Oris Divers Sixty Five 42mm - In the photo studio
When a brand can boast the crafting of a successful model in its history, a timepiece with a well-thought design, something almost “ familiar ” that could well represent a milestone, the “ re - edition operation ” is an almost guaranteed success. The supposed effect of the “ re - edition operation ” is to bring closer to the brand those people who are not familiar with it – not everybody is a real fan, some people are what I like to call “ occasional fans ” – and also those people who only have a marginal knowledge of the brand. In the last two years, Oris has managed to create the Divers Sixty Five collection, a tribute to a romantic era that marked a turning point in the development of deep sea explorations and it is also an homage to a model that best-represented the brand in that specific time. I am not sure how much the original version signaled that time but I know for a fact that the new Oris Divers Sixty Five watches have garnered quite a strong consensus among both the critics and the audience from the very moment they were first released on to the market and have given Oris quite a lot of visibility.
On the novelties front, the Carl Brashear has definitely been Oris ’s most interesting product of the year 2016 – a period that I have renamed “ the bronze age ” - but it is also the limited edition version of a Sixty Five that is bigger than the first model. The size of the case has increased from 40mm to 42mm and a new and stronger dial compared to the 40mm one has been introduced, on top of this, for those fans who are very much into vintage diver’s watches, an array of new features has been developed. These aficionados are the same people who are dictating the rules of the new collections and most brands have long understood that. Despite not having figures and numbers handy but by simply observing the behaviour of those who purchase – and also sell - timepieces, I have come to the conclusion that the watch-making industry is reacting in a manner that is pushing towards a revival of the vintage-style. All brands are trying to make the most out of this newly-reborn interest by virtually re-opening their archives.
The new Oris Divers Sixty Five 42mm has increased the perceived value of the collection; round indexes in an ochre colour – vintage SuperLuminova - have been applied on top of a blue dial, a hue of blue that is so vivid that it actually tends towards a dark purple colour. Oris ’s historic logo has been faithfully reproduced at 12 o’clock and it has also been engraved on the case-back. The result is a dial that sports an important visual perception, the only negative note is the window date that no brand seems to be able to get rid of and that actually reduces the effect of the vintage-style reference.
Oris bent the glass, it is not a glass-box (i.e. a flat glass that has been bent on the edges) but rather a bubble - shaped glass that reminds us of the first diving instruments, the dial also follows the exact same bending. The ring on the rotating bezel is a thin aluminum - made disc, any ceramic-made solution would have been out of place here and the case with its extremely elongated lugs can actually close on to the new stainless steel-made bracelet or on four different straps. The brown aged leather - made strap that you can see in this picture is probably the best of the four. The Oris Divers Sixty Five 42mm is equipped with the Sellita SW 200 - 1 caliber, in a nutshell, this is a very reliable automatic caliber that does its job perfectly well pending the arrival of an in-house-built manual caliber that will grace this beautiful case. This addition will most definitely change both the prospective and retail price of this timepiece.
Let’s now talk about the retail price that totals approximately 1,900 euro and let me also give you my personal opinion of this watch. The Oris Divers Sixty Five 42mm is pretty and honest. It is pretty because it transpires an authentic vintage taste and apart from the date window – it would have been less in your face if it had been inserted at 16:30 – every feature seems to be at the right place. The design is well-balanced and clean and every single aesthetic and functional element has been placed in the correct position without trying to show-off, even the hours central hand with its “ lollipop ”-style half-ends that, while in motion, remind us of the shape of the applied indexes. This timepiece is honest because it is high value for the customer if compared to its retail price.
Friends and other people that I have gotten to know through my blog often ask me why the retail price of watches has gone up dramatically in the last few years and I had to agree with them on more than one occasion when they complained about this practice. Many brands are eager to enter the very exclusive luxury-premium-sector and their targeting a clientele that comes from outside the European markets has contributed to upping retail prices indiscriminately, this phenomenon can be partially explained through a real increase in content for the customer. In this new scenario, the Oris Divers Sixty Five 42mm is an exceptional answer to this phenomenon and you can see that it has been thought through thoroughly with a particular attention to detail and it represents exactly what many people – me included – have been waiting for since long in the vintage-inspired-three-hands-sector.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Oris; Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter