibre 400 yet. Oris has cleverly positioned this watch as celebrating “the joy of mechanics” first, and the aviation connection second. The brand has always had a strong point of view that’s resonated with the enthusiast community. In a press release about the watch, Oris touts its commitment to mechanical watchmaking, saying “We’re 100 percent mechanical at Oris. Not a single quartz. And certainly no smartwatches.” And they continue:
Modern technology is so smart that few of us really understand how things work. The rapid shift to AI will only increase the distance between our devices and our appreciation of how they do what they do. This is one of the many reasons people still love mechanical watches. They’re an antidote to technology’s blinding light. When you see an escapement wheel oscillating or a chronograph’s pushers initiating the steady advance of a central seconds hand, it’s reassuringly knowable. Poetic. Joyful even.
And this is what the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 is all about. There’s no contrived aviation connection or story about a historical occurrence with questionable authenticity. It’s just a very well-done mechanical watch. Oris doesn’t necessarily need to manufacture any marketing story here, because it manufactured a decent watch.
The dial layout is balanced and legible; it lends an entirely new personality to the ProPilot line, which historically has featured only Arabic numerals. The juxtaposition of a space-age material like titanium with a traditional-looking dial is unusual and incredibly attractive. The watch slots into the ProPilot line, but it doesn’t scream “aircraft!” in any way. You don’t have to be a diver to wear the cotton candy watches, and you certainly don’t have to be a plane nut to see the draw of the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400. In fact, I predict the majority of buyers won’t purchase it for the aviation connection, but instead for the universal appeal of a great design with an in-house movement. Sometimes there’s not much more to say about a watch other than “they got this one right.”
Vintage-inspired dive watches have flooded the market over the last decade. Many of these modern day retro divers are from newly-founded microbrands looking to capitalize on the trend. Oris, however, is no new kid on the block.
Operating as an independent Swiss manufacturer since 1904, Oris has a rich history from which to seek internal inspiration.
When they decided to enter the neovintage dive watch segment in 2015, Oris pulled aesthetic cues from a watch they originally produced in 1965 and used that same design language to launch the Divers Sixty-Five–a model range they’ve since expanded to over 50 unique watches.
In this review we’ll take a closer look at the stainless steel 40mm blue dial variant (Oris Reference 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18).
We’ll explore the positive and negative points of the lineup, try to pinpoint what has made the Oris Divers Sixty-Five such a hit for Oris and ultimately determine whether or not this is the right watch for you.
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five’s most compelling (and perhaps most polarizing) feature is its vintage “charm.” At a glance, this looks like a vintage watch. In hand, this feels like a vintage watch. Sure, it’s a modern watch built to [mostly] modern standards, but there’s a certain lo-fi quirkiness present which many will find endearing (and others will no doubt find off-putting).
My initial impressions were quite mixed on this particular watch, and we’ll see why as we dive deeper into the details. Immediately clear, however, was how comfortable this 40mm Oris Divers Sixty-Five wore on my 6.75” wrist. With 36mm and 42mm sizes also available, it should be a piece of cake for anyone to find a Divers Sixty-Five that fits well regardless of personal preference and wrist size.
The Divers Sixty-Five’s case is one area in which this piece really shines. While the design and finishing of the case is rather simple on the surface, Oris did an outstanding job with proportions that yield real world comfort.
In a world of overly thick and bulky dive watches, Oris deserves high praise for such a low-slung profile.
The midcase gently arcs downward from its midpoint toward each lug tip, allowing the watch to conform nicely to the natural curvature of most wrists. Furthermore, the midcase is remarkably thin for a dive watch, resulting in a piece that wears very flat to the wrist. The crown is unimpeded by crown guards and exceptionally easy to manipulate while setting the time and date. Not only is the crown highly functional but it looks great too, complete with signed ORIS text. In stark contrast to the understated case and crown, which go about their business in an unassuming way, the massively domed sapphire crystal shouts its merits from the rooftops. The height and shape of the domed crystal is like nothing I’ve ever seen before with sapphire glass. It truly looks like a vintage domed acrylic crystal, which is quite a feat on Oris’s part. These elements combine with the dynamic dial color to make for a watch I often find myself staring at while rotating my wrist around–playing with distortions and colors and light–all while completely forgetting to check the time.
The stainless steel bezel with black aluminum insert is fairly standard if not unremarkable. The grip offered by the bezel teeth is adequate even when wet and the unidirectional 120-click action is relatively positive with marginal backplay. While the bezel action, materials and design aren’t going to win any awards, they get the job done.
At the Oris Divers Sixty-Five ’s price point I’ve experienced several bezels that are markedly worse and fewer still that are markedly better. I can’t heap praise on anything about this bezel but it is par for the course and I’d rate it as sufficient overall.
