Over the years, Oris has maintained a tradition of producing limited-edition watches that promote awareness of various environmental conservation efforts around the globe. Often connected to some body of water, past limited-edition pieces have been dedicated to everything from majestic aquatic destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef to slightly less picturesque waterways like the New York Harbor. Back in 2021, Oris teamed up with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, which is an organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of the Wadden Sea (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009) to create a limited-edition version of the brand’s Aquis diver. Now, as its latest new release of 2023, the Hölstein-based watch brand has created a follow-up edition known as the Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II, which features a dial that is inspired by the salt marshes of the Wadden Sea.
The Aquis has been produced in countless different iterations over the years, although the new Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II appears to follow the same core design as the Aquis Hangang Limited Edition from 2020. While these models both feature the same 43.5mm stainless steel case that can be found among other Aquis watches, this particular configuration is distinguished by its small running seconds at 9 o’clock, along with its circular date display that sits along the interior perimeter of the hour markers. The rest of the case is very much in-line with other similarly sized Aquis models, and it features a double-domed sapphire crystal above the dial (with anti-reflective treatment on the underside surface), a signed screw-down crown at 3 o’clock, separately attached crown guards, and the collection’s standard 300 meters of water resistance.
While many Oris Aquis models feature ceramic bezel inserts, the unidirectional rotating timing bezel on the new Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II is fitted with a 60-minute insert made from tungsten that has a circular brushed finish. Additionally, unlike the standard-production Aquis models that typically have exhibition-style casebacks, a significant number of the brand’s limited-edition Aquis watches receive solid screw-down casebacks that display special commemorative engravings. In regards to the Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II, its solid stainless steel caseback features a coast motif engraving, along with each watch’s individual limited-edition number out of 2,009 examples, which serves as a reference to the year that the Wadden Sea was established a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The dial of the new Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II is arguably its most unique feature, and it showcases a unique gradient pattern with tones that are inspired by the Wadden Sea salt marshes. Vertically fading from pale blue to green and punctuated by faceted applied hour markers, the dial fitted to the Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II features four cut-outs that form a circle in the center with a numerical calendar track printed along the outer edge. The current date is indicated by a contrasting colored block that appears next to the number through one of the four cut-outs, while the running seconds appears on a separate register at the 9 o’clock location. Additionally, just as you would expect from a model built upon a dive watch platform, all three of the hands, plus each one of the 12 hour markers are finished with Super-LumiNova to offer increased legibility in low light conditions.
Powering the new Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II is the brand’s Caliber 743 automatic movement, which is a Sellita-based design rather than one of the brand’s own in-house calibers. As such, the Oris Cal. 743 runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) while offering users a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. Despite having a small running seconds indicator and an unusual circular date display, the Cal. 743 is still ultimately just a three-handed, time-and-date movement, and this means that the new Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II gets to benefit from a novel visual display without actually requiring a more complex internal caliber. Lastly, fitted to the integrated-style lugs is the Aquis collection’s signature three-link stainless steel bracelet, although the Dat Watt Limited Edition II is also supplied with an additional blue rubber strap, and both options are fitted with stainless steel folding clasps with built-in extension systems.
Just like many watch brands, Oris has been steadily increasing its prices over the years, and a large part of that price increase has been due to the significant premiums that accompany its models with in-house movements. Among the various time-and-date Aquis watches, a model with an in-house caliber typically sells for approximately 50% more than one of its Sellita-based counterparts, yet with an official retail price of $3,200 USD, the new Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II costs over a thousand dollars more than an entry-level Aquis, and this places it just several hundred dollars away from one of the Aquis models that are powered by an in-house movement. While you do receive a unique dial with an unconventional date display (along with both a rubber strap and stainless steel bracelet), the new Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II still feels a bit expensive when you compare it to the other models that are currently part of the greater Aquis lineup. At the same time, this new follow-up Dat Watt model is now the only Aquis watch to offer this unusual circular date setup, and as a limited edition of 2,009 examples, it will ultimately be a fairly short-lived offering in the brand’s catalog. For more information on the Oris Aquis Dat Watt Limited Edition II, please visit the brand’s website.