October 8, 2021
by Ariel Adams
Earlier in 2021, aBlogtoWatch helped debut the novel Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 collection that includes a fresh exclusive movement that helps add a lot of value and prestige to the brand’s popular enthusiast-oriented diver’s watch collection. I’ve always been a fan of the Oris Aquis (see this aBlogtoWatch review here) as a means of getting into a Swiss Made sports watch that has some distinctive character to it. Oris has been on a roll over the last few years and has been really successful at making consumers happy with watches in the roughly $2,000-$3,000 price segment. This success has pushed Oris to creep more aggressively upmarket while strengthening its core value propositions. The Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 is one of the latest ways Oris is doing this, so let’s check out this very versatile sports watch with a five-day power reserve automatic movement.
That metric is, indeed, the primary thing Oris likes to exclaim about the calibre 400 mechanism. Not only that, but it is quite accurate over time for a movement with a long 120-hour power reserve. Oris does submit these movements for COSC Chronometer certification, but it claims within chronometer-rate performance. The movement also operates at 4Hz with a view of the automatic movement through the sapphire crystal caseback of the 300-meter water-resistant case. Even with the caseback open like that, Oris still claims decently impressive anti-magnetic performance in the Aquis Calibre 400 products. Also very impressive for the Calibre 400 movements is that they have a 10-year warranty with 10-year service intervals. That’s some of the most impressive in the industry and, no doubt, gives Oris’s sales staff some impressive figures to throw around that can’t be beaten by most of the competition.
At a glance, there isn’t too much that’s different about this Aquis Date as other Aquis Date watches with, say, ETA or Sellita movements. That’s because Oris wants to make sure consumers associate the Aquis with a particular look, which I said in a previous review was both conservative (good for sports watches) and distinctive (good for luxury products). In this form, the Aquis has a steel case that is 41.5mm-wide and feels very “medium” on the wrist. Oris certainly makes both smaller and larger versions of the Aquis, but I agree that the 41.5mm-wide size is universally appealing. This particular version has a metallic-gray anthracite dial, and Oris also came out with blue and green versions of the Aquis Date Calibre 400 for this round of products.
The Aquis case has a proprietary strap connection system but now, finally, comes with a quick-release mechanism that allows you to remove the bracelet or strap and replace it with something else very quickly. The design of the case means that the lugs are both relatively narrow and stubby, which really just helps it fit better on more wrists. The dial is a bit on the shiny side (plus, the domed sapphire crystal makes for even more glare), but Oris does like its divers to dazzle a bit in the light. These are still Swiss luxury products, after all. Around the symmetrically designed diver’s watch dial is a uni-directional rotating diver’s watch bezel in matching gray with a polished ceramic insert.
The tapering bracelet has polished outer links with a wide-brushed center link and closes with a push-button fold-over deployant clasp. The overall Aquis Date Calibre 400 package is a formula that works. Take a tool-style diver’s watch with some refined visual personality, and over-engineer it a bit while making sure its surfaces carry a fine polish. Help emphasize that it is a value-laden product, but don’t make it anywhere near the least expensive product of its type in the room. This is a winning formula right now for Oris, and a winning formula for the Aquis with the still-fresh Calibre 400 automatic movements. Price for this reference 01 400 7769 4154-07 8 22 09PEB Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 watch in steel on the matching bracelet is $3,500 USD. Learn more at the Oris website here.