Oris Divers Sixty-Five Review

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It’s safe to say we’ve been in the midst of a retro-diver renaissance for a couple of years now, and the trend has produced some of the most stunning and attractive designs in recent memory. From the Tudor Black Bay and Longines Legend Diver all the way down to several of Helson and other microbrands’ offerings, we’ve seen a great variety of capable well-made divers with a vintage flair.

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What we haven’t seen much of, however, is a manufacturer pulling a design from their archives and reissuing it almost verbatim. That’s where the Oris Divers Sixty-Five comes in, and absolutely nails it. With a few subtle changes, Oris has achieved what perhaps none of the other current crop of vintage-styled divers can claim- they’ve made something genuinely more desirable than the original. With an in-house modified Selitta SW200, a double AR-coated domed sapphire crystal, and a $1650 $1,850 price tag, it’s more than an attractive design, it’s an attractive proposition. Let’s take a closer look.

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$1850

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Review

Case
Steel
Movement
Oris 733 (SW200)
Dial
Black
Lume
SuperLuminova
Lens
Sapphire
Strap
Rubber
Water Resistance
100M
Dimensions
40 x 47.9mm
Thickness
12.86mm
Lug Width
20mm
Crown
7
Warranty
Yes
Price
$1850

Case

Setting off the Divers Sixty-Five’s recurring theme of “classic design, cleaned up” is the case structure. If you’re used to modern, chunky diver cases this one comes as a surprise. It’s got quite a slim profile at only 12.8mm thick, and the tall dome crystal makes up for a sizable portion of that. The actual case itself then is even thinner, sitting very flat on the wrist. While the overall design is very simple the execution is superb. There’s no beveling, twisted lugs, or other unnecessary adornment here, just polished case sides and even brushing along the tops of the long, tapering lugs. Really, the only changes Oris made here was a materials swap from the original’s chrome-plated brass to stainless steel. The finishing, however, is impressive with crisp defined edges all around. The signed screw-down crown is unguarded, and hits a sweet spot size-wise at 7 x 3.5mm. Moving around back, the caseback is another part that’s been lifted right from the 1965 playbook, and while the etching isn’t the most detailed or ornate it’s handsome and fits the overall design well.

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Looking at it front-on, however, you get a very different impression. The bezel is another feature with definite throwback appeal, with a DLC-coated main piece and black aluminum insert giving the case a two-tone look. It’s a very narrow bezel by modern standards, which coupled with the DLC coating, gives the Divers Sixty-Five an “all-dial” appearance, but it’s a look that suits the piece well here. The bezel mechanism itself is top-notch, ditching 1965’s bi-directional friction design for one of the best 120-click unidirectional bezels I’ve ever had a chance to use. It’s light and easy to turn thanks to its narrow teeth, but gives absolutely zero back play and stops accurately.

Overall, however, the case design leaves a sort of elephant in the room- the water resistance issue. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five, for better or worse, comes with a depth rating from 1965 as well- a meager 100 meters. In today’s world, that’s hardly a qualifier for a diver’s watch, with most true diver designs starting at 200m and up. Honestly, however, this is a point that I have to commend Oris on. 99 percent of dive watches will never see more strenuous action than the bottom of a swimming pool, and for that kind of recreational use 100 meters of resistance is plenty. If anything, the decision to build this as a 100 meter diver is a statement of dedication to keeping the heritage of this design at the forefront, and I can’t help but respect that dedication even if it does come at the cost of ultimate performance.

Dial

The dial of the Divers Sixty-Five definitely steals the show, and with good reason. The layout is funky, unique, and fantastically well-executed without feeling gimmicky. The big, silhouetted numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9, surrounded by bold blocks of “Old Radium” Superluminova, are unmistakably mid-century, but are unusual enough to avoid seeming dated at all. The rest of the dial is muted in comparison, perhaps a wise choice to prevent the dial from becoming over-designed. There are only simple rectangles of lume for the other hour markers, with an inner minute track providing the finer measurements. The dial text is similarly minimal, with “ORIS/AUTOMATIC” at 12 and the 10 bar water resistance rating at 6.

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The most drastic change from the original here, and by far the best update overall, is moving the date window from 3 to 6 and putting it on a black wheel instead of the original white. This new date window is far less intrusive, and while it still takes a small notch out of the 6 o’clock marker, the utility of a date complication makes it a compromise I’m more than willing to make. The handset is attractive but restrained, basic sword hour and minute hands with just a touch of personality given by the windowing of the hour hand, supplying the lume with a lowercase “i” shape in the dark. The second hand is stick-style with a well-proportioned circle of lume about halfway down its length. The lume itself performs well, with a lasting and reasonably bright glow. Interestingly enough, the dial matches the curve of the domed crystal above it, although with the distorting effect of the crystal this curvature can be difficult to spot.