Typically the dial and hands are where most watches establish a large portion of their identity, but this particular variant of the Divers Sixty-Five lineup is fairly straightforward and non-descript.
Especially in comparison to the original 2015 Oris Divers Sixty-Five release which featured large, retro-funky 12-3-6-9 block outlined numerals on the dial). What this particular watch lacks in a strong stylistic statement, it makes up for in visual interest thanks to the incredibly dynamic blue hue of the dial. In low light the dial can appear completely black. In bright light there’s a glossy navy depth that is mesmerizing. In overcast light, or when viewed from harsh angles, the dial can read as charcoal grey. The color-shifting illusion of this dial finish is easily one of my favorite features of this watch. Lume is present, if not a wholly disappointing. So often, vintage-inspired “aged radium” luminova doesn’t glow with the same intensity or duration as untinted lume and the Divers Sixty-Five is no exception.
Furthermore, the luminous plots on the dial are several shades darker than the hands and bezel pip.
Not only does this mismatched lume application glow at different intensities (with the dial markings never getting as bright or lasting as long as the hands and bezel pip), the lume is clearly different shades even in broad daylight.
I personally couldn’t get past this visual dissonance. It really bothered me. Poorly serviced vintage watches are often seen with this same mismatched look after sloppy watchmakers slap new replacement hands and bezel inserts onto older watches.
I get that same vibe here with the Oris Divers Sixty-Five . Not exactly the feeling you want your $2,000 Swiss timepiece to evoke as you admire it.
Oris should have matched the lume application across the entire watch or they should have stuck to pure white lume throughout. Either route would improve the watch considerably. Moving on, the date window situated at 6 o’clock is positioned well for visual symmetry and features a black base with white numerals. At this price point I’d like to see the date wheel matched to the dial color, but the date window implementation is useful overall (if not otherwise routine).
The Divers Sixty-Five’s caseback is solid stainless steel and features the watch’s basic specifications around the perimeter with the Oris logo etched prominently in the middle. A common critique of the Divers Sixty-Five line is the notated 100 meters of water resistance, however this is not a problem in my eyes. This watch features a screwdown crown and is rated to depths 2-3x deeper than most recreational divers will ever go. Unless you’re the 1% of the 1% of the population that saturation dives, this watch will confidently handle splashing around in any local body of water.
Under the solid caseback is Oris caliber 733, which is Oris’s name for the ubiquitous Sellita SW-200 automatic movement fitted with the hallmark Oris red winding rotor. Standard in many watches in the $300-3,000 price range, this base movement is a favorite among a myriad of brands for good reason.
Owners can expect relatively accurate timekeeping and reliable operation on a day to day basis. It’s also easy and cheap to service for any competent watchmaker, and replacement parts are readily accessible to ensure long term serviceability.
A well-made watch with this movement should last any owner a lifetime. At the price point of the Divers-Sixty, it could be argued that the higher grade Sellita SW-300 movement should have been used, but Oris can hardly be faulted for their movement choice here. The brushed stainless steel bracelet’s signature features are the heavy taper and vintage-inspired faux rivets. Bracelet sizing is 20mm at the endlinks and steps down dramatically to 14mm at the clasp. This taper serves to keep weight and bulk low while keeping comfort high.
Very few bracelets feature such a dramatic taper, and it took me a while to get accustomed to visually. The taper was almost too dramastic to the point of looking nearly diminutive at the clasp, but for a watch leaning so heavily on vintage styling, the Divers Sixty-Five manages to pull off the look. The clasp is standard for the price and well made. Etched ORIS, the clasp released with very nice twin triggers and the swing arms are milled out of the same 316L stainless steel used throughout. Sizing the bracelet is done with pins and collars, which is quite frankly disappointing for a watch at this price point. Screwed links should be a given for any modern watch above $500 in my personal opinion, and this cost-cutting measure cheapens the ownership experience of this watch considerably. It’s worth noting that there is no diver’s extension present, so if you do intend to use this watch for diving, you’ll need to consider swapping out the bracelet for a different strap with more reach.
My favorite thing about the Divers Sixty-Five is the wearing experience thanks to the brilliant case sizing and proportions. Few dive watches rival the comfort of this Oris on the wrist. I also thoroughly enjoy how the dynamic dial color and domed sapphire crystal play with varying light–together they combine for a mesmerizing viewing experience.
For me, the most disappointing design element of this watch has to be the mismatched lume between the dial markers, hands and bezel pip.
The Divers Sixty-Five feels amazing on wrist, the dial and crystal look incredible in shifting life, but when I actually engage with the watch for time-telling purposes I can’t see anything other than haphazard lume that leaves me with the unsettling impression of a carelessly serviced vintage watch. I love vintage-inspired watches, but there is a certain level of quality and attention to detail that I expect out of a modern timepiece. Brand heritage alone isn’t enough to justify a price premium in my eyes.
