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Oris Aquis Watches Ultimate Buying Guide

Paul Altieri

Oris has a prestigious history of delivering high-end watches at very reasonable prices. Founded by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian in 1904, the brand has experienced a resurgence in recent years and today, all modern Oris watches are proudly powered by mechanical movements, and some even use the brand’s very own in-house calibers. The Oris Aquis collection was launched in 2011, and while the brand’s other dive watch, the vintage-inspired Divers Sixty-Five draws inspiration from the models from Oris’s past, the Aquis is a thoroughly modern timepiece.

The Aquis collection includes a wide variety of models, offering a diverse assortment of case sizes, complications, dial/bezel styles, and bracelet options. Matching real-word functionality with modern, high-performance design, the Aquis is the ultimate companion and a true cornerstone offering among the various Oris watches that make up their contemporary collection. The only problem with the Aquis is deciding which one you want to wear. So to help you pick out the best for your collection, I’m breaking down and comparing the current collection.

Oris Watches Aquis Buying Guide Small Seconds Date
How well do you know the various Oris watches that make up the Aquis collection?

Aquis Date 

Oris Watches Aquis Date Buying Guide

The Aquis Date is among the best-selling Oris watches currently available, and comes in an assortment of different sizes, configurations, and colors. Models come in 36.5mm, 39.5mm, and 43.5mm case sizes, and all watches feature the Oris Cal. 733 movement (based on the SW 200-1), which offers an instantaneously changing date display and hack-second functionality. Additionally, all of the versions are crafted from robust stainless steel but come with an array of vibrant and eye-catching dial and bezel colors (the standard Aquis Date has nearly 40 different aesthetic options). You can choose from black, blue, green, white and brown dials – each one featuring a unidirectional rotating bezel and a choice between a stainless steel bracelet, a brown or grey leather strap, or a black, blue or white rubber band. 

Black dials are available in all three sizes as is the blue dial design. The brown dial options of the Oris Aquis Date with a matching brown bezel are only available in the 36.5mm and 43.5mm sizes, while the green dial options are restricted to 39.5mm and 43.5mm. The smaller 36.5mm case size is perfect for the white dials, which are available on stainless steel bracelets or white rubber straps. The multi-piece stainless steel case with a sapphire crystal and screw-down crown and caseback ensure that all Oris Aquis Date watches are water-resistant to 300 meters, which is more than enough to provide users with a worry-free experience when wearing their Aquis in and around the water.

Oris Aquis Big Day Date

Oris Watches Aquis Overview Buying Guide Big Day Date Hammerhead Limited Edition

Clocking in at 45.5mm, the Oris Aquis Big Day Date is not only larger but it also but features a day display alongside the date on the dial. Ticking inside is the automatic Oris Cal. 752 movement (based on the SW 220-1), which adds an additional day of the week complication to the instantaneously changing date display and hack-seconds functionality of the standard Aquis Date model, while still offering a standard 38hr power reserve. All modern versions are constructed from stainless steel with a black bezel and blue dial; however, the Hammerhead Limited Edition comes with a gray dial with bright blue accents and a black ceramic bezel.

Oris Aquis GMT Date

Oris Watches Aquis Buying Guide Collectors GMT Date

The Oris Aquis GMT Date is sized at 43.5mm like the standard Aquis Date, but what’s ticking inside is much more complex. The automatic winding Oris Cal. 798 movement (based on the SW 330-1) supports hours and minutes as well as two time zones – one displayed via a central GMT-hand on the blue dial, the other with the traditional 12-hour hands. Additionally, much like other GMT watches, rotating the distinctive black ceramic bezel on the Aquis GMT Date allows users to quickly reference an additional third time zone. The movement also has a whopping 42-hour power reserve and offers an instantaneously changing date function, and hack-seconds functionality. With 300 meters of water resistance and two additional timezones, these Oris watches can take you just about anywhere.

Oris Aquis Small Seconds Date

Oris Watches Aquis Overview Buying Guide Small Seconds Date

Upon first glance, you might think the Oris Aquis Small Seconds Date is awfully similar to the various Oris watches that make up the standard Aquis Date collection, and in principle, it is. The ‘blue’ model has the same face, bold dial design and date functionality; however, this watch is packing a little bit more into its larger case. Measuring in at 45.5mm, this stainless steel watch has an increased water resistance over the standard models with a depth rating of 500m and also features the Oris Cal. 733 movement (based on the SW 220-1). The only ‘small’ thing about this watch is the small seconds sub-dial that sits at the nine o’clock location, while the date display sits in a window at the three o’clock location.

Oris Aquis Chronograph

Oris Watches Aquis Shopping Guide Chronograph

The Aquis Chronograph is amongst the most sophisticated of the collection, offering the wearer three sub-dials displaying running seconds, along with 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. Powering the watch is the automatic Oris Cal. 774 movement (based on the SW 500), which offers users a 48-hour power reserve and also features a date display that is nestled inside the chronograph sub-dial at the six o’clock location. Crafted in stainless steel and adorned with either a stainless steel bracelet, a sporty black rubber band, or a brown leather strap (the latter of which gives the timepiece a sporty yet subtle vintage edge), the 45.5mm Oris Aquis Chronograph features a unidirectional rotating timing bezel made from ceramic and offers users 300 meters of water resistance, meaning this watch not only looks smart but provides all the functionality you expect from a professional dive chronograph. 

