Ocean conservation has been an integral part of Swiss independent marque Oris’ ethos for years now, with many of the brand’s releases centered around preserving the world’s waterways. Oris does far more than raising awareness for environmental causes however, and hot on the heels of the company’s announcement that it is now fully climate neutral it now turns its attention to integrating recycled ocean plastics into its flagship Aquis dive watch line. The Aquis line has occasionally featured limited edition models with PET plastic elements recovered from the ocean, but the brand’s latest release brings this colorful recycled material front and center in two new regular production variants. With dreamlike, impressionist swirls of color and a high-profile environmental message, the new Oris Aquis Date Upcycle line brings a vibrant and conservation-focused new aesthetic to the long-running dive watch series.
Oris offers the Aquis Date Upcycle with stainless steel cases in both 41.5mm and 36.5mm diameters. The Aquis’ semi-integrated design is kept intact in both models, including the squared-off crown guards, simple vertical case sides, and the line’s trademark thick beveled lugs. As with previous iterations of the Aquis, both case variants should wear smaller than the numbers suggest on the wrist, with a combination of factors including the sharply downturned short lugs and the overhanging bezel helping to visually compact the design. The unidirectional dive bezel takes on a more muted look for the Aquis Date Upcycle than the base model in images, with a neutral medium gray insert topped with an engraved dive scale in white. Both case variants are equipped with mineral glass display casebacks and offer a robust 300 meters of water resistance.
Naturally, the dials are the real focal point of the Oris Aquis Date Upcycle series. Each example of the Aquis Date Upcycle is truly unique, with a dial made from recycled PET plastic pulled from the ocean in a random and painterly blend of colors. The effect is striking, evocative, and truly unlike anything else on the market, going beyond promoting an environmental cause to create a dramatic visual statement. With nearly endless potential varieties in color and pattern, the Aquis Date Upcycle may inspire a vibrant collector market in the future, as enthusiasts hunt for the perfect dial variant. However, with an unpredictable blend of colors also comes potentially unpredictable legibility, as certain dial patterns might make reading the dial text or outer minutes track difficult. On top of this colorfully chaotic dial surface, the brand adds broad modernist alpha hands and brightly polished beveled indices to keep the Aquis line’s visual DNA intact. The Aquis Date Upcycle’s 6 o’clock date window is likely to be a point of contention among enthusiasts as well, as while the complication adds useful functionality it also cuts into the unique dial surface.
Both versions of the Oris Aquis Date Upcycle use the Oris 733 automatic movement. Based on the Sellita SW200-1, the Oris 733 has been a mainstay of the brand’s lineup for years. While it remains a reliable and affordable automatic powerplant, in terms of performance the movement may be beginning to show its age somewhat with a middling 38 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. From a decoration perspective, the overall look is minimal and function-first with the exception of Oris’ signature bright red rotor. Oris finishes both versions of the Aquis Date Upcycle with the series’ signature semi-integrated three-link stainless steel bracelet. With its polished outer links and aggressively tapering profile, this bracelet adds the unique visual character of the Aquis series while providing a substantial flash on the wrist.
By taking its environmental activism out of the realm of limited editions and into regular production, the Oris Aquis Date Upcycle marks not just a dramatic stylistic riff on the brand’s modern diver line but a significant milestone in its commitment to environmental issues. The Oris Aquis Date Upcycle will be available through authorized dealers in September 2021 at an MSRP of $2,300. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.