In fact, while writing this review, I found myself searching out synonyms for “unremarkable” as I ran out of different ways to say that the overall execution left me wanting.
The lume issue notwithstanding, the Divers Sixty-Five’s bezel, case finishing, bracelet construction, clasp construction, dial design, hand design and movement are all sufficient. “Sufficient” is a tough pill to swallow at the $2,000 price point when “remarkable” is available.
Alongside Oris’ recent news of achieving climate neutrality and the promise of a published sustainability report for 2022, the independent Swiss brand has announced a pair of new Aquis models that further their commitment to sustainability by using recycled ocean plastics to create unique and colorful dials.
Dubbed the Aquis Date Upcycle, this new version of Oris’s core dive watch line will come in both 41.5 and 36.5mm sizing, and both feature dials created from PET plastics. The same material was used on a special caseback medallion featured in the Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition, an ocean-conservation-themed Aquis that Oris launched in March of 2019.
As an estimated 13 million tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans each year, Oris previously partnered with Everwave (formerly known as Pacific Garbage Screening) to support the painstaking process of lowering the impact of plastics in the oceans. As such, the Oris Aquis Date Upcycle highlights one way of using recycled plastic to create something distinct and special.
Five years ago this past spring, I was fortunate enough to be attached to a research and eco-tourism expedition to Clipperton Island, a remote coral atoll in the eastern Pacific (about 1400 km due south of Cabo San Lucas). Oris was the main sponsor for the expedition to the French-owned island, and one of the main objectives of the various teams aboard was to survey this remote island for evidence of ocean-born plastics.
Despite Clippteron being among the most far-flung locations in our world, the surveyors found a litany of trash deposited by the waves on the low-lying shoreline. From water bottles, caps, toothbrushes, lighters, and so much more, it was not at all what I expected to see on this forgotten sliver of the world and the experience highlights the level of interconnectedness made possible by the oceans and just how far-reaching the ocean plastic problem has become.
The process by which PET plastics are recycled ensures that no two dials are alike, so each example offers a unique pattern and colorway. If you’re looking for an alternative to the standard black- or blue-dialed dive watch, the Aquis Date Upcycle has a compelling backstory and the dials are anything but usual.
Aside from the colorful effect of the dials, both sizes of the Oris Aquis Date Upcycle are otherwise unchanged from their non-recycled siblings. Both case sizes are made of stainless steel, feature matching steel bracelets, have a date window at six o’clock, and grey ceramic inserts fitted to uni-directional bezels.
Water-resistance is an ocean-ready 300 meters, both feature sapphire crystals upfront and mineral display case backs, and both sizes use an Oris 733 automatic movement. Based on a Sellita SW200-1, this Oris-decorated movement ticks at 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of about 38 hours. Visible through the display caseback, Oris has added its usual red-accented and signed winding rotor.
Really though, you clicked on this story for the dials and I’m happy to report that they do not at all disappoint in person. In either size, the effect is somewhere between camouflage and opalescence, with the more brightly colored dial of the 36.5mm offering considerably more fire than that of the 41.5mm version and its dial of blues, whites, and even brown tones.
While each dial is unique to the watch, the general color space of each size appears to be intentional, with the smaller case size showing an array of brighter colors, and the larger size opting for a somewhat more muted palette.
The difference between the two is quite distinct and it gives both iterations their own vibe that still works as a whole. While editing the included images, the effect of the dials settled in my mind almost like taking two small circles of a larger abstracted painting or scene, wherein each is similar but feels like only a narrow slice of a larger design.
Encircled by the grey tone of the ceramic bezel insert, both Upcycles are not forced to compete with any other element of the watch when it comes to color, so the dial projects in a way that almost supersedes the time display. The patterning is complex, like layers of clouds in the sky or even the manner in which oil cascades on the surface of water. For the more punchy dial of the 36.5mm Upcycle, it often feels as though the dial is glowing via the use of some internal power supply. I’ve seen and worn a lot of Aquis models in my time, and the Upcycle has an appeal that is all its own.
Zoom out even just a bit and the dials offer a sort of painterly effect, in which the colors blend and transition as a whole while responding to environmental light with an impressive array of highlights and depth. As you might have noticed from some of the images, the dials are so impactful that legibility is not as cut-and-dry as you might expect of a purpose-built dive watch like the Aquis. It’s a give-and-take scenario, but if you like the Upcycle’s dial execution you probably won’t mind lingering a bit longer when glancing at the time. Also, I’d argue that the Aquis Upcycle is less concerned with outright sportiness or diving acumen, and more with being a vehicle for a greater message about ocean conservation.
