New Releases Watches

First Impression: Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

Upcycling ocean plastics, raising money for charity, Oris’ Change for Better campaign is still in full swing years after they started it. Thank god, too many of these things fizzle out after the hype dies off – and also because you can count on Oris to build a handsome charity limited edition. Case in point, the Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV.

We actually got hands-on with this particular piece at Watches and Wonders back in April, and as it was our highlight of Oris’ show, it’s about time that we can actually talk about it.

Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

Michael has already dived deep into the 2024 changes into the Aquis line as a whole, so I won’t harp on too much about that. But what that does mean is a slightly slimmer 43.5mm stainless steel case and 300m water resistance, the level you’ll probably need if you’re planning to explore the Great Barrier Reef itself. The unusual grey bezel insert is made from Tungsten, so if you do happen to knock it on a fossilised spray of pink and orange, it won’t even scratch. All in all, a very solid diver.

Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

What makes this version different is simple: the dial. Gradient dials are a dime a dozen these days, but that’s usually the standard, fume, darker-at-the-edges vibe. Here we have, apparently, a representation of sunlight filtering through the waters around the Great Barrier Reef. Honestly? They nailed it. The pale green at the top, the deep azure at the bottom, it’s gorgeous.

Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

Granted, it’s nothing we’ve not seen before. Both Omega and Raymond Weil have dabbled with a similar concept, Omega leveraging the same theme across their entire Seamaster anniversary collection. But because of the bright colours, this is my favourite so far. It’s also surprisingly wearable – if you find 43.5mm watches wearable – especially if you’re looking for a late-summer watch.

Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

The other point of Aquis difference is the solid caseback. We’re used to great Oris casebacks and here we have a coral scene, complete with starfish. More casebacks should have a starfish. Perhaps more interesting is what’s behind the caseback, namely the Oris Calibre 400. Currently one of the better movements around, this 120-hour power reserve beast has upped Oris’ prices, but it’s been worth it for an absolutely superb movement.

Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV

This being a charity watch, it’s no surprise that a portion of the proceeds will be going to the Reef Restoration Foundation’s coral-tree planting initiative at the Great Barrier Reef. The exact amount there isn’t a number I have to hand, but any money is good money for a cause like this. As someone that’s just about to get their PADI, I want to make sure the Great Barrier Reef is still there when I can actually dive.

Even if that angle’s not something you care too much about (you monster), £3,550 for a cool, colourful and professional-standard dive watch isn’t bad at all, especially with the Calibre 400. And while it might be a limited edition, there are 2,000, so it’s one that, refreshingly, you might actually be able to get hold of.

Price and Specs:

Model: Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition IV
Ref: 01 400 7790 4185-Set
Case: 43.5mm diameter, stainless steel
Dial: Blue gradient
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Oris calibre 400, automatic, 21 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 120h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £3,550, limited to 2,000 pieces

More details at Oris.

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.