It’s summer and that means it’s time to break out your sporty, colourful diving watches ready for days at the beach, sunset dinners and office wear on the casual side of smart. But, what if you don’t have a suitable timepiece? Well, Oris have got you covered with a trio of Aquis Calibre 400s at a new, smaller size of 41.5mm.
Oris’ Aquis is a popular watch for good reason and the new versions only enhance it: the stainless steel cases are unobtrusive and slim, especially for a diving watch, with their new proportions of 41.5mm diameter, reduced from 43mm. Oris are by no means discontinuing the larger size but in a world where 40-42mm seems the average, it makes the Aquis Calibre 400 much more accessible to people without gigantic wrists – a category of people that includes me, meaning the only barrier holding me back from picking one up has disappeared.
The three watches that are being added to the range capture the traditional style of the piece perfectly in either blue, anthracite or green (with matching ceramic bezel inserts). The sunray dials are as gorgeous as we’ve come to expect with the hues fading towards black around the edge of the face. The layout is uncluttered and highly legible with bold, lume-filled hands and indices – ticking all the diving watch boxes, which the Aquis is good for down to 300m.
However, iconic designs and new case sizes apart, the main draw for the Aquis Calibre 400 is still the in-house Calibre 400 automatic movement. It has a great 120-hour power reserve thanks to its twin barrels and has plenty of magnetic resistance courtesy of a silicon escape wheel, silicon anchor and additional non-ferrous components. While it isn’t incredibly complex, featuring only your basic time and date complications, it’s still a movement worth getting excited about, even though it’s now a staple for the range.
And whether you want to wear them in the water or in the board room, they can accommodate thanks to a choice of steel bracelet or black rubber strap. You don’t even have to limit yourself because they have a quick change system, letting you go straight from the office to the ocean, or vice versa, although we’d recommend you dry off first before dripping all over the foyer.
These watches might not have the prestige of an Omega Seamaster or Rolex Submariner but in pure watchmaking terms they’re really not that far off. Which is exceptional considering they’re only £1,600, not several thousand. A smaller case size, while not ground-breaking, is a welcome addition to the line-up and certainly fits my tastes better – alongside the Divers Sixty-Five ‘Cotton Candy’ watches, Oris seem to have the sunny-season on lock.
Price & Specs:
Model: Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400
Reference: 400 7769 4135 (blue)
400 7769 4154 (anthracite)
400 7769 4157 (green)
Case/Dial: 41.5mm diameter, stainless steel, blue, anthracite or green dial
Water Resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: In-house Oris Calibre 400, automatic, 21 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 120h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date window at 6 o’clock, date corrector, fine timing device, stop-second
Strap: Black rubber or stainless steel metal bracelet
Price/Availability: CHF 3,100 (rubber strap) and CHF 3,200 (bracelet)
More details at Oris.