The Oris Aquis Date is the go-to recommendation in the HODINKEE Shop for an accessibly priced – yet no less professional-grade – dive watch that incorporates modern design elements. While vintage-inspired dive watches are certainly having a moment in the watch world, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to consider more contemporary options as well. With its combination of good looks, high-performance specifications, and a reasonable price tag, the Aquis Date is an easy watch to appreciate. And just like the rest of Oris’ current lineup, the Aquis Date is designed with watch enthusiasts in mind, checking off all the features considered necessary in today’s sport watches.
It starts with the integrated steel bracelet (or rubber strap) and the bolted-on crown guards that help protect the screw-down crown from underwater impacts or above-ground collisions. The bezel insert is typically made of ceramic, while the lume-filled hands and applied hour markers enable easy day-and-night visibility. Finally, Oris produces the Aquis Date in a wide variety of color options, in order to reach everyone’s personal design sensibilities. We think Oris does color better than nearly any other brand out there today – something we’ve highlighted in the HODINKEE Shop before – and the Aquis range is an ideal canvas for the brand’s experimentation in both colors and materials.
Whether you’re looking for a watch to carry you through the final weeks of summer, or simply an attractive daily option to wear around the house, the Oris Aquis Date offers plenty of choices. It’s been one of our best-selling dive watches since the early days of the HODINKEE Shop, and today, we’re updating our Oris Aquis lineup with eight – that’s right, eight – new variations of Oris’ modern diver.
About The Aquis
The watch designs in the current Aquis Date collection are vast, and they now incorporate more than just aesthetic variants – there’s even an attractive GMT option. The Aquis Date, however, does carry some similarities through its entire lineup, including 300 meters of water resistance and a date window usually placed at the six o’clock position. While the case profile stands out as distinct among Oris’ peers, it remains relatively unchanged from Aquis-to-Aquis.
One of the signature Aquis Date design details is the short, stubby lugs that slope directly from the case into the integrated bracelet or strap. This allows the Aquis to wear smaller on the wrist than its diameter actually measures. Unlike other dive and sport watches that tend to wear more substantially than their dimensions might indicate, the Aquis Date has compact design elements focused on wearability above all else. And thanks to the identical Oris 733 movement used across the Aquis Date range – a rebadged Sellita SW 200-1, that Oris makes its own through the application of a bright red rotor – each size variant shares a similar thickness.
Additionally, the 120-click, 60-minute unidirectional bezel has defined grooves for ease of grip and to ensure elapsed time can be marked efficiently and accurately. The bezel pip, handset, and applied hour markers are all filled with a generous portion of Super-LumiNova, which glows a vibrant shade of blue. The seconds hand is a more traditional lollipop-style, which is the single nod to dive watches of decades past. In other words, this is a fully modern tool watch with a go-anywhere, do-anything personality in a diversity of designs that will appeal to any collector looking for a fun, new dive watch.
Oris Aquis Date 41.5mm
Oris first released the Aquis Date as an evolution of its dive-watch offerings in 2011, and in 2017, the brand updated the look and feel of the watch to its current design, except it was only available in a 43.5mm diameter at that time. The following year, in 2018, Oris added a smaller 39.5mm diameter model to the assortment, and earlier this year, Oris quietly updated its lineup once again with a mid-size Aquis Date in a 41.5mm diameter – cue the Goldilocks reference.
The decision to release an intermediate option of the Aquis Date is a clear indication that Oris is listening to its core audience of watch lovers. Where 43.5mm might have been too big for some, and 39.5mm too small, the 41.5mm strikes the perfect balance between those two in wearability. Otherwise, this is the same Aquis Date you know well, and it’s currently available in a single colorway, with a rich sunburst dark blue dial and a stainless steel bracelet.
Oris Aquis Date 39.5mm Ocean Blue Dial With Tungsten Bezel
At the same time the mid-size Aquis Date was announced this year, Oris released a new edition of its smaller size, in 39.5mm. It exchanges the ceramic bezel insert found on most Aquis Date models for tungsten, with engraved markers and numerals. Tungsten is an extremely durable and scratch-resistant material with a high tensile strength that is used infrequently in watch design due to the difficulties involved in manufacturing and finishing the metal.
