The first new Oris watch for 2019 is this handsome and functional Oris ProDiver Dive Control Limited Edition timepiece. Once again working with their preferred Swiss commercial diver consultant, Oris has developed a well-specced diving instrument that also doubles as a handsome lifestyle watch with this year’s color theme being black and yellow (a personal favorite mix of colors for me). Having said that, the Oris ProDiver Dive Control is somewhat lacking in the innovation department. Existing Oris customers may not have too many reasons to jump on this watch unless they’ve simply been looking for the right opportunity to get a ProDiver Chronograph.
The Oris ProDiver collection is the larger and more water resistant cousin to the brand’s more popular Aquis dive watch collection. This ProDiver Dive Control is a whopping 51mm wide and impressively thick given the watch’s 1,000 meters of water resistance. Some of the design features are novel, but they might not be for everyone. The yellow-colored dots on the chronograph pushers are cool but some people feel they are a bit arbitrary in how they were executed. Those don’t bother me, but I am not the biggest fan of the “Dive Control” text written on the inner ring around the watch’s dial on the side wall. Rolex has done text similar to this in their Deepsea collection and I’ve never been a fan.
What the Oris ProDiver Dive Control lacks in novelty it does offer in sheer utility and value. The case is titanium for strength and weight savings, but also black DLC (diamond-like carbon) coated for color and scratch-resistance. The bezel’s “rotation safety system” which is meant to protect the rotating diver’s timing bezel from turning accidentally has a ring of soft rubber and the dial is highly legible. I like the micro-adjust system in the high-quality matching DLC-coated strap deployant and the lack of sharp edges on the watch very much make it feel like a tool for professionals as opposed to a lifestyle item.
With that said, things like the rotation safety system which may be good for professionals isn’t per se something I as a collector want. In order to actually turn the bezel you need to grip it well and give it a tug upwards. A keen eye will see a thin yellow line appear between the bezel and the case, and so long as you keep tugging upwards you can turn the bezel. It isn’t exactly a joy to play with… even if that is the point.
On the dial, Oris is playing with some wave-style texturing which I like – even if it is hard to notice. The dial itself is somewhat updated and makes rich use of polished hands and hour markers which are arguably a bit more on the “status” versus “utility” side of this product. Nevertheless, Oris did a nice job adding a full 12-hour chronograph complication to the dial of what otherwise needs to be a legible diver’s watch dial. The dial might be rather straightforward without too much personality but often times good tool watches are best that way.
Going back to the bezel, the top right section itself is attractive being in black ceramic with clearly legible markers colored in white and some yellow. Glare off the sapphire crystal is relatively low – especially compared to some of Oris’ more curved sapphire crystals like, say, on the Diver Sixty Five watch collection. As I mentioned above, this is a rather deep diver’s watch being water-resistant to 1,000 meters and the case also has an automatic helium release valve inside of it. A 1,000-meter chronograph watch is rare – and in this instance the chronograph pushers have big screw-down protectors. You can’t use the chronograph at 1,000 meters, but I do believe you can use it underwater (just not very deep).
Inside the Oris ProDiver Dive Control is a Swiss Sellita SW500 automatic chronograph movement (a similar movement to the ETA 7750), which Oris calls their caliber 774. The SW500 operates at 4Hz with about 42 hours of power reserve. I do like the integration of the date window on the dial discreetly over 6 o’clock with a date disc whose color matches the dial, offering a welcome discreet presentation for this complication.
Oris presents this and most other limited edition ProDiver watches in a Pelican-style box that comes with two rubber straps. One is the pictured yellow strap, as well as a more conservative black-colored rubber strap. A nice entry into 2019 for Oris, we will likely see the brand pushing its sport and professional-use watches more in 2019 and for the coming years. The reference 01 774 7727 7784 MB Oris ProDiver Dive Control Limited Edition will be produced as a set of 500 pieces with a price of 4,850 Swiss francs (or about $5,000 USD). Learn more or order at the Oris website here.