Oris Goes Big with their New Aquis

Oris is once again expanding their Aquis collection, this time debuting a reference with a small seconds indicator in a case with a larger footprint, the Aquis Small Second Date 45.5mm. The Aquis is one of the Swiss brand’s signature creations, and as such Oris has endeavored to make it available, and palatable, to a huge range of potential customers, with cases ranging from 36.5mm all the way up to 45.8mm for the Aquis Depth Gauge. Over the last few release cycles, we’ve seen Oris put a focus on the smaller and medium sized watches, but here we get a big one, with a case measuring 45.5mm, a brand new size for the diver, and featuring the increasingly rare small seconds indicator at 9:00. 

When we think about dive watches, normally we consider them along the metric of water resistance and legibility, but there’s another core component of any diver that is less discussed and often taken for granted, and that’s being able to immediately determine if the watch is running. Needless to say, a dive watch that has stopped running doesn’t do you very much good at all, and could potentially be quite dangerous for a diver relying on their watch to time surface intervals or bottom time. If you picture a dive watch in your mind’s eye, you’re likely to think of one with a centrally mounted seconds hand, which makes it easy to see at a glance whether or not a watch is functioning at its most basic level. But for timing purposes, getting a readout to the second isn’t of much importance while diving – divers need to see the minute hand in relation to the timing bezel. Moving the running seconds to 9:00 has a way keeping the eye’s focus on the oversized minute hand, while relegating the running seconds hand to an out of the way location on the dial where it won’t be confused with the minute hand, but is still easy to see it moving to confirm the watch is running. 

To make the running seconds at 9:00 more easily visible, Oris has given it a Super-LumiNova coating, and has increased its overall size with an extra long counterweight. It also sits on a black subdial, which contrasts just enough the deep blue main dial. In line with this watch’s increased heft, it also has more water resistance than a standard Aquis, with a depth rating that takes it down to 500 meters. All of the other features collectors have come to expect with an Aquis are here as well, including the integrated stainless steel bracelet (or rubber strap), ceramic bezel insert, and oversized and lume filled applied hour markers. The Aquis Small Second Date 45.5mm runs on the Oris 743 caliber, which is a modified Sellita SW220. 

While my preferences certainly tend toward a more moderately sized diver, giving people options is a good thing, and now there’s a new choice for folks who want to relive the “Big Watch” days. It’s worth pointing out that the Aquis, with its integrated lug design, tends to wear surprisingly well in its larger sizes. It’s the rare watch that seems to work just as well in small sizes as it does in larger versions, providing a different visual impression across the range of sizes, but rarely feeling either unwieldy or diminutive. In other words, like all watches, it’s worth trying on before making a snap judgment, though 45.5mm is admittedly at the high end of what most can comfortably pull off. 

The new Aquis Small Second Date 45.5mm is available now through Oris retailers, and carries a retail price of $2,700 on a strap and $2,900 on a bracelet. Oris

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.