I hate to inform you that your 300m diver is not a heavy hitter. While you can still stand proud knowing that you have a watch that is water resistant to a degree that almost no one ever needs, 300m is a drop in the bucket compared to the big guns of dive watches. In fact, even 1000m is common enough to only merit a shoulder shrug. How far below the sea must a watch be able to go to really impress? I’m going to say, on the record, that 3000m is the minimum threshold, and such a rating (and beyond) garners the designation of “abyss diver” (the ocean’s abyssal zone extends from 3000m to 6000m). No stranger to over-the-top complications that may not be necessary but sure are cool, Oris has just announced the Oris AquisPro 4000m, a verifiably abyssal take on its flagship Aquis dive watch and the most water-resistant watch the brand has ever produced.

There is no practical purpose for this or any other abyss diver. The deepest dive accomplished by a human—with a pressurized suit, no less—only reached 610m. And water resistance is irrelevant in the pressurized deep-sea vehicles that descend to the bottom of the ocean; perhaps you’ve noticed how every demonstration of these abyss divers sees them strapped to the submersible, not to someone’s wrist. As with many watches, they exist solely to demonstrate a brand’s ability to make them. And frankly, that’s enough for this particular watch lover.

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The titanium case of the Oris AquisPro 4000m is fantastically enormous: 23.4mm thick, 55mm lug-to-lug, and 49.5mm in diameter. There is no wrist this will fit, and that’s just fine because this is all about that depth rating. Using a patented locking bezel developed with professional divers and called the Rotation Safety System, plus a screw-down crown and an incredibly thick sapphire crystal, the watch achieves a 4,000m depth rating, as made clear by its name. The bezel itself features a rich blue ceramic insert with full lumed markings. Despite its epic proportions, the watch maintains the overall silhouette of the brand’s flagship Aquis dive watch. It’s paired with a bright blue integrated rubber strap that has a titanium folding clasp with an easy extension mechanism for on-the-fly sizing adjustments.

The AquisPro 4000m features a lovely gradient blue dial that evokes the view as one descends into the ocean, the light gradually fading as one is enveloped by the dark chill of the abyss. It has a printed wave pattern we’ve seen on a few other Orises, including the previous black and yellow AquisPro that was rated to just 1000m. It shares the handset and applied hour marker design with the Aquis collection but features a bright blue lollipop seconds hand for a pop of color; the blue matches the 15-minute gradation on the bezel and the strap. Super-LumiNova is applied to the hands and the markers, and I hope it’s done aggressively because there’s no light at 4,000m.

Oris has equipped the AquisPro 4000m with its in-house Caliber 400. One of Oris’ proudest accomplishments, the Caliber 400 is a truly impressive movement. The twin-barrel design offers 120 hours of power reserve at 28,800 vph, but that’s just the start. The movement keeps time beyond chronometer spec at -3/+5 seconds per day, and what’s more, it comes with a 10-year warranty and a 10-year recommended service interval. While this watch isn’t necessarily the place for a movement to strut its stuff, I’m happy that Oris didn’t shortchange this ambitious watch with the Sellita SW220-based Oris 733.

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The Oris AquisPro 4000m joins the ranks of the Omega Ultra Deep and the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller (not to mention the Mariana Trench-friendly Deepsea Challenger) in pushing the limits of water resistance past necessity and into the realm of playground taunts—though the Oris does it at almost half the price of the first two and one-fourth the price of the Deepsea Challenger. Some may say that it’s not of the same caliber as those two, but I’d argue that the movement puts it right up there and the quirky Aquis design gives it more character than at least the Deepsea, if not the Ultra Deep.

Whether it be in the realm of chronometry or case materials or water resistance, it’s such a common practice for brands to pursue superlatives for their own sake that perhaps we are beyond the point of using the inanity of such pursuits as grounds for dismissal. To be sure, it is exciting to see new watches that push any boundary, even if it’s only as a game of theatrics and one-upmanship. Because that’s really the whole idea with the AquisPro 4000m: We are Oris. We make impressive watches. The Oris AquisPro 4000m is priced at $6,200 USD. For more information, please visit the brand’s website

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