Oris’s Aquis collection of professional-grade divers’ watches has grown to encompass an assortment of limited editions dedicated to marine preservation and conservation triggers (i.e., 2017’s Hammerhead), a handful of small complications like big dates and small seconds, and notably, an innovative mechanical depth gauge. In 2018, the Holstein-based brand added a chronograph to the lineup. It ended up being a timepiece that instantly caught my attention and one that I knew I’d want to review. Here are my beliefs about this Oris Aquis Date Diving Watch.
The Oris Aquis Chronograph is the most recent addition to the professional-grade divers’ watch series.
To start, as per usual, with all the case, it has to be stated up front: This really is a monster of a timepiece from a size standpoint, also in profile, it suitably brings to mind a submersible of some type. In 45.5 mm in diameter, it has got the heft you would expect of a steel watch of this girth; the wrist existence is impressive and not in any way subtle. And it never strained against some of my top cuffs and never felt like it was dragging my forearm down; maybe it is the rubber strap, perhaps it’s the way that curved convex caseback nestles oh-so-naturally to the subtle indentation of the wrist, but after you begin wearing this view, it starts to feel as a part of you.
The unidirectional rotating sailors’ bezel ratchets easily and audibly to place dive times (or some kinds of timing intervals, actually ) and is quite simple to grip — though admittedly I did not attempt to do this whilst wearing diving gloves or any other type of thick gloves. The black unidirectional rotating bezel add has a gleaming, polished finish that makes it look as though it’s an extension of this subtly convex sapphire crystal (and in addition, in some light conditions, can look like a dark blue expansion of the dial). Indices for the first 15 minutes of dive time, Arabic numerals at the 10’s, and indices in the 5’s are all piled in white into the insert, which is made from ceramic. Orientation in the darkened depths is offered by the horn at 12 o’clock and its own Super-LumiNova-coated dot. At the tail end of my review period did it occur to me that maybe a more matte finish to the bezel could have been preferable, and perhaps more utilitarian for a diver. Now, we do not know, but I appreciated that the signature of luxury that the glistening finish lent the bit.
The ratcheted edge of the rotating bezel is easy to grasp and turn.
The appealing, maritime blue dial handles to look complicated and occupied while still being eminently legible in most states. Super-LumiNova coats the large, wedge-shaped hour , the long, tapered, lance-like second hand, and the applied hour mark (using a single dot at 6 o’clock, and a double dot at 12 o’clock). The contrast with the dark blue dial is stark; as we understand, legibility is goal number one of an expert diver chronograph’s watch.
The palms and indices are big, ultra-legible, and coated with Super-LumiNova.
The subdials are slightly recessed from the main dial, in a slightly less vibrant shade of blue, and with white0numbered and marked scales enclosing a snailed centre. Stacked at 12, 9, and 6 o’clock, they convey that the readouts of chronograph’s elapsed minutes (up to 30), the running moments (with an irregular two-sided hand), and elapsed hours (up to 12); a thin rectangular date window is ensconced within the boundaries of those hours subdial.
Operating the chronograph is a tactile joy. The pushers are curved and respond instantly to soft however willful strain from a fingertip. The central chronograph hand is also tipped with lume, so it’s easy to see in the dark as it races around the dial. The screw-down crown — which can help ensure this titanic timepiece’s impressive water-resistance into 500 meters also known as 50 bar; the two are indicated on the dial) — pulls out to 2 positions, the first to quick-advance the date, the next to set the hours and minutes. Such as the bezel, the crown, that is graced with an Oris logo on the surface, is notched for easy grasping.
The notched crown has a relief Oris logo.
Behind the good steel caseback, that is screwed down and engraved with Oris’s classical crest and a meters-to-feet conversion table, beats the movement, Oris Caliber 774, which uses a Sellita SW500 as its base and features the standard Oris refinements, including the hallmark red winding rotor, though it’s, of course, concealed out of view in this specific instance configuration. The automatic winding movement has 25 stones, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 48-hour power reserve.