April 22, 2015
by James Stacey
In a surprising move, Oris, makers of the very cool Aquis Depth Gauge, have released a modern re-interpretation of a vintage dive watch from their history. Shown at Baselworld 2015, the new Oris Divers Sixty-Five is really only new in terms of manufacturing, with this watch representing an update to a model that is now 50 years old. With more modern proportions, but certainly no deficit of charm, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five offers a time-capsule alternative to Oris’ current tool-watch diver line up.
Where the original Oris 1965 diver (seen below, right) used a brass case with a plexi crystal and a bi-directional bezel, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five offers a similar look but with a 40mm stainless steel case, a beautifully double domed and anti-refelctive sapphire crystal, and a unidirectional aluminum dive bezel. The date has been moved from three to six o’clock but the black dial, box numerals for 12, 3, 6 and 9 and the lume color all carry over from the original. The lume for the new model is actually a version of SuperLuminova called “Light Old Radium” and it carries a slightly yellow-to-tan coloring a perfectly suits the aesthetic established by the 1965 model.
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five is water resistant to 100m (330ft) which is plenty for recreational diving, where the maximum advised depth is 40m (PADI). With a screw down crown and that updated unidirectional bezel, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five may not be a modern “professional diver,” but I doubt it would have any trouble keeping up on your next vacation or dive trip. Mounted to the available tropical rubber strap, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five has an easy charm that reminds me of the topside photos of Cousteau between dives. With the proven success of models like the Longines Legend Diver and the Tudor Black Bay, there is a market for dive watches that capture the spirit of the golden era of scuba diving while offering the easy ownership of a modern watch.
With a legible and straightforward three-hand-plus-date functionality, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five uses Oris’ expression of the Sellita SW200, dubbed the Oris Calibre 733. Running at 4Hz and in direct competition with Swatch’s ETA 2824, the SW200 has a power reserve of 38 hours, uses 26 jewels, and offers hacking, hand-winding, and quickset date.
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five is available on either a black nato-style nylon strap with upgraded and signed hardware, or on a black rubber tropical style strap with a stainless steel buckle. Both options are very good, but the rubber strap is less bulky and more effectively supports the vintage look and feel of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five. If I hadn’t seen the original model sitting next to the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, I likely could have been convinced I was being shown a new-old-stock example of a legitimately vintage watch.
In person and on wrist, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five feels great, and its 40mm width makes for a very agreeable and lightweight presence. As I normally associate the Oris name with large divers and modern masculine designs, this vintage-inspired piece is a welcome alternative. While I’ll agree that the whole vintage re-issue trend is starting to run out of steam, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for success within the trend.
With a list price of $1850, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five offers a lot of charm for the money, especially when you consider the comparable competition of the Longines Legend Diver, which has a similar appeal (though vastly different design), a similar movement, but retails for $2300. With a solid design, reliable movement and a wrist presence unlike anything else from Oris, it looks like they’ve got a hit on their hands. We don’t get to see a lot of truly appealing sub-$2000 watches at Baselworld, so it was a treat to have a few minutes with the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, a true dive watch blast from the past. oris.ch