A Lot of Swiss Watch Bang for Your Buck
It’s incredibly smart, the Oris Aquis Chronograph wouldn’t look out of place if worn with a suit. A chunky, visually busy watch with the chronograph dials and engraved working bezel but we reckon it works
Review by Andy Barnham
Who are Oris?
Oris is a Swiss watch company founded in 1904 in the town of Hölstein and named after a local brook. By 1911 the company had grown to over 300 workers and by 1929, after a period of expansion that saw the company build housing for it’s staff, it had six factories; Hölstein, Holderbrank, Como, Courgenay, Herbetswil and Ziefen. In 1925 Oris fitted bracelet buckles to the pocket watches, transforming them into wristwatches. Making it’s own escapements, Oris became one of the first employers to offer equal opportunities to both men and women. By 1969 Oris was one of the 10 largest watch companies globally, employing 800 people and producing 1.2 million watches and clocks a year.
Tell me more…
In 2006, Oris partners with record breaking freediver Carlos Coste the year he broke the world record in the variable weight category descending to 140m and returning on a single breath. In 2009 the watch company worked with diver Roman Frischknecht to develop the ProDiver, a watch featuring the patented Rotation Safety System, a unidirectional bezel that can be locked in place, preventing potential mistakes. In 2010 Oris developed the Sliding Sledge Clasp, a quick adjust system that guarantees a perfect fit without opening the clasp. The same year the brand partnered with the Australian Marine Conservation Society to help and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Oris is one of only a handful of Swiss watch brands that makes only mechanical watches.
And what’s the Aquis Chronograph?
The Aquis is one of Oris’ three diving watch collections, offering functionality, design and performance. The other collections are the Divers, offering vintage aesthetic engineered with state-of-the-art techniques and the ProDiver, a range for professional divers. The Chronograph offers a stopwatch and in this instance the watch includes a date window and a 48hr power reserve. Coming in stainless steel (only) the bezel size varies from 44mm- 46.5mm with the dial either in black or blue and a choice of either leather, rubber or stainless-steel straps. There’s a solid steel caseback, hiding the hallmark red winding rotor, with Oris’ crest and a meters to feet conversion table.
So what does it look like on your wrist?
It’s incredibly smart. Whilst not a dress watch, the Oris Aquis Chronograph wouldn’t look out of place if worn with a suit or even with a dinner jacket and the Blue Sunray has a rich deep colour. However, at 45.5mm, it’s definitely hefty and for those with small wrists it will look large; our editor loved the watch but his wrist was simply too small to carry it off. It’s visually a busy watch with the three chronograph dials on the main face as well as the engraved working bezel. We reckon it works; it’s just on the right side of not being too over the top but if you like a more restrained watch face you may disagree. Also worth noting is the depth of the watch; it’s in no way shy nor retiring, it’s a thick watch, something not apparent from images.
Anything else I need to know?
The price of the Oris Aquis Chronograph starts at £2,550 depending on strap and that’s a lot of Swiss watch for the price. If you opt for a stainless-steel strap, expect to visit a (authorised) dealer to have some of the links removed and the watch fitted to your wrist.
UK has 142 authorised Oris dealers
Enquires: Oris/ www.oris.ch