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.
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.
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.