With the recycled nature of the dial forming the key factor in the Upcycle’s existence, then it makes sense that the dial is, by a wide margin, the defining experience of actually wearing the watch. Sure, it’s still an Aquis and if you’ve read past reviews on this line of watches you’ll know that they are solid dive watches with short lugs that help to make a somewhat chunky and purposeful design quite wearable.
As with other examples, the bezel is clicky and not overly weighted, the bracelet is nicely made, quite comfortable, and features a clasp-based extension. The 41.5mm version measures 47mm lug to lug and 13mm thick while the 36.5mm Aquis Upcycle is just 42.5mm lug to lug and 12mm thick. At 148 grams (unsized) for the larger version and 118g (also unsized) for the smaller, weight is manageable and directly in line with a sporty diver on a steel bracelet.Due to the short lugs and relatively thin case (for a 300m dive watch, mind you), both versions wear a bit smaller than you might expect, but the dials form the lion’s share of the dreamy wrist presence.
The Oris Aquis Upcycle is not limited and will sell for $2,300, in either size and includes the full steel bracelet seen in this review.
While it wouldn’t be my first pick for a go-anywhere dive watch (even among the varied Aquis line), the Aquis Date Upcycle is a special and unique offering that highlights both the need to protect our world’s water from further plastics contamination and how recycled material can be repurposed for new and creative uses, even within the world of luxury watches.
For SCUBA divers and desk divers alike, the Oris Aquis Date Upcycle is an eye-catching reminder of a sobering reality that affects all of us and it’s encouraging to see Oris continue to support ocean conservation and to partner with those who are actively working to raise awareness for the protection of our oceans.
For the first time since 1938, Oris is updating their “Oris Big Crown Pointer Date” in bronze. The announcement was made at the Oris Preview event, which took place in Vail, Colorado. These watches come with four distinct color dial options in a full bronze production that extends to the bracelet. Around here bronze doesn’t equate to third place, it’s a solid winner. The 40mm case is made of bronze with an overall brushed finish, while mounted to the case is a bronze coin-edge bezel, reminiscent of certain vintage pilot watches. The sharp facets appear here mainly with a satin brushed finish. On the flip-side is a sapphire exhibition caseback that allows a view into the inner workings of the mechanical movement. The outer rim of the cover portion is made of a contrasting stainless-steel. It comes equipped with its signature “big crown” in bronze, adorned by the Oris logo. All topped by a domed sapphire crystal on both sides with an anti-reflective coating inside. Water-resistance can reach up to 50 meters (164 feet). Time is exhibited on either a green, red, blue, or brown hue dial with Arabic numerals to tell time, followed by a white railroad motif minute index grid. Afterwards closer to the bezel is a series of Arabic numerals circling the dial as a calendar, which is pointed out by a thin hand with a red tip, adequately highlighting it apart from all the other elements. Its central hands were crafted in a vintage aviator watch style. Plus the central hands and Arabic numerals have all undergone a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility.
As part of the 2022 Oris Preview set in Vail, Colorado the brand announced a new set of Big Crown Pointer Date watches with a fun twist. Now I’m not usually one for bronze watches and I’m certainly not in my element out here in Vail (Florida man ’til death), but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t giddy for these pieces as they were passed around the room. A very familiar platform for Oris—and in production since 1938—the Big Crown Pointer Date models often leave me overwhelmed with choice. But what seals the deal with these versions, at least in my mind, is just how well Oris managed to execute these articulating bracelets, in full bronze. Let’s talk about it.
All sized at 40mm and with full bronze cases and bracelets, the new Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Bronze watches offer quite a bit of variety. Dials come in blue, green, brown, and bordeaux colorways, and to me they all fit in beautifully with the all-bronze look. Now, Oris has been pushing bronze for a while and this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen a bronze Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. The key here is the addition of that bronze jubilee-style bracelet, and it’s where things get interesting.
As someone skeptical about bronze watches in general, I get really skeptical when I see a bronze watch with a bronze bracelet. By Oris’s own admission, working with malleable bronze on a bracelet such as this was no easy job. And I can believe it—many of the bronze watch bracelets I’ve handled just feel trashy. But the bracelet here somehow delivers a nice bit of heft and security with the comfort of fully articulating links. It turned out to be the kind of bracelet that made me wonder if an all-steel/NATO-strap-wearing buffoon like myself could ever seriously convert to bronze.Inside the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Bronze is the Oris Caliber 754, built from a Sellita base. It powers that fun pointer date setup that the models are known for, with a red crescent pointer hand that hugs the dates indicated along the dial. It’s got a 38-hour power reserve and with the screw-down crown, water resistance on these models is 50m. Other features include a quick-set date, Super-LumiNova on those cool cathedral hands, and a fluted bezel that hits hard with vintage vibes.So it seems like a strong opening to the new year for Oris and I think the combination of pricing, color options, and sizing will pull in the bronze watch lovers, hard. And speaking of pricing, I think this is the deal to go for if you want a bronze Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. The previous models with the leather straps were lovely, and so was the leather itself. But I think anyone that experiences this entire package in person will find it hard to pass up.