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Straps and Wearability

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five comes on a choice of two straps- a nylon mil-strap, and a very high-quality rubber tropic strap. Our tester came in on the tropic strap, and for my money there’s no better match for the watch. Tropic straps ooze 60s cool, and this particular example checked all the boxes. While faithfully representing the classic tropic strap aesthetic, much like the rest of the watch this one updates it just enough. Buttery soft, extremely comfortable, and smelling faintly of vanilla, this is everything a modern rubber strap should be. The signed buckle isn’t half bad, either. If, for some reason you are compelled to take it off the tropic strap, however, the Divers Sixty-Five would also work very well on a perlon.

In terms of wearability, the 40mm size works well, but the narrow PVD bezel makes it appear much larger on the wrist than it actually is. While this definitely modernizes the watch, it did make me wish there was an option for something a bit smaller for my 6.75 inch wrist, perhaps a 38mm version. That said, it’s a minor gripe and the thinness of the case does help to offset this.

Conclusion

To be honest, I really liked the Oris Divers Sixty-Five from the first time I saw the release from this year’s Baselworld, but once I had the chance to test it out in person a strange thing happened. I still loved it, but I struggled to quantify my feelings for it. It’s a terrific design, it’s beautifully executed, it’s undeniably cool, but the question still had to be answered- would I buy one? As it sits, the Divers Sixty-Five is in the middle of an interesting segment, one that puts it up against one of the coolest watches on the market today- the Longines Legend Diver. And while the Oris is undeniably great, it’s fundamentally different from the Longines in a way that, for a long time, I couldn’t put a finger on.

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The Legend Diver, along with most of the current crop of vintage divers (in particular the Tudor Black Bay or to a lesser extent the Zodiac Seawolf) has a sort of Madison Avenue refinement underneath the faux patina. It’s a watch that would feel at home on the deck of a sailboat, or under a three piece suit in a boardroom, and in in some hard-to-pinpoint way the Oris isn’t that. It wasn’t until a spontaneous trip to Redondo Beach about halfway through my test that the Divers Sixty-Five finally clicked for me. There, while bodysurfing the waves that Brian Wilson and Mike Love had sung about 50 years before, the Oris finally found its place. This is vintage West Coast cool at its finest, less bourgeois and more relaxed than its competitors- not to mention nearly $700 cheaper than the Longines. It’s a Watch of Summer, pure and simple, and in my opinion the watch of summer 2015. At $1650 $1,850, it’s certainly a considerable price, but there’s nothing else out there that quite scratches that same itch.

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Hailing from Redondo Beach, California, Sean’s passion for design and all things mechanical started at birth. Having grown up at race tracks, hot rod shops and car shows, he brings old-school motoring style and a lifestyle bent to his mostly vintage watch collection.
seanpaullorentzen
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  • Curmudgeon

    This is a perfect watch! It was a brilliant move by Oris to stick with an original vintage design and make it even more appealing. I wish other brands would try this with their own long-forgotten divers. As far as the depth rating is concerned, I couldn’t care less. If it doesn’t leak in the rain, I’ll be safe. It would have been really cool at 36mm, but 40 is ok: the exact size of a Sub yet much much smaller than most of today’s fashionable monstrosities. I also applaud Oris on their pricing! $1650 is a small miracle for a retail brand.

    • agreed, 36 would have my sweet spot

    • Carl

      I agree with all you say. I also love how they have relocated the date window to 6 o’clock. The bezel is also narrower than the original which, to me, makes it look even more vintage. Almost more vintage than the original in a way, which does sound odd. And I am very glad they decided on a solid steel case back with the vintage Oris logo. And the classic large crown which protrudes slightly from the case, and also no crown guards. This is the least amount that I have ever spent on a luxury watch, and it is my favourite. Before I saw the watch in real life, I would have said that 40mm is a bit big, and would wish they kept it at 36mm. As soon as I had the watch on my wrist, however, size was no longer an issue. It is quite simply perfect in my estimation.

  • arsenal55

    At first glance, this watch didn’t do much for me, but after seeing it at a watch shop I tried it on, and voila, loved it! Seeing it on my wrist is such a different experience than pics, as it is for most watches. Buy it? Not sure, as the watch I took off to try it on is an Oris Aquis Date, which I love. I mean really, how many dive watches do you need…

    • Curmudgeon

      Can never own enough!

  • silkhead

    love the size but you could buy three decent Japanese divers for that price but I can see this appealing to someone who doesn’t wear divers

    • Jason Solis

      And 45 GSocks however that’s not really the point. Oris is selling their history, with style and class.

  • Никита

    When will it be available in stores?

