Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch Hands-On

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch Hands-On

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch Hands On   hands on

Last year one of the most talked about dive watches was Oris’ surprise hit, the Aquis Depth Gauge. I don’t think Oris realized what a hit it would be, and even we were surprised by how many people professed their desire for this watch. Oris is well-known as a producer of well-made, extremely durable, and rugged looking mechanical Swiss dive watches. There is absolutely no shortage of divers in their collection, but the Aquis Depth Gauge is the first model in their product line-up to offer a way of measuring depth. So will this be your next diver?

We discussed the capillary-style depth gauge system in the watch more when we initially covered the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge watch here. The brilliance of the system is that it is simple, unobtrusive, and useful. Unless there is physical damage to the sapphire crystal the depth gauge ought to work. Oris in effect has created a back-up depth gauge system that many divers may want to have in addition to their dive computers. It is pretty unreasonable these days to expect people who dive to rely of mechanical versus computerized equipment. Though it is not unreasonable for a diver to have a mechanical watch as a back-up timing device. That it may also have a depth gauge is an added benefit.

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch Hands On   hands on

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch Hands On   hands on

It is also worth pointing out that mechanical watches with depth gauges are extremely expensive. Look to IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, or Blancpain for a depth gauge-based diver (among the very few brands that even offer one) and you’ll be in for sticker-shot. All for what essentially will be a back-up tool? Most people don’t have the budget or stomach to dive with one of those. Oris divers are serious tool watches at heart to taking them into the depths should be no cause for alarm. Chunky and produced in steel, the thick 46mm wide case of the Aquis Depth Gauge feels anything but fragile.

Nevertheless, it has a slick design and good looks that accompany most Oris products. The 500 meter water resistant watch has the looks of an elegant beater. More good news is that when you aren’t diving the depth gauge does not get in the way. What I’ve said about most depth gauge divers (such as the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter reviewed here) is that they feel almost strange on land because it feels like so much of the dial is being unused. The Aquis Depth Gauge has a simple channel for water for enter around the periphery of the dial with a scale of yellow markers around the edge of the dial. While it is easy to notice that the depth gauge is there, it doesn’t get in the way of the hands nor does it feel like half the dial is dedicated to the said features. For me that is really important getting people excited about wearing the watch more regularly than when they dive (if they ever dive).

12 comments
mktcrasher
mktcrasher

Nice, I like it.  Oris does a good job of making many excellent watches at a reasonable price.  Been eyeing an Oris for a long while.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Much like the Grinches heart, this handset needs to grow 3 sizes larger. All that space on the dial, nothing to hide with hands, and a 500M dive watch with what are essentially dressy sport watch hands. Phail. 

marbstiu
marbstiu

It's good that they made it in steel. The oris titanium watches are too light for my taste. @ 46mm a watch should have that "heft" to it.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

A simple and elegant technical solution. Nothing to go wrong, etc. Now we just need some hands-on shots underwater to see how easy or hard the depth gauge is read. Maybe Ariel will have to take the plunge (pun intended) and take this one down in the ocean for some more photos. Perhaps in Hawaii...?

spiceballs
spiceballs

Interesting watch and from pix Oris look to have done a good job, but note U31 comments - altho I like the yellow.  Hands might have been thicker (a la Seiko?) to stand out better in poor light conditions, especially when diving?

Lkcons - I started diving in 60s with single hose (upstream valve!) with no BC, pressure gauge, spare hose, reserve, depth gauge or dive watch (couldn't afford such.) and know just what you mean.  We always knew where we were going and when tank was low, and I'm still here with no (visible) problems :-)

CG
CG

Yellow and lime green are the most visible at depth and unmistakable on a night dive. I have too many Orii, but will sell my old Oris diver for this... exceptional diving simplicity and price.

BIGCHRONO
BIGCHRONO

Excellent brand, watch, price. I just removed the condom from my wallet, as there is no financial rape here.

Lkcons
Lkcons

Well.....I started scuba diving in the '70s with no fancy dive computer. Since then have steadily added lots of clutter to my dive gear (including a pretty annoying dive computer that has died on me as battery powered stuff tends to do) and sorely missing the old days - maybe now I can go back to only two hoses :-) (One for DV, one for BC with integrated 2nd DV, my old tank with J-valve (anyone remember those?), and Oris depth gauge :-)

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

It doesn't look as good as in the marketing photos.  The dial and bezel are a dull matte finish which i'm not keen on, and the greasy fingerprints don't help much either.  The yellow really spoils it for me - red I could just about tolerate in small doses but I don't think it suits the overall tone of the watch at all. 

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

It's the yellow I tell ya...put yellow on EVERYTHING and sit back and watch the cash pour in...

Lkcons
Lkcons

@spiceballs
Indeed! Maybe we can start a Keep It Simple Stupid diving club... :-)

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