A quarter of the way into the new year, Oris tackles another philanthropic endeavor with the Oris Source of Life Limited Edition Dive Watch. Featuring a new-to-the-collection nifty date disc, a unique color scheme, and inspiration from the River Rhine in Switzerland that runs alongside Holstein (where Oris has been located for over 100 years), Oris attempts to shine a spotlight on waste, pollution, and carelessness when it comes to water – our “Source of Life.”
Naturally, the Oris Source of Life Limited Edition Dive Watch is positioned within Oris’ popular Aquis collection. However it goes a new direction that I feel is less bold, and more clean. Typically when I start looking at a new release, I try to find what the brand is trying to bring to the forefront, but for this particular release, I don’t think it’s an aspect of the watch, I think it’s a vibe – intentional or not. For starters, the bezel features a grey-colored Tungsten insert giving the watch a cool, crisp, and clean look that I was surprised I was not able to compare to something else – right off the top of my head anyway. Paired with the uniquely “blue-grey” dial, the watch simply looks refreshing.
The stainless steel case measures in at 43.5mm with a unidirectional rotating bezel featuring a lumed pip. The watch utilizes the Oris Cal. 733, which is based off the SW 200-1 Sellita movement. Where Oris has modified the movement is pretty cool. In lieu of a standard date window, Oris has fixed a date ring recessed around the center of the dial with a white indicator that rotates around the date ring. This isn’t the only Aquis with a center disk, but it is the only one that utilizes it for the date – the others for the day of the week. While I think the feature is fun, I’m struggling with the symmetry of the date numbers. The single digits are spaced nicely, but when you get into the double digits, the ring feels a bit cramped. The thick hands and applied indices are Luminova-filled, and look superbly legible with the added bonus of a lollipop seconds hand.
The watch will come with two strap options – a stainless steel bracelet or a really cool grey rubber strap. I would typically always pass on a rubber strap, but I really think it fits the overall aesthetic nicely, though I could do without the Oris logo etched into the top. Both straps have extenders in the clasp to allow the watch to easily be adjusted to fit over a wetsuit. The screw-down stainless steel caseback is embossed with a motif of the River Rhine, a map of the surrounding areas, and its limited edition numbers. The watch is water-resistant up to 300m and holds a power reserve of 38 hours.
For the sake of transparency I need to be honest about my feelings towards Oris to properly articulate my conclusion with this watch. Up until recently, I’ve always considered Oris’ dive watches to be a bit bland – especially the Aquis Collection. To be fair, I’d only ever handled a few of the popular Aquis Date models, which even now feature 31 different variations of the same design on the website, many being identical with a strap or size change. But that’s always been attractive to a lot of buyers – a solid, albeit standard design with a good movement from a good brand at a reasonable price – just not for me. All that being said, over the last couple of years, I’ve grown to appreciate Oris as not only a watch brand, but for the conservation endeavors and their willingness to bring attention to causes that are important to them.
While Oris has released watches that had me going “Oh that’s kind of cool,” the Source of Life Limited Edition Dive Watch is the first that has left me saying “I want this watch.” I then took the three water bottles I’ve chugged over the course of writing this article to the recycling bin, instead of the garbage can right under my desk – and I think that’s what Oris is going for. The watch offers a pretty cool aesthetic and is probably my new favorite of the Oris Aquis collection.
The Oris Source of Life Limited Edition will come in a special limited edition box featuring an insignia showing the course of the River Rhine it’s inspired by. The watch will be a limited run of 2,343 pieces (a nod to the height of the lake where the river originates) and comes in at $2,400 on the steel bracelet. Opting for the rubber strap will save buyers $200. oris.ch