  • speedylover

    Thanks for another informative review and great photos. I pre ordered this the day I first saw it at Baselworld. I have been looking forward to this review since seeing a wrist shot you posted on instagram. According to the AD it should arrive in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait. I personally couldn’t care less about the depth, pro divers will probably not wear this watch on a dive but.. I’m not a pro diver. The only negative I see is that the rubber strap clearly doesn’t fit between the lugs. Did you try it on any other straps? W&W really is the best watch review website. I much prefer it to Hodinkee or Abtw, don’t change!!

    • Cusco

      I have this watch, bought new yesterday (March ’16) and the tropic strap is slightly different to the one pictured here. The lug fit is perfect – no gaps. The buckle is all brushed, and the strap keeper (just one) is broader and is adorned with the same weave pattern as the strap. The tail of the strap is squared off rather than the pointed tip. Also, the strap edges have a sawtooth profile rather than the castellated profile shown.
      Finally, my dial is slightly different: that date window notch @ 6 has been reduced to nothing more than a whisker off the hour marker.
      So all in all, it’s an improved model!

      • Cusco

        Pictures to illustrate…

        • Thanks for sharing! It does look great!

        • Dave Ryan

          mine has the same strap as your’s, but the cut into the 6 like the one shown in the review. interesting.

          • Russ

            Same here on the date window. Mine has the notch. Can’t comment on the strap as I bought the khaki version. However, they had the tropic strap and I believe it’s the same as yours. Looking at Oris’ website, it looks like there are a few more options for straps including a black nylon and a black NATO.

  • AngelOfDeth

    I am typing this while wearing the Legend Diver. The Oris is as cool as the Longines, but not quite there yet though. The Legend Diver has the perfect proportions and looks, the Oris feels slightly “off”.

    On the other hand, the Aquis Date Green Ceramic Bezel is what’s driving me crazy in their current range of watches. Would love to see a review of that here soon!

  • Julius Swerving

    I wouldn’t consider 100M WR a diver.

    • AC

      Do you often dive deeper?

      • Julius Swerving

        1. My diving habits are irrelevant.
        2. You’d be hard pressed to find any legitimate modern diver with a rating as low as 100m.
        3. By modern classifications, 100m is not suitable for diving.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark
        http://www.overstock.com/guides/water-resistant-watch-quick-facts
        http://www.abouttime.com/abouttime/watch_water_resistance.page.html

        • AC

          Ok, but let’s be honest here. Who even uses a watch for diving these days? People use dive computers. When I tell my diver friends about the Rolex sea dweller etc, after the laugh, they even question the responsibility in selling analogous watches claiming they may be used to 4000ft. A dive computer is rediculously more useful and when it comes to a life or death situation it is not a difficult choice to make.
          For snorkeling however, I’d use the Sixty Five any day. Or the Rolex Sea Dweller for that matter 🙂

          • Julius Swerving

            I agree, and do acknowledge that, for modern day purposes, there are much better options than a dive watch for actual diving, but I consider this dishonest marketing. Calling a watch a “diver” that isn’t even suitable for diving is just dishonest, in my opinion. Why they didn’t just increase the WR is beyond me.

          • Watchfanatic

            Seriously? There are plenty of other “divers” that don’t fulfill the ISO 6425 standard (which officially defines what a “divers’ watch” is). Water resistance is just one part of the equation. Oris aren’t being disingenuous, because they’re not claiming that this watch performs according to the ISO norms. And there are very good reasons for retaining the original WR: If they had increased it, they would undoubtedly have had to fatten up the case or use a thicker, flatter sapphire crystal instead of the gorgeous domed one. They instead chose to sacrifice WR for a more harmonious case design. That’s the right call IMHO. Look at the Black Bay: a fantastic design, but just a tad too thick because they felt they had to make it water resistant to 200 meters.

          • Julius Swerving

            So by your standard, claiming that ISO 6425 is the “definitive” measure of a diver (which I don’t really agree with, but we’ll set that aside), then you’ve proven my point. It is not a diver.

        • Russ

          Actually, ISO6425 specifies 100m minimum and testing to 125% of that, so this watch is fine. And yes, if you’re not going to 300 feet (and unless you’re a pro, you’re not) then the depth rating and your use of same is absolutely relevant.

    • MWB

      It is still rated more than twice the depth of the recreational diving limit so 99.9% of divers can dive with it.

