Dive watches right this moment are available all sizes and styles, every looking for its place in a really crowded market. Some are supposed to evoke a way of nostalgia, for the times of yore when a dive watch, a single tank, and a thirst for journey was all you wanted. Some try and be that one single watch, straddling the road between toolish utility and trendy dressiness. From the boardroom to the seashore and all that. Others, nonetheless, attempt to convey the operate of the dive watch into the twenty first century with excessive tech supplies and engineering and hold it related as a obligatory instrument of the trendy scuba diver. The Oris AquisPro Date Calibre 400 falls firmly into that latter camp. We’re going to take it on a couple of dives to see the way it fares.
The Oris AquisPro
For anybody unfamiliar, Oris is an impartial Swiss watchmaking home from Hölstein which were steadily making watches since 1904. Initially gaining recognition for his or her Massive Crown pilot watches and an 8-day energy reserve alarm clock, they moved into dive watches in 1965. Their present lineup consists of the Divers Sixty-5, a vintage-inspired piece accessible in many alternative configurations whose identify is a nod again to that first dive watch, and the Aquis line, which is Oris’s tackle the trendy dive watch.
The watch we’re taking a look at right this moment is the AquisPro, the alpha of the Aquis pack. Launched again in April of 2021, here’s a fast recap: The AquisPro is Oris’s skilled diving watch. Beforehand referred to as the ProDiver line, these are watches that should be used as instruments and are designed as such. Massive, chunky and legible is the secret when an instrument wants to face up to pressures and circumstances as much as 1,000m. I’m undecided if any saturation divers on the market are carrying these, however they definitely might in the event that they felt so inclined.
The case is a whopping 49.5mm in diameter, and if that sounds giant, it definitely is. It may be the biggest watch I’ve ever placed on my dainty, 16cm wrist. In case you sense a “however” coming, you’re appropriate once more, and right here it’s: it in some way doesn’t really feel all that a lot larger than your customary 42-44mm dive watch. Whether or not it’s the brief lug-to-lug distance, making it hug the wrist properly, or the materials-forward strategy utilized to the entire watch, it wears fairly comfortably on the wrist, way more so than the terrifyingly giant numbers on the spec sheet would lead you to imagine.
The large, hockey puck of a case is fabricated from a excessive grade and really light-weight titanium, then completed with a low-glare, black DLC coating. The result’s a cushty and (comparatively) light-weight watch that appears like critical enterprise and borderline menacing. That aesthetic continues on the dial aspect, with a black, wave-patterned dial, white utilized indices at five-minute intervals, and white minute indices across the small internal chapter ring. The namesake date window reveals an unassuming, colour-matched date wheel at 6 o’clock. The skinny, fully-lumed sword arms full the austere, monochrome look. The left aspect of the case has a recessed, passive helium escape valve, in case you resolve to do any informal saturation diving. Transferring on to the ceramic bezel, you’ll discover the one splash of color on the entire package deal: yellow indices for the primary 15 minute markings on the dive bezel. This small accent of color seems nice and provides the watch barely extra menace, bringing to thoughts a swarm of bees, or a hazard signal, or any variety of different critical issues.
Let’s discuss in regards to the bezel for a second. It options Oris’s patented Rotation Security System, generally known as RSS. In observe, the bezel is totally locked and unable to rotate in both path, till you pull the grippy locking mechanism that surrounds the bezel up in direction of you, away from the wrist. There’s a sturdy click on and identical to that the bezel is unlocked, and free to simply rotate counter-clockwise to set the timing operate. As soon as set the place you need it, you merely push the entire mechanism again down towards your wrist and the clicking locks it again into place, unable to be turned, making certain the protected timing of the dive. As one who has been lucky sufficient to dive with many a dive watch over the previous couple of years, this Oris now sits on the prime of my checklist of favorite bezels to make use of. Many manufacturers have tried many issues over time to offer locks to the bezel to maintain divers from by accident mistiming a dive, from the easy and purposeful, to the pointless and confounding, however that is the primary one which I’ve ever discovered utterly intuitive and seamlessly easy to make use of. The lock feels prefer it’s simply a part of the act of setting the bezel, slightly than an annoyance to be handled afterwards. The outer ring is simply grippy sufficient to be simply operated with both gloved or naked arms, and as soon as unlocked the bezel has simply the correct amount of resistance to be simply turned to exactly the place you need. I don’t rave a few bezel fairly often, however this one is nearly excellent.
