Until a few years ago, if you wanted a diver’s watch from Oris it was going to be called “Aquis.” aBlogtoWatch has covered plenty of Aquis watches in the past and if you want a serious diver’s watch with real performance and style – then the larger Aquis collection is certainly worth looking at. When Oris’ dive watch sales really started to take off the company decided it wanted to expand the diver collection while at the same time offering something trendy and more affordable. The result was the now extremely popular Oris Divers Sixty-Five which is a closer to entry-level Swiss sports watch with an appealing vintage style and spirit. Today I’d like to review a particular version of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five watch in steel with a matching steel bracelet known as the reference 01 733 7707 4053-07 8 20 18. It is marked by a gradient gray face with richly painted aquamarine-toned lumed hands and hour markers.
The “Sixty Five” part of the product’s name is meant to refer to 1965, which was a time when the Swiss watch industry was heavily involved with producing both commercial and recreational diver’s watches. At the time, diving was not possible without a suitable timepiece, and it was an exciting era of innovation and new concepts. Many of the products and designs from the 1950s and 1960s diver’s watch are still very popular today and while the Diver Sixty-Five doesn’t emulate any one specific watch (as far as I know), it is a very compelling amalgamation of popular design elements from the era rendered for watch enthusiasts today.
The Diver’s Sixty-Five case is 40mm-wide (there is a 38mm case, as well), about 12mm-thick (though it wears thin thanks to the tapering caseback and bubble-style sapphire crystal), and has a 48mm lug-to-lug distance. This version is in steel and has a water resistance rating of 100 meters with a screw-down crown. This is a decidedly mid-sized watch with very comfortable proportions and very much has a vintage character to it. The Divers Sixty-Five is actually a bit bigger than many diver’s watches of the mid 20th century, but Oris was restrained enough to keep the proportions compact and attractive. I say this because, at times, vintage watch designs, when blown up to larger sizes, can lose a lot of their appeal and become garish.
Over the dial is an AR-coated sapphire crystal that is shaped to look like an old-style acrylic crystal. This does give the watch a particular visual effect that is interesting and certainly vintage-style but doesn’t per se help with legibility given the glare. This is a tradeoff where style is being valued a bit over substance, but if you really dig the vintage diver’s watch theme then you probably prefer the domed crystal how it is. Around the dial is a uni-directional rotating diver’s timing bezel that has a black anodized aluminum insert in it. Ceramic is a more scratch resistant material, and Oris uses it for other products, but aluminum does fit the retro theme for sure.
I prefer the Divers Sixty-Five on the bracelet because it feels like a more substantial watch that way. I like larger watches, so a 40mm-wide, relatively slim-proportioned sports watch feels dainty on my wrist at times. On the matching bracelet, you get a slightly more “hefty” experience, which helps the watch feel more substantial (because it quite literally is). The bracelet is three-link style wide retro-style side “rivets” and an elegant taper to it, which is certainly a must for optimal looks. It’s a positive that the bracelet links are not too thick are truer to vintage thinness which allows the watch to wear much more elegantly than thicker bracelets often allow for. The bracelet closes with a simple, yet secure fold-over push-button deployant clasp. While a micro-adjust system in the bracelet would have been nice, my only real complaint is the imprecise fit of the bracelet’s end-links and the case lugs. The end-link is essentially a bit too small and I think that having it perfectly match the contours of the would result in a noticeably more refined look. I think Oris should see to that since at these prices a competitive advantage like that could help sway more consumers. I think it also goes to show that Oris primarily sells the Divers Sixty-Five collection watches on straps.
The dial is very pretty and combines a symmetrical no-date dial with a still-handsome assortment of applied hour markers and hands. Oris really did a nice job combining a masculine functional look with timeless grace. The face design might not be revolutionary, or even exciting all the time, but it will age well and provide for a very versatile wearing experience. What do you think about gray and aquamarine? I have to admit that on paper I would have not guessed this combination of colors to work well – but it does. Oris begins with a soft gray dial that has a slight gradient from darker to lighter in the center of the dial. The bezel might have actually looked better with a matching gray than the standard black. For the luminant Oris chose a lovely aquamarine tone, which is a color that is trending for me and the basis of the Zodiac SSW Aquamarine Dream watch I creative-directed that was debuted earlier this year. While not for everyone, this color combination is quite fun and is just one of many that Oris continues to experiment with for the Divers Sixty-Five product family.
Inside the Divers Sixty-Five watch is a Swiss Made Sellita caliber SW200 automatic movement that Oris calls their caliber 733. Similar to the ETA 2824-2, the SW200 is a 4Hz operating, 38-hour power reserve “workhorse” automatic mechanical movement that has been popular in dive watches of this style for over 30 years. It would have been nice for the watch to have a display caseback with a view of the movement, though that would not have strictly adhered to the vintage sports watch theme.
Oris protects the viability of its more serious diver’s watches by keeping the Sixty-Five as a medium-durability lifestyle sports watch that you can do light diving with, but you probably want a 300-meter water-resistant piece for anything more intense. Accordingly, this watch is what you might call a popular “desk diver” because it appeals mainly to timepiece enthusiasts who want a well-made watch with a trendy style from a brand that is regularly validated by the consumer community. Seasoned watch collectors who have owned a lot of diver’s watches at this price range might give the Divers Sixty-Five watch a nod, but there isn’t enough new for a lot of people to take off more expensive watches to wear it. Alternatively, for consumers just getting into the over $2,000 price point, the Divers Sixty-Five becomes a much more interesting option. It also isn’t the type of watch you easily grow out of. You might not wear it for a while, but the conservative, timeless design that Oris created is the type of thing you could put on years from now and it wouldn’t have lost any relevance or fashionability.
Now, in 2021, Oris is using the Divers Sixty-Five as a platform to experiment with more artistic designs and creative collaborations. That means there will be a growing mixture of classic looks and those which might be a bit wilder. Despite the interesting colors on the dial, I would say that this Oris reference 01 733 7707 4053-07 8 20 18 leans on the classic side. Oris offers it both on a strap or the bracelet. As configured in this review, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five watch has a retail price of $2,400 USD. Learn more at the Oris watches website here.
>Model: Divers Sixty-Five reference 01 733 7707 4053-07 8 20 18
>Price: $2,400 USD
>Size: 40mm-wide, ~12mm-thick, 48mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: It is a very handsome watch for urban social living that suggests a sense of adventure and nostalgia.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Developing watch enthusiast interested in one of their first serious Swiss Made watches who wants to get something they could equally trade without issue or wear happily for years.
>Best characteristic of watch: Attractive design and appealing aesthetic variations and options. Mixes modern watch wearing with a fashionable historic essence. Hard to find vintage-style watch with this much poise, as well as design restraint at this price point.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Bracelet-case integration could be refined. Target audience might appreciate a display caseback. Crystal could be engineered to have a bit less glare.