May 26, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Oris has really found its groove with the Sixty-Five collection. It took me a while to get into the brand because I saw a lot of just-okay pieces that looked like homages to other brands. What the Sixty-Five collection did for me was create a blueprint in my mind of what an Oris is, and now the whole collection feels like a memorable core and a solid base from which to work. The Oris Sixty-Five Chronograph is a welcome addition to this evermore established family that was relaunched in 2015, 50 years after the original Oris Diver heralded the golden age of the brand.
Immediately, the thing that strikes me about this piece on the wrist, is just how comfortably the 43mm case wears. I had been concerned from the press photos that this piece might look like an awkwardly inflated time-only diver, and wobble around on the wrist like a towering trifle, rather than sitting still exactly where it’s supposed to. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the rivet-style bracelet does not add too much visual weight to proceedings. It would have been totally understandable for the ubiquity of stainless steel to ruin the vintage vibes one associates with the Oris Sixty-Five collection, but, as you can see from the hands-on images, the overall package carries itself very well.
I believe this comes down to the bronze bezel. The warmer hue of this material softens the whole affair, but, most importantly, the hour-marker surrounds and hands are so well color-matched to each other and the bezel that they pull the exterior in, which gives the illusion of shrinking the watch head.
One further intelligent piece of chromatic interplay between the bezel and the dial, which, in my opinion, further helps reduce the apparent presence of this piece in the metal, is the white numerals of the bezel insert, and the pronounced white tips of the sub-dial hands. On the press shots these come across as the same color as the hand lume, but in real life, they appear even paler. The gradients of color used on the hour markers, hour/minute/seconds hand, the sub-dial counters, and the timing bezel typeface is extremely subtle, but the end result is a satisfyingly congruous design.
Oris makes a lot of nice timepieces, but, in my opinion, the Sixty-Five collection really stands out alongside the Aquis range as offering a heck of a good deal for your hard-earned cash. The designs are crisp, clear, and classic, and the build quality really rather excellent for this price point. Although the movements are rarely anything to write home about, they are solid, Swiss-made tractor calibers often featured in watches twice the price. This price bracket feels like the sweet spot for a Sellita caliber, and I would have no problem paying $5,000 for one of the more complicated options.
The Oris Sixty-Five Chronograph is powered by the Sellita SW510 movement, which is based on the Valjoux 7750. For this design, Oris decided not to employ a date complication or the third sub-dial (normally the hour counter) so often seen on Valjoux chronographs. As a result, this watch has a clean look, and is — thanks to the combination of an uncluttered layout and a warm, but high-contrast color scheme — extremely legible.
It’s very pleasing when a hotly anticipated model gets it right. Following the release of the all-bronze limited-edition Carl Brashear Sixty-Five chronograph and the collaboration with retailer Bucherer to create a special, all steel “Bucherer Blue” Sixty-Five Chrono, it was only a matter of time before an unlimited variant of the Sixty-Five Chronograph made its way into the core collection. Oris kept its cool and delivered, but not without throwing a slight curveball that I’m not sure many expected.
It’s a little surprising that the first pieces to make it into the standard lineup are actually a subtle mixture of both forerunners. The bi-color case/bezel combo adds a vintage flavor that suits the brand’s direction and this collection particularly well but still leaves the door open for a starker, steel-on-steel iteration (just like the Bucherer exclusive) to ride in on the coattails of this model’s projected success. At just $4,000 on the leather strap, rising to $4,250 on the rivet-style bracelet, this is a serious value proposition from a brand that really seems to be enjoying life right now. Learn more at oris.ch.
Model: Sixty-Five Chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Material: Stainless steel/bronze bezel
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal
Movement: Oris 771 (Sellita SW510 base)
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Leather or rivet bracelet
Price & Availability: $4,000 (strap), $4,250 (bracelet)