The bottom of the watch contains a closed caseback with the identical DLC-coated titanium, engraved with the Oris brand. This caseback protects one other star of this present: The Oris Calibre 400 motion. In case you’ve been dwelling underneath a rock for the previous yr, the Calibre 400 is Oris’s new, in-house motion. This 28,800vph motion boasts improved anti-magnetic properties, a whopping 5 days of energy reserve, courtesy of two barrels, and a formidable 10-year guarantee and 10-year advisable service interval. It’s solely becoming that this motion can be put into service powering Oris’s most high-tech, fashionable instrument watch.
The watch comes fitted on Oris’s built-in rubber strap. It’s a really supple and cozy rubber and contains a folding clasp fabricated from case-matching DLC coated titanium. The strap additionally options two different Oris improvements. The patented Sliding Sledge is a sliding micro-adjustment, making very effective, on-the-fly changes a breeze with out eradicating the watch. At all times an appreciated characteristic. The rubber strap additionally options the Oris Security Anchor, a mechanism developed by Oris in order that within the occasion of an unintentional clasp launch, two hooks seize the strap so the watch stays safely hooked up to the wrist. These small quality-of-life particulars are what can put a strap head and shoulders above the remaining.
Sadly, this strap can be answerable for my solely actual grievance in regards to the watch. It’s not likely a design flaw, however the strap was merely means too large for me, and its built-in nature meant I couldn’t swap it for one thing a bit smaller. It labored over a thick wetsuit for diving, however on the naked wrist, even on the tightest clasp setting, there was nonetheless in all probability about 2cm of house between my wrist and the strap, making casually carrying it topside an impossibility. Possibly I’m supposed to depart it within the dive bag with all the opposite instruments, or perhaps that is Oris’s refined means of telling me I’m too frail for deep-sea actions. Both means, in case your wrist is underneath about 18cm or so, be ready so as to add some holes to the rubber strap.
Within the water
It’s well-known that only a few divers are diving with a wristwatch as their sole timing machine lately. I can personally recall assembly solely one amongst my time diving. Being relegated to a backup timing machine would possibly take among the stress off of the mechanical watch, however you wouldn’t comprehend it from carrying the Oris AquisPro. This factor is one critical piece of dive gear. We took it diving in a pure spring and cavern down in Florida to place it by way of its real-world paces. Strapping it onto my non-computer wrist, I used to be struck by how a lot the watch blends into the trendy dive equipment. Its monochrome color scheme seems proper at house with most wetsuits, drysuits and buoyancy compensators. With the additional padding of the wetsuit it matches completely and hugs the wrist like a glove. No edges or discomfort of any kind.
I feel I’ve gushed sufficient in regards to the bezel for one lifetime, however setting it earlier than descent is an absolute pleasure. Within the freshwater cavern with restricted overhead gentle, the ample Tremendous-LumiNova cuts by way of the darkish murky water, and with the assistance of the distinction provided by the black dial and case, immediately provides up the info you’re after at a look. As I stated above, some vintage-inspired dive watches evoke emotions of the previous days of diving if you ponder them underwater, however this one does fairly the other. Matched with a modern-day diving rig it makes you marvel on the expertise and forward-thinking design, and surprise simply how far you may take it.
Possibly you don’t want a dive pc in any case? Possibly simply you and the Oris AquisPro could make it to that 1,000-metre mark? Okay perhaps not, however you get my drift. We didn’t attain anyplace close to that mark however the AquisPro is an excellent diving companion, even at shallower depths. Out and in of the water 3 times at varied depths, a couple of knocks towards rocks and the AquisPro doesn’t bat a watch. It serenely stares at me as if to say, “Is that each one you’ve acquired?”
As a thought train, all of us generally attempt to think about what our “one watch” can be, if we have been compelled to make such a horrible choice. I narrowed it down much more and imagined a hideous world the place I’m solely allowed one watch to take diving to any extent further. It could be a torturous alternative, however as of proper now, I feel it could be in my greatest curiosity to decide on the Oris AquisPro, and that’s saying loads. Obtainable now from Oris for USD 4,600 or EUR 3,900.
Extra particulars and orders at oris.ch.