    • Fast Driver

      I am about 365 days late for this discussion, but I would still like to add to it.
      1. Oris is not out to break records or impress with its waterproof rating. This watch is bringing the past to the present for their consumers.
      2. While I have been brainwashed like many to believe only serious dive watches are rated to 300m or more, it is not the case. Case in point the Rolex Submariner ref. 6205 from 1954. It was a dive watch and rated to merely 100m. The 6538, among others, was rated to 200m.
      The point I am trying to make is that even if you are recreational scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef(average depth 35m) or the Caribbean(approx. 50m) , you are probably hanging around the reef because that is where the fish are.
      3. Not everything modern is necessarily the end all be all. Sure people use dive computers nowadays. But that was not used predominantly in the 50’s and early 60’s.
      4. While most brands do not etch “ISO rated” on their dive watches, I do not believe any Swiss manufacturer would make a claim that they cannot stand behind.
      5. Most of us are desk divers anyway and are attracted to the sportiness and simplicity of a dive watch. The Sixty-Five is truly a beautiful watch compared to many offerings(excluding Japanese and Chinese watches) and the price cannot be beat.
      6. Thanks for reading.

      • Bradly Hill

        I am looking at this watch very seriously, particularly the Deauville version. I don’t dive, but this watch is perfect skiing, kayaking and going surfing. The dial is just too compelling! Have to restock the old watch fund as I just bought a new watch.

  • AC

    And when it comes to style!

  • PB

    I bought my first Oris in 1990 – a used piece from a watch repair shop I use. That Oris is the original that this one’s face is modeled on. I still love my ancient Oris – it’s definitely well worn, but that font looks cool for ages.

  • Ratmatat

    This may be my next watch. Being a Watchuseek junkie, I have been aware of this watch, but mentally pushed it to the back burner. Then I picked up a Black Bay last year and the retro styled, modestly sized diver from a heritage brand is something I don’t have my fill of yet. Now I’m rediscovering the 65 and it is tempting. Similar to the Longines Legend but I think I like the look of this one better.

  • Stu Gots

    I loved the look of this Oris from the introduction at Basel. They recently offered a retro looking rivited bracelet for it. That was it for me. I picked one up a few weeks ago. I’m more than pleased with this retro diver from Oris. As a bonus, it is within -1 second per 24 hours. Pretty good for a non COSC movement! This has to be one of the best values out there for a sub 2K diver. Well done Oris!

    • Yeah, that bracelet is awesome. Does it work like an old riveted bracelet or is it a modern take on it?

      • Stu Gots

        It looks like an vintage bracelet, rivets and all, but with a modern feel. Topper Jewelers website has a great write up on it. Look at the blog written by Rob Caplan. Lots of close up detailed pictures.

        • merp

          I know your post is from a while ago, but fingers crossed… Were you able to buy the bracelet on its own from Topper’s? I received my watch as a gift with the thick nylon strap, and am looking into alternatives, like the riveted bracelet or the NATO they seem to sell now. Thanks!

  • Carl

    Thank You for the excellent in-depth review. And I couldn’t say it better myself: Oris has definitely nailed this one. Loved it from the first online photos last year. I finally realized that Time & Gold here in Vancouver has recently become an Oris AD. So, I popped in to see if they had one of these in stock. They did. And I had it bought within 5 min. Soon as I saw it. Never bought a watch so quickly. The MSRP at the time here in Canada was $2000CAD, or about $1565USD. I was prepared for a higher price when I checked out the build quality and fine detailing of the watch, regardless of the fact it is not an inhouse movement.
    Every single detail of this watch has exceeded my expectations. The Selitta movement is easily up to COSC standard in accuracy, way more accurate than many far more expensive watches I have owned.
    I love this watch, and simply do not want to take it off my wrist. It just somehow seems to suit my personality more than any other I have owned.
    I have ordered an olive horween strap of Model 1 as well. I think it will compliment the watch perfectly. I am very satisfied with the beige fabric strap that came with the watch, and have not seen another leather strap that I like better anywhere, at any price, than the Model 1 here on the website.
    Cheers,
    Carl

    • morechitlins

      Were you able to secure a discount from Time & Gold?

      • Carl

        Actually, Time & Gold don’t carry Rado. I have made inquiries at Lugaro in Metrotown. Still am waiting to hear back from them regarding price etc. They did give me a discount when I bought my Tudor Black Bay there. I don’t know if they will discount a Limited Edition, though. I guess it depends on how popular it will be.

  • Chris Fay

    I’ve had this watch (black dial) for a bit now and it still dominates my rotation, definitely a keeper. I ended up switching out the tropic strap for an olive Model 2 Premium as the tropic was a bit too long and was irritatingly either too tight or too loose. I also dig it on the Model 1 Horween (Derby). This is my first Oris and really couldn’t be happier with it all around.

  • nyonya

    Would love to see a comparison between this piece and the Zodiac Seawolf. Both similar-sized vintage re-issues, I’d think a lot of people are cross-shopping them.

  • Joao Torres

    wow, thats a robbery… so much money for a shitty sellita 200 movement
    better buy an orient or seiko they are far better..,,,and cheaper

    SELLITA MOVEMENT GIVE PROBLEMS