Earlier this month, Oris dropped some big news in the form of a brand new movement, made in-house, featuring some impressive specs. The Calibre 400 is an automatic movement that uses twin mainsprings to deliver a full 5 days of power on a full wind, and Oris will be backing up their new caliber with a 10 year warranty, speaking to their confidence in the movement’s reliability. Oris took the somewhat unusual step of announcing the Calibre 400 without a watch for it to stand next to, which underlines the importance of the announcement for the brand, but left fans and watch enthusiasts wondering about when they’d be able to actually buy a Calibre 400 equipped timepiece, and what that watch might be. Well, we didn’t have to wait long to find out. Today, Oris announces the Aquis Date Calibre 400, the first watch to be sold with the new Calibre 400 movement.
Some might have been expecting Oris to launch an entirely new watch specifically for their entirely new movement. Innovative and forward thinking watch designs coupled with innovative movements are nothing new for the brand, after all. Oris has taken a different approach with the Calibre 400, and I think it reflects the long term commitment to the movement that you’d expect given the 10 year warranty period. By putting the Calibre 400 into the well known Aquis diver before anything else, it sends a message that it’s going to become just as familiar as one of the brand’s most familiar divers. It both normalizes the new movement while also giving the brand a chance to once again tout its many advancements and technical achievements, all in a package that fans of the brand and industry observers understand.
The Aquis, as most readers are likely aware, is Oris’s professional, contemporary diver. Where the Divers Sixty-Five lineup is more focused on vintage inspired designs, the Aquis, by comparison, is more of a tool watch aimed at people who intend to bring the watch underwater. It’s a large, sturdy design, with an integrated bracelet (or rubber strap) and tech forward materials like ceramic. The Aquis, over the years, has been made available in a variety of sizes and dial variants, with a host of complications, and is often the starting point for Oris limited editions. To put it another way, it’s a signature product in the Oris catalog, and makes complete sense as the first watch to house their new in-house movement.
This particular Aquis has a bright blue dial with a gradient effect, a matching blue ceramic bezel insert, and 300 meters of water resistance. The date at 6:00 is relatively unobtrusive and is placed on the dial in a way that maintains symmetry. With a stainless steel case measuring 43.5mm, this Aquis is on the larger end of the Aquis size spectrum, but it should be noted that this case shape, with it’s short lugs and integrated bracelet design, is fairly forgiving in the larger diameter variants. If you like the look of the watch, but have hesitations based on the measurements, it’s worth seeking out an Aquis to try on, as it’s very possible you’ll be surprised by how well it wears for a big watch.
The watch has a display caseback, which is not something I’d usually be a fan of on a dive watch, but of course makes sense in light of the fact that Oris, understandably, wants to show off their new movement. And it’s a good looking movement, with a skeletonized rotor enabling a complete view of the mechanism at all times, including a peek at the large barrels that give the watch 120 hours of juice. The display caseback is also a bit of a flex in that the watch maintains a high degree of magnetic resistance (it’s compliant with the ISO 764 anti-magnetic standard) through the use of anti-magnetic components. Oris was not about to cover the Calibre 400 with an iron shell.
Another notable feature of the new Aquis Date Calibre 400 is a new system that allows for quick strap changes. The Aquis still has the same integrated design, but the bracelet can now be removed through a simple quick-release mechanism. This is a great change, and makes an integrated design much easier to work with over the long term if you’re inclined to change straps frequently. We expect you’ll be somewhat limited to what Oris has to offer, but it’s nice that bracelets and straps can now be swapped without tools, and we hope this trend, which we’ve seen pop up on watches at all price points from a variety of brands, continues until it’s a standard across the industry.
The Aquis Date Calibre 400 is available now through Oris retail channels, and is priced at $ 3,300 on a rubber strap, or $ 3,500 on a bracelet.