Oris has collaborated with sustainable Swiss deer leather brand Oris Big Crown X Cervo Volante for its latest watch, the latest addition to the brand’s ‘Change for the Better’ strategy.
The straps and packaging of the three new Oris Big Crown X Cervo Volante watches are made using leather produced from the annual cull of 15,000 red deer in Switzerland undertaken to “protect the Swiss countryside.”
Cervo Volante was established in 2017 to turn the byproduct deer skins into hard-wearing, sustainable footwear and accessories. The company also employs the last two remaining tanneries in Switzerland, both of which use 100% vegetable tanning processes.
Oris – which achieved carbon neutral certification in 2021 – has already partnered with the Coral Restoration Foundation and the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and World Clean-Up Day, but looked “to do better” on its straps.
The three new 38mm stainless steel automatics each feature a gradient dial in shades inspired by the alpine countryside and are presented with a deer leather travel pouch and card holder.
Time – Nature – Beauty. These three words symbolize the new collaboration between the Swiss watch manufacturer Oris and Cervo Volante. Time and nature are our most precious goods. From these, with extensive handcrafting, our deer leather is created, which forms a beautiful symbiosis with the iconic Big Crown watch by Oris.
And so begins the historic collaboration with three Oris Big Crown X Cervo Volante watches. Each watch has a gradient dial inspired by alpine hues and a strap made of Cervo Volante deer leather in the three natural leather colors.
The watches come with a case and a card holder made of Cervo Volante deer leather. A leather watch roll for up to three watches completes the series. In addition, an Oris edition of the popular Cervo Volante shopper is available in select Oris stores.
Cervo Volante natural leather features scars and scratches in the leather, as traces of wild deer life, and a sign of authenticity and uniqueness. The unique leather is used in a way that minimizes waste and offcuts, and showcases nature in the best possible way in design and form. For all Cervo Volante products, their components are analyzed for their environmental footprint and whenever possible, eco-friendly, natural, plastic-free and eco-degradable alternatives are sought and used.
More than a decade ago, Oris Big Crown X Cervo Volante launched partnerships with pioneering conservation organizations and brands that share its heartfelt commitment to protecting our planet. These pioneers include conservation organizations such as the Coral Restoration Foundation, the marine conservation organization Everwave, and the Wadden Sea Secretariat. For Oris, however, nature “on the doorstep” also counts. With 15 of its worldwide subsidiaries and a total of around a thousand people, Oris has collected trash as part of worldwide clean-up events. These collaborations and engagements have resulted in Oris special editions that express the company’s environmental efforts: A diver’s watch with a strap made of recycled PET and a watch case made of algae material, or the Aquis Date Upcycle with a dial made of recycled PET.
Oris unveiled a new stainless steel version of its retro Oris Divers Sixty-Five collection today.
With a case size of 40 mm x 12.8 mm, with a lug width of 20 mm, the Divers Sixty-Five is well-sized, and with an outsourced Sellita movement inside — as opposed to the in-house caliber 400 that powers the recently released Oris Divers Sixty-Five — the price is more accessible.
Most notably, this new version of the Divers Sixty-Five has a gradient gray dial, with applied turquoise-filled luminous indices. The dial is kept clean with no date, just the hours, minutes, and seconds hands. An outsourced 4Hz 26-jewel Sellita automatic movement with 38-hours of power reserve drives the three-hand display.
A domed sapphire with an interior anti-reflective coating protects the dial. A screw-in steel caseback and a screw-down crown protect the other case openings, along with gaskets. The water-resistance rating is 100 meters.
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five 2021 40 mm comes on either a black leather strap with stainless steel buckle or a multi-piece stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp. The retail price is $2,200 on a strap and $2,400 on a bracelet.
We love the Oris Divers Sixty-Five dive watch and have envisioned a special edition that maximizes classic appeal and versatility without compromising the adventurous and sporting nature of a great dive watch. For the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for , we fitted the 40mm steel case with a faded grey bezel and a soft black dial with printed markers. Balanced with a no-date execution, a hand-wound movement, a slimmer case profile, and a production of just 250 units, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for and manages to capture the charm inherent to the best vintage dive watches, allowing it to easily ride the wave from the surf to the office – and wherever you go in between.
Be it above or below the surface, a dive watch truly worth its salt should be ready for anything. Indeed, the best of the breed boasts a compelling mix of go-anywhere ability and always-on-your-wrist versatility. In wanting to create a focused, stylish, and incredibly easy-wearing sport watch, we turned to Oris, a privately-owned Swiss brand that has been offering strong and sporty design since their inception in 1904.
