Over the years, the humble Oris Aquis has become increasingly appealing as a diver’s-style sports watch when compared to the competition. With fair prices, distinctive designs, and familiar features, the Aquis also benefits from being produced in a large assortment of varieties. Oris does a great job of developing successful products into vast collections. That doesn’t only include past Aquis models, but also ones that are produced today. Today, I go hands-on with a particular flavor of the Oris Aquis, which here is the reference Oris Aquis Date Relief. It comes in a 43.5mm-wide case with a steel-on-steel bezel and a lovely “cherry” red metallic dial.

Back in 2020, I wrote about materially the same watch when reviewing the Oris Aquis on aBlogtoWatch here. The primary differences between the Aquis Date Relief model are the color of the dial and the bezel. For style (more so than functionality or cost), the “Relief” version of the Aquis has a steel bezel insert with numerals done in relief (raised type). This is as opposed to the available polished ceramic bezel inserts that are available on other Aquis models. Why does Oris offer both bezel styles? Probably because both are pretty nice. Even though you don’t have the scratch resistance of ceramic with a steel bezel, the continuous look of steel offers a very handsome presence I think is very good-looking.

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Oris offers this same Aquis Date Relief watch with the cherry red dial in a smaller case size, as well. That is the 41.5mm (so, 2mm narrower) reference

With 300 meters of water resistance, the Oris Aquis is a real diver’s watch, and that’s the core appeal of this sports watch family. Oris produces a lot of other diver’s watches, but for me, the core Aquis collection remains the most desirable. The watch is comfortable with its elegant lines, polished surfaces, and tapering bracelet, but also rather well-priced for what you are getting. While Oris’ exclusive caliber 400 family of movements is nice, watches equipped with those movements are much more expensive. In the Aquis Date models Oris uses Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 automatic movements (they call it their caliber Oris 733) which operate at 4Hz with 38 hours of power reserve. This class of movement is probably the most popular in modern history for use with tool-style diver’s watch like this. Even with the high level of water resistance, the case has a sapphire display caseback that allows you to view the movement along with the red-colored automatic winding rotor.

The high level of polish and attractive symmetry/proportions make this diver’s watch classier than a lot of the competition. That’s really why I like the Aquis because, while it has a humility to it that I enjoy, the composition itself is attractive enough to be worn in semi-formal and social settings as much as you can rely on it for sports and adventuring. Oris does a great job blending class and functionality into a single product, which is why I think the Aquis family has been such an enduring winner at Oris for a number of years now.

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This isn’t the only watch with a red dial that Oris has created, nor will it be the last. Will red be the next trendy dial color for watches after blue and green? Maybe. I think red has always been popular on watches as an accent color, and perhaps that is why not as many watches have emphasized it more on the dial. That said, I think there is perhaps a strong likelihood that red as a tone will have its moment of accelerated popularity in today’s watch market — probably sooner rather than later. Price for this reference Oris Aquis Date Relief watch is $2,300 USD. Learn more at the Oris website here.

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