Fratello announced their latest collaborative watch this week, and it’s another partnership with Oris. You might remember that at the tail end of 2020, Fratello and Oris unveiled their first collaboration, a particularly beautiful version of the Big Crown Pointer Date in a bronze case with a red dial and several subtle nods to Oris’s history. Something about the combination of bronze with the dark shade of red that was used for this one was really special, and set the bar high for whatever the next collab would be. The new watch, a very vintage inspired take on the Divers Sixty-Five, leaves a completely different impression than that Big Crown Pointer Date, but is equally impressive in its own way, and will likely appeal most to collectors who place a high value on the historical record.
The Divers Sixty-Five Fratello Limited Edition takes its inspiration from a version of the Oris diver that was released in 1968. This was a critical year in the history of Oris, as it marked the first time the brand was allowed to use a Swiss lever escapement in their watches, which was prohibited by rule of the Swiss Watch Statute since 1934. This law essentially stipulated that in order to receive a “Swiss Made” designation, a brand could only use a Swiss lever escapement in their movement if they had already been using it prior to a certain cutoff point. Oris, to that point, had been using simple but far less accurate pin-pallet escapements, so the company had to go through a years-long legal fight to earn the opportunity to switch to Swiss lever escapements.
Oris eventually won the right to use the superior lever escapements in their movements, and watches that included this technology were marked on the dial with the “STAR” designation. That “STAR” diver from ‘68 was a precursor to what would eventually become the Divers Sixty-Five, and this release features the design elements from that watch to act as tribute and give it an even more authentic vintage flavor. In addition to the historical wordmarks and typography, the Divers Sixty-Five Fratello Limited Edition also includes details like a glossy black dial, a bezel scale that uses dots rather than hashes, and, my personal favorite touch, old-school printed hour markers.
The result is a version of the Divers Sixty-Five that is truly understated and lacking in any obvious concessions to a modern aesthetic. Fratello deserves credit for committing to accurately recreating a watch from the past in the way they have here. The only real argument anyone could make about this watch’s fidelity to the original STAR diver from 1968 might be the size. This watch has the modern footprint of a regular production Divers Sixty-Five, with a 40mm case that measures 13mm tall and 48mm from lug to lug. Still, even at 40mm, the Divers Sixty-Five looks and wears much like a vintage watch.
The Divers Sixty-Five Fratello Limited Edition is powered by the Oris 733 movement, a rebadged Sellita SW200 beating at 28,800vph and running for 38 hours on a full wind. Like other Divers Sixty-Fives, this one features 100 meters of water resistance, and ships with both a leather strap and a Tropic-style rubber strap. A total of 300 pieces will be made, with 250 available via the Fratello Shop, with the remaining 50 available through Oris boutiques worldwide. The watch goes on sale at 6:00 AM CET on Tuesday, December 6 (that’s 12:00 AM on the east coast of the United States) with a retail price set at €1,900 excluding VAT. Fratello x Oris