The natural grey color of tungsten offers a cool, matte complement to the mix of polished and brushed elements on the Aquis case. The dial is executed in a shade that Oris describes as Ocean Blue, with a gradient tone that graduates from light blue near the central pinion to darker around the dial periphery. If you prefer your dive watches on the smaller side, or are simply looking for a diver that will stand out compared to the others in your collection (or even to other Aquis models), this new release is worth close consideration.
Oris Aquis Date Lake Baikal Limited Edition
Over the past few years, Oris has become one of Switzerland’s most progressive watch companies when it comes to environmental conservation efforts, especially those dedicated to the preservation of marine areas. From reducing its product packaging to simply raising awareness, the brand has a well-earned reputation for helping the world outside the watch industry. One of the brand’s latest conservation-focused watches is the Aquis Date Lake Baikal Limited Edition, which was released in collaboration with the Lake Baikal Foundation earlier this year.
Lake Baikal is an immense body of water in Siberia that is considered the largest lake by volume in the world. It’s home to over 20 percent of the world’s fresh lake water reserves and is said to contain over 50 percent of the Earth’s drinkable freshwater. It’s also considered the deepest lake on Earth, reaching 1,642 meters at its deepest point. Its size and remote location have resulted in rich biodiversity with thousands of plants and animals that have developed endemically over time. Unfortunately, Lake Baikal’s local fauna and flora are under threat from pollution and anthropogenic climate change. It’s because of these factors that Oris decided to collaborate with the Lake Baikal Foundation and raise awareness and funds in support of the Pelagic Station No. 1, or Point No. 1, a conservation project run by the Scientific Research Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University, in Siberia.
Only 1,999 examples of the Oris Aquis Date Lake Baikal Limited Edition will be produced, a number chosen to commemorate the year Russia first passed an environmental law protecting the lake. The watch stands out with its ice-blue gradient dial that turns dark blue around its edges, signifying the lake’s depth; a blue-green ceramic bezel insert; and a specially designed closed caseback that resembles the cracks that form on Lake Baikal when it’s frozen over.
Oris Aquis Date Relief 43.5mm
The Oris Aquis Date Relief caught our eye when it was first announced in 2019, and we’ve been looking forward to adding it to the HODINKEE Shop ever since. The stainless steel bezel is executed in relief, which means the metal has been engraved to a point where the numerals and markers appear in a three-dimensional fashion compared to the rest of the surface, which is subsequently decorated with a grained finish.
This type of bezel execution offers a premium look typically associated with watches multiple price points higher than what Oris is charging – under $ 2,000 – but as HODINKEE’s dive-watch specialist Jason Heaton points out in the watch’s original Introducing post from January 2019, it’s a design that Oris has iterated on since the 1990s. The watch is paired with a sunburst grey dial with a contrasting red seconds hand that matches the bright red strap made of caoutchouc, an unvulcanized natural rubber, with a deployant clasp and divers’ extension. Interestingly, the Aquis Date Relief shares a bit of a background with the Lake Baikal Limited Edition, as before the latter was announced, the Swiss endurance swimmer Ernst Bromeis wore the Aquis Date Relief as he attempted to swim 800 kilometers across Lake Baikal in the summer of 2019.
Oris Aquis Date 43.5mm
In addition to the Aquis watches introduced above, we’re also growing the number of Aquis Date 43.5mm options in the HODINKEE Shop, with four new bracelet, strap, and color variants. Joining the Aquis Date 39.5mm Green watches we added to the Shop last fall, there is now a 43.5mm option either on a steel bracelet or a black caoutchouc rubber strap with deployant clasp and divers’ extension. There’s also an Aquis Date Dark Blue 43.5mm with an identical sunburst dial design to the 41.5mm option we introduced earlier in this article, now available with either a stainless steel bracelet or a matching dark blue rubber strap.
Discover A New Oris Dive Watch In The HODINKEE Shop
Oris has done a remarkable job over the past decade in diversifying its watch collections, and within them, the amount of choices available for enthusiasts. We can’t think of another brand that has gone to this level of effort in ensuring that its customers have multiple options to choose from within its flagship collections. That’s not even considering the vintage-inspired Divers Sixty-Five and Big Crown Pointer Date models that have a similar depth of appeal and remain fan-favorites.
Oris’ modern dive watch is packed with the kind of attention to detail and specifications that we occasionally find lacking on other modern dive watches, and yet, all the new Aquis Date models in the HODINKEE Shop are under $ 2,500 – that’s real value. You can discover each of the above new watches, as well as our entire collection of Oris timepieces, in the HODINKEE Shop.