Based in Hölstein, Switzerland, Oris produces exclusively Swiss mechanical watches and the brand has carved an impressive niche among enthusiasts and sportsmen alike by creating tough, dependable, and eye-catching watches with a wide variety of sport and dress designs. Among Oris’s modern lineup, no model has better captured the enduring and rakish character of a classic dive watch than their vintage-inspired Divers Sixty-Five. Conceptualized as a modern iteration of a dive watch design that was originally created by Oris in 1965, the line has expanded to offer a wider range of legible and perfectly proportioned dive watches that manage a strong yet understated style that is not limited to the beach, the dive boat, or even the weekend.
A first for the modern Divers Sixty-Five lineup, this limited edition dive watch is also hand-wound. Using a specially-modified version of Oris’ caliber 730 based on the Sellita 210-1, not only does this custom execution offer the old-school interactive nature of a hand-winder, but the rotor-less movement also allows for a special thin caseback design. With a total thickness of 11.82mm (compared to 12.72mm on the standard model with the caliber 733), this low-profile caseback makes for an overall case design that is noticeably thinner than any other Divers Sixty-Five model.
The result is a new watch with a truly vintage wrist presence. Light, thin, and hand-wound, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for HODINKEE is exactly the sort of dive watch we dreamed of creating with a fun-loving and accomplished Swiss brand like Oris.
Fitted to a tapering steel rivet-style bracelet, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for capable, handsome, and entirely distinctive on wrist. Offering 100 meters of water resistance and a lovely bubble-domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal, wherever the current may take you, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for HODINKEE is a dive watch that won’t seem the least bit out of place.
In striving to create a new watch with classic traits, we stuck to a less-is-more philosophy. The tone-on-tone color scheme is delightfully low-key while the printed markers and simple hand design ensure plenty of lume and strong legibility for any scenario. With all of these aspects coming together in a svelte steel case matched to a low-profile steel bracelet, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for subtle, old-school, and definitely designed for those who love the casual do-anything appeal of a dive watch.
Divers are among the most popular watches on the market, if not the most popular, due to their highly robust builds and familiar aesthetic. As a result, the segment is highly competitive and brands now have to find fresh ways to draw interest to their references. Fully aware of this trend, Oris has really begun to shift things into fifth gear – creating new in-house calibers with longer power reserves and warranty coverage. Many were excited to see the new calibre 400 inside of the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 43.5mm, but today the brand is scaling it back a bit by introducing the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm in three colours: blue, anthracite, and green..
The stainless-steel Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm is 2mm smaller in diameter than its 43.5mm predecessor, effectively becoming that much more comparable in size to a Black Bay Heritage or Rolex Submariner – both of which are 41mm. The 40-42mm size seems to have become the sweet spot for consumers when it comes to sports watches, so many will be pleased to have a more manageable configuration for the wrist. Unfortunately, Oris has not disclosed the thickness in the press release, but the previous generation Aquis Date 41.5mm with a Sellita movement is 13mm thick so it is safe to assume the new Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm should be around the same.
In terms of its case finish, we have the usual satin-brushed case with polished lugs that extend the mirror finishing throughout the shouldering links of the bracelet – its centre links satin-brushed throughout. As a dive watch, the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm has a depth rating of 300 metres – it’s water resistance further secured with a screw-down crown protected by crown guards..
Framing each dial is a colour-matching ceramic timing bezel, well-knurled to make it grippable for the wearer’s wet hand. All three, blue, anthracite, and green, have a rich sunburst finish with a subtle psuedo-fume effect towards the darker outer edge of the minutes track. The hour indexes and hours, minutes, and central seconds hands are all filled with SuperLuminova
. The only missing hour index is at 6’ to make space for a white on black date disc that blends well into the darkened edges of each color dial. It should be noted that since the discontinuation of the Rolex “Hulk” Submariner the green variant of the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm is a fantastic alternative to consider.
The Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm can be purchased on either a stainless-steel bracelet or black rubber strap, both outfitted with “Quick Strap Change” technology that allows you to quickly swap between the pair by simply depressing the underside trigger to detach it.. My advice: go for the bracelet. It is CHF 100 or $200 USD more than the rubber configuration, but it is safe to assume it would cost more than that to purchase the bracelet separately – or at the very least the rubber strap will be less expensive to purchase separately then the bracelet.
The main event with this introduction is the Calibre 400 making its way into a 41.5mm Aquis Date. To recap, the Oris Calibre 400 is an in-house movement with 120 hours (five days) of power reserve and its performance is backed by an extended 10-year warranty and 10-year service intervals. It is highly accurate as well, running within COSC tolerances at +5/-3 seconds per day. An interesting note about the Calibre 400 is that the twin barrels that provide the 120 hours of power reserve are positioned to look like ears, and when the rotor aligns just right it serves as a nose and mouth – the result being an Oris bear motif. Don’t believe me? Well fortunately you can see for yourself thanks to the screwed-down exhibition caseback.
