March 7, 2017
by Zach Pina
For the last two editions of Baselworld, Oris has taken mighty swings at their mid-century heritage, delivering the Diver Sixty-Five in 2015, and then a slew of vintage re-editions in the seasons that followed. For 2017, the independent Swiss watchmaker is ushering in a new generation with its core sports watch collection, the Aquis, and doing so with a series of subtle case and dial updates that should please both present and future Aquis fans. Spearheading the Gen 2 Aquis collection is the new Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition watch, a special release on a mission to help stave off the extinction of one of the ocean’s most misunderstood creatures.
From funding marine life and reef conservation projects to providing benefits for various international oceanography institutions, Oris’ contributions to the ocean and its safekeeping through various special edition Aquis watches are pretty well documented. The Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition was born from that same commitment, this time to drive awareness to the plight of the ocean’s dwindling shark population, specifically the endangered Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini). Limited to 2,000 pieces, sales of the watch will help raise funds for a 2017 hammerhead conservation project run by the non-profit organization Pelagios Kakunjá – an endeavor championed by professional diver and Oris ambassador Jérôme Delafosse.
Since the crux of the project will involve getting up close and personal with these unique predators and tagging them for long-term tracking and study, a performance-forward dive watch with a grey sunburst dial inspired by said predators makes plenty of sense. Longtime fans of the Oris Aquis should recognize all its design signatures of the Gen 1 Aquis; from its depth rating measured in “pressure resistance,” luminous applied indices, and the unidirectional ceramic bezel, to the chunky screwed-on crown guards and the integrated lug design.
This Oris Aquis we’ve come to know and love is a distinctive, yet classic and ultra-capable modern diver that we have put to the test on more than one real-world occasion. The Oris Hammerhead – and by extension, the rest of the Gen 2 Aquis – follows those initial cues, while mixing in a few other new notes that might go easily missed at first glance, but help bring a sleeker, more upmarket feel to an already stylish and rugged sports watch.
To accomplish this, Oris designers put the Aquis lug horns on a diet to accommodate a thinner, slimmed-down bracelet. On the dial, a bolder, more angular sword-style handset provides a better stylistic match to the applied indices – which are now beveled at one end. A bold typography refresh accentuates the text, with the “Aquis” name joining the depth rating at 6:00 – in this case, a generous 500 meters (200 greater than the standard Aquis offerings), which is perhaps a nod to the studied habitat depths of the Scalloped Hammerhead sharks, known to dive just as deep. The end result is a new generation of Aquis that’s visually lighter than its predecessor, and one that should carry a broader appeal due to a more cohesive balance of style and substance.
Par for the Aquis course, the Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition is powered by an automatic Sellita movement, though this edition is equipped with the SW220 characterized by its oversized day/date wheel. Rather than a display back, the solid stainless steel caseback is engraved with a hammerhead shark in motion and the watch’s unique number out of 2,000. Though official pricing has yet to be announced in US dollars, the current asking price in Swiss francs is 2,550 CHF, or around $2,500 USD for the variant fitted to a stainless steel bracelet. oris.ch