Introducing the Oris Divers Sixty-Five RedBar Limited Edition

RedBar is a collective of watch-heads who gather in bars across the country to drink, gas about watches, and—most importantly—to indulge in genuine, face-to-face community. The watch-heads who join RedBar are also likely to adore Oris, a storied and independent Swiss watchmaker with endless cred and a catalog of hit watches, especially their vintage-inspired dive watches. For 2018, Oris and RedBar have come together to offer a co-branded, limited edition of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five.

And here it is in all of its fiery, red-dialed glory.

The collaboration is the important story: this watch marks RedBar’s first co-branding venture, and a percentage of proceeds from the watch will go to benefit the RedBar Fund (an entity which donates to charities in the various communities where RedBar chapters have emerged). Important stuff. However—and this is rare—the watch itself is upstaging the buzz-worthy collaboration. Why? Because it’s just so damn beautiful, because there are only 100 of them, and because you have to be a registered RedBar member with $2,100 to spare in order to get one. Unlike so many limited editions, this one has actual limits.

If you’ve yet to strap a 40-millimeter Divers Sixty-Five to your wrist, know that it is a surprisingly svelte machine with unabashed vintage looks and a hypnotic dial. For the RedBar edition, we find the new bronze bezel that Oris revealed at Baselworld 2018, a red-to-black fumé dial, vintage-toned lume inside rose gold-plated indices, no date, a double-domed sapphire crystal, and a chocolate brown leather strap. This combination glows warm like the embers of a beach fire after a long day of SCUBA diving; it makes me want to sport a fisherman’s sweater and a red knit cap while singing French folk songs with my identically-clad aquanaut comrades.

Powering the watch is the Oris caliber 733, essentially a rebadged Sellita SW 200-1.

Part of why this watch can inspire such nostalgic imaginings is that all indication of the RedBar co-branding is relegated to the solid case-back. The vintage Oris shield takes center stage with the RedBar logo and the individual serial number just below. The subtlety of the co-branding helps to assure that the watch comes first and the collaboration second, an order of priorities that too many co-branding ventures fail to achieve.

The RedBar Divers Sixty-Five is so beautiful and so limited that it is guaranteed to break some hearts. Were this not a RedBar release, these watches would surely show up for sale second-hand with infuriatingly inflated prices, but I’m certain that such profiteering would break RedBar’s central and only tenet of membership. After all, when I first met him, RedBar founder Adam Craniotes boomed, “We have one rule—no assholes!”

On the wrist of RedBar founder, Adam Craniotes. Image via Instagram.

I can’t help but see the glowing bronze bezel and deep-red dial of the RedBar Oris Divers Sixty-Five as emblematic of the genuine warmth that RedBar and Oris have brought to the watch community, and I imagine those lucky 100 folks who own this watch will cherish it for exactly that reason. Oris

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At age 7 Allen fell in love with a Timex boy's dive watch his parents gave him, and he's taken comfort in wearing a watch ever since. Allen is especially curious about digital technology having inspired a revival of analog technology, long-lasting handmade goods, and classic fashion. He lives in a one-room schoolhouse in The Hudson Valley with his partner and two orange cats.