Oris ProDiver Chronograph 2016 - In the photo-studio
Before Oris devoted itself to crafting its first in-house built caliber and completely re-thinking its classic collection, the brand’s diver’s watches represented (and yet represent) its very top achievements and the best the sector could offer within Europe and beyond. Oris has never stopped developing its diver’s timepieces but the Pro Diver Chronograph, for example, stood a bit silent for a while to leave room for the launch of the 110 caliber and its evolutions over the last two years.
The year 2016 is showing us that the Swiss brand has no intention to let its competitors win the battle and it wants to make sure that its leadership within the sector stays intact. Starting off from a successful tool watch that became known thanks to the most famous divers – like Carlos Coste for example – Oris hasn’t revolutionized its top diver’s watch but it has rather enhanced and improved a lot of its features; a move that shows the technical and stylistic longevity of this timepiece. Despite the fact that professional divers use digital and professional instruments when they dive, the Oris ProDiver is the closest thing to a work tool, you could ever find. The titanium case is gigantic and measures 51mm, its thickness is quite impressive too and the ProDiver Chronograph features a 1,000m-rating.
Among the features that have always made this timepiece stand out from the crowd, is the Oris Rotating Safety System; a system that secures the rotating unidirectional bezel in a specific position so that it won’t move during the most arduous and delicate phases of a diving session. The system is a patented one that is triggered by a rubber ring that is coaxial to the rotating bezel. There is a black ceramic ring placed in the middle that sports a minutes scale; one of the first applications of this type if not the very first one on a watch. The three chrono counters have been stylistically simplified, especially the one placed at 9, and redesigned so that the look of the ProDiver has become aesthetically cleaner and the timepiece looks also lighter than the version it has replaced. Same thing can be said for the lugs that dictate both the style of a timepiece and its wearability; the lugs have been redesigned too and they now appear more squared.
A helium-escape-valve is present on the Oris ProDiver Chronograph’s case-side; a necessary choice for saturation diving sessions. Whether the valve is necessary or not, this is a discussion item both when it comes to the ProDiver and other similar timepieces, it also depends on how the case is crafted – in the 70s, it used to be a single block – and on the seals too. Because of this timepiece’s nature and Oris’s mission, it would be nice to see whether a watch with no valve at all will be available in the near future.
The timepiece comes in a box that also contains a second rubber strap with an extension system that can be adjusted without having to unwrap the watch from the wrist first. The rubber strap can also replace the beautiful meshed bracelet made of titanium – same as the case -. The sides of the mesh have been polished and leveled, the central mesh has been rounded and matted. Oris has also redesigned the grooves on the bezel and the safety rings of the chrono buttons.
Within the case, Oris has inserted an evolution caliber of the SW500 Sellita with 13 lines and 1/4. The caliber runs at a frequency of 4Hz and guarantees up to 48 hours of power reserve. The retail price totals 4,500 CHF; a higher positioning than the model it has replaced. This is due in my opinion to an improved brand awareness and also because the Oris ProDrive Chronograph is a small, big legend among professional diver's timepieces.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter
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