Oris’ partnership with the iconic Swiss Air-Rescue Rega continues with a third limited-edition watch that flies even higher than before.
If it wasn’t for aviation, it’s possible the Swiss watch industry would never have taken off. Early pilots discovered a watch was a vital tool and turned to makers of Swiss pocket watches for tools they could refer to while helming their makeshift contraptions.
Oris, for its part, was making watches for those pioneer aviators as early as 1910. It has catalogs from the time in its archives showing pocket watches with cases decorated with Blériot-style aircraft. It was aviation that pushed Oris to develop its first wristwatches in 1917, and then in 1938, the Big Crown, a watch with an oversized crown created for gloved airmen. The model has been in constant production ever since and has become Oris’ signature design, fueling its reputation as the creator of ultra-reliable, ultra-precise tool watches for adventurous people.
Through the decades, Oris Rega Fleet Limited Edition has partnered with many leading organizations, military units and display teams linked to the world of aviation. These have made the company one of the first names in high-functioning pilot’s watches. Innovations such as the Worldtimer (with its push buttons that move the hour hand forwards and backwards in one-hour jumps) and the Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter have brought useful functions to the wrists of pilots (and plenty who aspire to be pilots) all over the world.
In 2016, Oris entered one of its proudest partnerships with Swiss Air-Rescue Rega. Rega has been offering an aeromedical service for almost seven decades and is recognized worldwide for its excellence and professionalism. Oris created a watch for Rega that year and again in 2018. Now, the company is delighted to announce a third piece. But this one’s different. Built to Rega’s specifications it’s a landmark collection of 21 limited-edition watches, one for each of its aircraft.
Rega, one of Switzerland’s proudest and most trusted organizations, was founded in 1952. It’s now patronized by almost half the Swiss population and is among the world’s most recognizable air rescue services, symbolized by its iconic red helicopters and crew members in their red uniforms.
Today, it serves as an integral part of the Swiss healthcare system, with 13 helicopter bases and a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft. From these bases, Rega operates 18 rescue helicopters and can reach anywhere in the area it covers within 15 minutes of an emergency call. Each base has a crew of pilot, paramedic, and emergency flight physician ready to go, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
While it’s famous for its high-altitude mountain rescues, Rega’s service covers all medical emergencies, from road accidents to sudden illness, such as a cardiac arrest. Last year, Rega also repatriated more than 750 patients back home to Switzerland, either by one of its three ambulance jets, or scheduled passenger aircraft. Rega says its mission is to “provide assistance wherever a person’s life or health can be preserved or protected through our intervention.”
During the pandemic, the organization’s role has become even more significant. In 2020, it organized more than 16,000 missions and brought medical assistance by air to 11,000 people in distress. Thanks to previous investments made in patient isolation units, it also repatriated 140 Covid-19 patients on board its ambulance jets.
To this day, Oris Rega Fleet Limited Edition remains a privately run, non-profit organization funded by a patronage system, whereby private individuals make regular contributions to the running of the service. At last count, it had more than 3.6 million patrons.
Oris is extremely proud to partner Rega and to have worked with its teams to produce 21 limited-edition watches, each a series of 100 pieces carrying a caseback engraved with one of the service’s 21 aircraft: Airbus Helicopters H145, AgustaWestland Da Vinci, and Bombardier Challenger 650.
Before designing the Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E., Oris turned to Rega’s staff and invited them to take part in a series of workshops where they asked them a simple question: what do you need in a wristwatch?
They told Oris a number of things: they liked watches that had clean, ultra-legible dials that they can read in a split second; they wanted a watch that wouldn’t reflect light – no glare; and they needed a watch with two tools – a GMT function for recording logbook times and a pulsometer that could serve as back-up to electronic machines that measure patients’ heart rates. That the watch should be robust, accurate and entirely reliable was a given.
So Oris built them the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E. Its black dial has high-contrast white hands and numerals filled with high-grade Super-LumiNova. Its stainless steel case and Oris-patented ‘Lift’ clasp are coated in anti-reflective gunmetal grey PVD. It has a clearly indicated second time zone. And engraved into its bi-directional rotating bezel are a red triangle for timing the “golden hour” (the first hour after injury during which a patient’s chances of recovery are highest), and a pulsometer scale, read off with a white- tipped central seconds hand. Oris then added leather and rubber straps with its quick-change system.
But there was more. One pilot had an idea to link watches to individual aircraft to reflect the close bond crews and patients often develop with them. So Oris created 21 different casebacks, each engraved with the outline of a Rega aircraft and its registrations. Only 100 of each will be made, making this the broadest but also most limited collection of pilot’s watches the brand has ever conceived.
For these special watches, Oris also created a water-resistant red Ventile pouch, complete with a second quick-change strap in hygienic, easy-clean red rubber and a tool for changing the clasp. The pouch has several elastic straps for tweezers, plasters, and bandages so it can be upgraded to a pocket first aid kit. As a package, it’s the most collaborative watch Oris has ever made.
Following up on last year’s inaugural “Holstein Edition” timepiece, an all- bronze version of its popular Divers Sixty-Five chronograph, Oris has unveiled the latest in its limited series of watches paying tribute to the Swiss village of its founding. The Big Crown Holstein Edition 2021 provides a novel take on Oris’s vintage-inspired Big Crown model, first produced in 1938.
Oris Big Crown Hölstein Edition 2021
Notably, it is the first Oris watch to contain a variation of the widely acclaimed, in-house Caliber 400 movement that is not a dive watch or a diver-style watch. Oris, has in fact, had a dive-watch-heavy year thus far, expanding its flagship, vintage-inspired, and professional lines over the last several months. The release of this second Holstein Edition indicates the brand is likely to continue the tradition of offering highly limited, exclusive models throughout its various product families in the years to come.
The sword hands and non-fluted bezel are new to the Big Crown collection.
The watch’s 38-mm, polished and brushed steel case, as with previous Big Crown models, appears to be well proportioned and geared toward a wide audience of enthusiasts. However, the new model does features some notable differences from the rest of the collection, including a smooth rather than a fluted bezel, and a flatter crystal over the dial as opposed to the domed crystal more often used on this and other Oris models. These changes, in addition to the watch’s signature oversized crown and traditional case shape, help provide the watch with an overall sportier feel — channeling more of a field watch style than the aviation-inspired style of the watch’s actual origins.
Red details contrast with the gray dial.
Underneath the flat sapphire crystal is a matte gray dial, which carries on the neo-vintage tradition of the Big Crown. Around the outermost edge, a printed ring from 1 to 31 displays the analog date, each point indicated via a red-arrow-tipped hand. A step closer to the interior, a railroad track minute ring outlines the legible, straightforward Arabic hour markers. This style is broken up only at the 6 o’clock position where a small subdial for the running seconds rests, its indicator also accented with a burst of bright red. At the center of the dial and passing over the various descriptors toward 12 o’clock are two lume-filled, sword style hands, which differ quite drastically from the bold cathedral-style handset previously put to use within the Big Crown collection.
The Oris bear graces the caseback as a relief engraving.
The Oris Caliber 403, which powers the new limited edition, is based upon the aforementioned Caliber 400 launched by the brand last year inside the Aquis Date Caliber 400. Like the base caliber, the 403 boasts a five-day power reserve, a relatively high level of anti-magnetism, and an industry-leading 10-year warranty. The movement, which differs from its base by its use of a 6 o’clock small seconds subdial and an analog date indicator, is protected behind a solid, commemorative caseback, its surface engraved with a motif of Oris’s bear mascot.
Available now, the Oris Big Crown Hölstein Edition 2021 will be limited to 250 total editions, each marked at $3,900.
Oris continues its successful run with the Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, with a very Oris Rega Fleet Limited Edition. The privately run non-profit organisation, which was founded in 1952, operates a fleet of 21 aircraft. Last year was particularly busy for them, as they organised some 16,000 missions and provided assistance to 11,00 people and repatriated 140 Covid-19 patients via jet ambulance. Oris Rega Fleet Limited Edition honours the organisation with 21 Big Crown ProPilots, one for each vehicle in the Rega fleet.With 18 Airbus and AgustaWestland helicopters, Rega is well placed to support general and high altitude medical rescues and patient transfers across Switzerland. Their three Bombardier Challenger jets gives them a global capacity. And when it came to designing a watch to celebrate this fleet, Oris Rega Fleet Limited Edition turned to the people who fly, crew and support these aircraft. The feedback? An ultra-legible design, minimal glare, a GMT and a pulsometer.
Given this laundry list of specifications, it quickly became clear that the Big Crown ProPilot was the best fit. The 41mm GMT is a modern pilot’s watch with a clean aesthetic and peak legibility day or night. Add a GMT, and a pulsation bezel insert onto the utilitarian gunmetal grey steel watch, and you’ve got an instrument that’s up to the task. The final touch is the caseback. There are 21 designs, each linked to a specific craft engraved on the back (complete with registration), and 100 of each model will be made. We’re willing to bet that a percentage of these watches will end up on the wrists of people who work on Rega fleet, but even if you’ve never been involved in a Swiss air-rescue, it’s a very cool bit of kit.