Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef III – 52Mondayz, week #51-2019 My one and only watch purchase in 2019. Find out why by Ben HodgesDecember 16, 2019 MIN READOris Aquis Great Barrier Reef III – 52Mondayz, week #51-2019
In 2013, Oris released the Aquis Depth Gauge spawning a new collection of modern dive watches. This deep diver had a unique mechanical depth gauge highlighting Oris’ ambition to create practical applications rather than superfluous complications. Without further ado, let’s dive into my first 52Mondayz column below.
Oris Aquis Collection
The Aquis was made a bonafide collection when the core design cues of the Depth Gauge were later separated into time-only, chronograph and many special edition watches. A subtle facelift in 2017 introduced even more angular design cues cementing the Aquis as Oris’ best selling model across all regions. The Aquis had always escaped me though. At the time, my interest landed squarely in the vintage re-edition fad that really kicked off around the mid-2010s. By the end of the decade, fatigue had set in and I was finding myself more intrigued by cutting edge contemporary designs.
The Oris Divers 65 is their popular vintage-inspired diver
During Baselworld 2019, I was eagerly awaiting my appointment with Oris as there had been significant buzz surrounding their new collection. Following a quick visit to the Watch Incubator in Hall 4 on my penultimate day, I bumped into all-round great Dane, Kristian Haagen (Click Here). We both had a bit of a break during the day and decided to grab a quick drink before our next meetings. Under the beautiful Basel sunshine, a quick drink turned into a fair few and hasten to say, we were pretty merry.
We both made our way back to Hall 1 and I beelined for the prominent Oris booth. Although, the first thing the Oris representatives choose to do is place a Virtual Reality headset on my head. With the earlier “liquid lunch”, this didn’t bode well to have me look around the virtualised movement of the, then unannounced, Pro Pilot X (Hands-on Here). But I kept my composure. Moving on, we saw the new watch models as well as rare novelties produced only for specific markets. Unsurprisingly, my photos came out very blurry. Luckily my good friend and talented photographer, Simeon Kremzow-Tennie, was able to take some great shots despite the low lighting in the booth. It was only once the photos had been uploaded to Dropbox (and I had a topped up with caffeine) that I was able to fully examine the 2019 Oris collection.
Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef III
The 43.5mm sizing sounds larger than it wears
The watch that caught my eye was the turquoise dial of the Aquis Great Barrier Reef III. I became infatuated with this watch but knew I had to experience it under natural light to make an informed decision whether to purchase or not. Soon after, at an event in London, I got my wish and was not disappointed. The dial has a gradient of deep blue that subtly fades into light turquoise, imitating the reefs in which its named after. I also liked the date complication running the circumference of the dial that added symmetry and depth. I placed my name on a list and was over the moon when the phone call came only one month later to pick it up.
The dial is best enjoyed in natural light
Aquis on the Wrist
It’s been adorned on my wrist for the majority of this year whether swimming by the Cornish coast, hiking by the Scottish lochs or generally relaxing with family and friends. Well in fact, it has been my only watch purchase this year. The watch is delivered on the integrated steel bracelet but is interchangeable with a myriad of colourful rubber straps in the standard 43.5mm Oris Aquis size. The navy rubber strap with the sliding clasp has been my favourite and switching between the bracelet and strap is a cinch. This is thanks to the tri-wing screw heads that slot into the drilled lugs and secure the strap rather than relying on the tension from spring bars. The thing is, the tool has to be bought separately or kindly requested by trained Oris staff to carry out the strap change.
The Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef III also supports the Reef Restoration Foundation. In 2016, due to a combination of events, coral bleaching affected 50% of the Great Barrier Reef. Whilst coral bleaching is a natural activity that in someway sustains the seabed, similar to forest fire damage regenerating new growth, the vastness of the impact and the shorter intervals of regrowth has long standing consequence. The Reef Restoration Foundation accepts experienced divers to volunteer and help study and collect data in the reef to develop a plan to limit our impact.
Oris Aquis in the Algae box
The Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef III is packaged within a cool algae box, which is another step Oris is taking to spread awareness of how sustainable resources can be used to replace our reliance on non-renewable materials.
Brand Oris ModelAquis Great Barrier Reef IIIReference01 743 7734 4185-SetDialBlueCase MaterialStainless steelCase Dimensions43.5mmCrystalSapphireCase BackSolid with EngravingMovementOris 743, base SW 220-1Water Resistance300 MetresStrapStainless steelFunctionsTime and DatePrice£1,950 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Ben has been working in central London for 7 years. In that time, Ben has developed an interest in watches after being gifted his father’s Breitling at 25. He explores the weird and wonderful in horology at all price ranges,… read more
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