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge 

Oris Watches Aquis Ultimate Shopping Guide Depth Gauge 

The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is the only watch that measures depth by (amazingly) allowing water to enter the watch itself. A thin groove with a small opening on one end is cut around the edge of its sapphire crystal so that when water enters via compression, depth can be determined by seeing where the air and water meet along the scale. The 46mm stainless steel case of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge features a screw-down caseback and crown and provides users with 500 meters of water resistance. The display of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is quite distinct and certainly geared towards those with a sportier taste in diver’s watches. Splashes of vivid yellow are seen against a deep black dial, and powering the watch is the Oris Cal. 733 movement (based on the SW 200-1), which provides users with a 38hr power reserve and runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Chronograph versions of the Aquis Depth Gauge are also available and rely on the same automatic Oris Cal. 774 movement (based on the SW 500), that is used to power the standard ORis chronograph models.

Oris Aquis Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ 

Oris Watches Aquis Ultimate Buying Guide Regulateur Der Meistertaucher

Lastly, if you’re looking for an Oris Diver’s watch with a unique feature to show off, then the Oris Aquis Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ might just be the watch for you. This is by far the most unique model among the vast assortment of Oris watches that make up the greater Aquis collection. Forged entirely out of titanium and featuring an incredibly unusual and seldom-seen regulateur (regulator) complication, the 43.5mm Aquis Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ is a real piece of diving ingenuity. The ‘regulateur’ designation means that the primary functions of the watch are separated out into distinct dials. The Oris Regulateur “Der Meistertaucher“ watch features the minutes shown on the main dial and the hours and seconds are displayed on two small sub-dials. This useful and innovative feature provides the diver with a remarkably legible way of keeping track of minutes whilst underwater as there are no other centrally-mounted hands to create confusion. Oris calls this their safest dive watch because the regulator display provides the diver with a remarkably legible way of keeping track of minutes whilst underwater as there are no other centrally-mounted hands to create confusion.

The watch’s 43.5mm titanium case offers users 300 meters of water resistance, and its unusual display with its bright red minute hand provides a bold wrist presence when worn. Powering the watch is the Aquis Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ is the Oris Cal 749 (based on the SW 220-1), which provides users with a 38hr power reserve along with its highly unconventional display. Overall, the Oris Aquis Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ is a comfortable and lightweight alternative to the rest of the stainless steel Oris watches that make up the Aquis collection, which also promises a highly unique way of displaying the time.

Aquis Date Calibre 400

The Aquis Date Calibre 400, a remarkable innovation by Oris, stands out for its impressive 5-day power reserve and enhanced anti-magnetic properties. This watch, featuring a 43.5mm case, is distinguished by its robust design and high level of water resistance, making it ideal for divers and aquatic adventurers. With its in-house developed movement, the Calibre 400, it sets a new standard in mechanical watchmaking, offering reliability and precision.

Aquis Date Relief

The Aquis Date Relief is a part of Oris’s esteemed Aquis line, inspired by the color and feeling of water. It boasts a distinctive red rotor, visible through the transparent case back, symbolizing the brand’s commitment to water conservation efforts. With a design emphasizing legibility and durability, this model caters to both professional divers and watch enthusiasts who appreciate precision and style.

AquisPro Date Calibre 400

Oris’s Aquis Date Relief, part of their acclaimed Aquis series, draws inspiration from the texture and hues of seawater. This timepiece features a unique relief bezel, designed to mirror the ripples of water. Its robust stainless steel case, measuring 43.5mm, ensures durability and resilience, particularly for underwater activities. The watch is equipped with a reliable automatic movement, visible through its transparent case back, showcasing Oris’s mechanical prowess. Emphasizing legibility, the dial is adorned with luminous hands and markers, making it easily readable in low-light conditions.

Aquis Date Watt Limited Edition

The Aquis Date Watt Limited Edition is a remarkable creation by Oris, celebrating their partnership with the environmentalist Gerardo del Villar. This special edition watch features a unique design inspired by the majestic whale shark, highlighting the brand’s commitment to ocean conservation. With a case diameter of 43.5mm, it offers a bold yet sophisticated presence on the wrist. Its blue dial, reminiscent of the ocean depths, is complemented by a pattern that echoes the skin texture of the whale shark. The watch is powered by a high-performance automatic movement, ensuring accuracy and reliability. Limited in production, each piece is individually numbered, adding to its exclusivity and collectible value. Additionally, the watch comes with a sustainable strap made from recycled materials, further underscoring Oris’s dedication to environmental responsibility.

Aquis Sun Wukong Artist Edition

The Aquis Sun Wukong Artist Edition is a distinctive timepiece by Oris, paying homage to the legendary Chinese figure Sun Wukong. This watch showcases an intricate dial design, featuring an artistic interpretation of the Monkey King, a central character in the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. Its case, crafted from robust stainless steel, measures 43.5mm, ensuring a bold presence on the wrist. The timepiece is powered by an automatic movement, renowned for its precision and durability. Each model in this limited series is individually numbered, enhancing its collectibility and unique appeal. The watch’s water resistance makes it suitable for adventure enthusiasts, blending artistic design with functional reliability. Completing the look is a comfortable rubber strap, chosen for both its durability and sporty aesthetic.

Aquis Date New York Harbor Limited Edition

Oris introduces the Aquis Sun Wukong Artist Edition, a timepiece that masterfully blends mythology with horology. Inspired by Sun Wukong, the fabled Monkey King from Chinese folklore, the watch features a vividly detailed dial. This edition is distinguished by a unique color scheme that echoes the character’s dynamic essence. Encased in durable stainless steel, the 43.5mm case ensures a prominent display. Driving this exquisite model is a reliable automatic movement, known for its precision. Each piece in this limited series is individually numbered, signifying its exclusivity. The design is completed with a robust rubber strap, chosen for both comfort and style. This special edition not only tells time but also conveys a story, making it a treasure for both watch collectors and enthusiasts of cultural lore.

Paul Altieri
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