Today on review we have a brand spanking new Oris Aquis Date Ref: 01 733 7730 4157-07 5 24 10EB. We all have grail watches, and while reviewing watches that the vast majority of us can’t afford is a lot of fun, It’s about time we reviewed something that won’t break the bank, but will still garner you a knowing nod from even the most high-end watch snob!
For a brand with such an affordable range, Oris has a rich and extensive history. Oris was founded over 110 years ago in 1904. Buying the recently closed Lohner & Co watch factory in Holstein. Naming the company ‘Oris’ after a nearby brook, they began manufacturing in the same year. In 1911 Oris had become the largest employer in Holstein, attracting new watchmakers by building nearby housing and apartments. It worked and by 1929 Oris had opened 5 additional plants. In 1927 Jacques-David LeCoultre (son of Antoine LeCoultre who merged with Edmond Jaeger to form Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1937) became President of the board of directors. In 1938 Oris first made their Big Crown pilot watches with oversized crowns so pilots wearing thick gloves in the open cockpit aircraft of the era could still wind their watches. However, not all was well and the 2nd World War and Quartz crisis hit Oris hard. To keep business alive, Oris began manufacturing alarm clocks during WW2 due to their significantly reduced distribution network. The company getting back to its feet at the end of the war, being one of the 10 largest watch companies by the end of the 1960s, making 1.2 million watches and clocks a year only to then be hit by the quartz crisis. To stay afloat Oris became part of the predecessor to the Swatch group the Allgemeine Schweizer Uhrenindustrie AG (ASUAG) but this did little to aid the company, which now employed only a few dozen people, compared to the over 800 in the late 1960s. Oris just survived. At last, in 1982 the company became independent again as Oris SA and decided to abandon Quartz, making mid-price mechanical watches. Since 2002 the Red Rotor has been a registered trademark of Oris and they continue to innovate despite their mid-market prices. Releasing in-house creations such as their patented depth gauge, quick lock crown system and Oris rotation safety system. Oris celebrated their 110th anniversary with their first in-house calibre the Oris Cal.110 featuring a patented hand wound non-linear 10 day power reserve indicator.
CASE & BEZEL:
The Oris Aquis case work is extremely standout and very recognisable. With a 43.5mm case size, yet only a 12mm lug width!? Without seeing this piece you would be disgusted by the surely hilariously mismatched case dimensions. However, the ingenious engineering of the lugs and strap makes this watch instantly recognisable, with its thick polished lugs that pivot sharply from the case and the strap, first notching out from the case then extending over the lugs. While the 43mm case size may seem large to some, it wears much smaller on the wrist than expected. The bezel is in polished ceramic, which is tough to find on a piece at such reasonable pricing, here on this model in a rich green matching the sunburst green dial. Movement of the bezel is particularly satisfying with 120 clear clicks as it is moved around the dial. The crown and chunky crown guards extend significantly out of the case with polished ‘ORIS’ branding standing out from the mostly sand blasted crown. The case edges have a straight brushed finish and the knurled edges of the uni-directional diving bezel contrasts pleasantly with a high polished finish. The rear of the watch features an exhibition case back, proudly displaying the trademark Oris red rotor. Being a diver’s watch the Oris offers 300m of water resistance which is plenty for most recreational divers.
DIAL & HANDS:
As stated, the dial is in a rich green colour with a sunburst effect emanating from the handset. The hands and hour numerals are in polished steel with a generous application of Superluminova BGW9 in each hour marker and on the hands as well as the bezel pip for clear readability in the dark. The minute track features extended printed markers making precise time keeping as easy as possible. Matching the white print on the dial, the date print, and fill of the engraved markers on the bezel. The dial even in its sunburst finish has a slightly gloss finish, reflecting the handset on the dial when viewed at certain angles.
The Oris Aquis date uses the Oris 733 automatic mechanical movement based off the Sellita SW 200-1. Featuring central hour, minutes and seconds hand and beating at 28,800 V.P.H the Oris 733 is a proven and reliable movement. With 26 jewels keeping everything running smoothly for all 38 hours of power reserve. Adorned, as customary for Oris, with their trademark red Bi-directional winding rotor.
This model is fitted with a chestnut brown leather strap that compliments the green dial flawlessly. The Oris branded, half polished clasp is extremely well built, featuring a 5 notch dive extension and push button release. The strap is kept to the case with screwed lug pins with polished faces that stand out against the straight brush of the case and lug edges.
Oris boxes are generally very understated (With the exception of their high end models in the pelican cases) and the Oris Aquis Date is no exception. Coming in a small and simple box with only the watch in the inner box and Oris documents contained within. This is reassuring for a watch at this price point, as it ensures all your money is going towards refining the quality of the watch and not to extravagant boxes that are secondary to the overall condition of the watch. One small detail of the box is very standout though. On both the inner and outer boxes the text “This Oris box is made using environmentally friendly materials.” This is a nice touch considering the current climate situation. And is fitting of the Oris philosophy of keeping the oceans and the environment clean. Evidenced by their limited edition releases such as the Oris limited edition pieces like the Oris Great Barrier reef III, Clean Ocean, and Blue Whale. All devoted to their environmental.
To me, the best watches aren’t the ones that cost tens of thousands of pounds, with waitlists stretching to the end of time. The best watches, are the pieces that exude fine workmanship and quality, while offering a reasonable and justifiable price. The Oris Aquis is a perfect example of this. With a retail of only £1,450, this piece punches well above its price range, offering features of a watch that belongs well out of the Oris’s price bracket. Take, the polished ceramic bezel, the exceptional finish of the case and buckle and the glossy sunburst dial for just a few examples. All combined with the 300m water resistance, making it a fully fledged dive watch as well as simply staggering to look at, with its standout case and rich green dial and bezel.
This piece, as well as many other models are available brand new, full set, at 15% off retail on our site https://www.thewatchsource.co.uk/ . However, to simply enjoy this gorgeous piece, check out our extensive in-house photography of the watch below in the Gallery.
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