The mid-2010s represented a bit of a changing of the guard for watch collectors. It was at some point in the middle of the last decade that vintage watch enthusiasts reclaimed a position of significant influence, prompting nearly every watch brand to dig into their archives for a reissue of some bygone design from decades past. While many watch brands focused on laser-accurate revivals, others shifted expectations, instead creating modern designs with splashes of vintage inspiration. One of the most successful brands during this period was Oris with the standout Divers Sixty-Five collection.
A reimagined take on a mid-1960s dive watch from the Swiss brand, the Divers Sixty-Five was launched in 2015, and ever since, it’s been making its presence felt in the collections – and Instagram feeds – of watch collectors around the world. It’s no surprise, really. The watches that make up the Divers Sixty-Five line share a charming vintage aesthetic that feels fresh, not forced, and their excellent proportions and accessible price tag grant them equal status on the wrists of both neophytes and dyed-in-the-wool collectors.
In the six years since the Divers Sixty-Five’s official debut, Oris has iterated on the original design in countless directions, proving its old-school aquatic allure to be a perfect launchpad for experimentation in both color and material. The latest Divers Sixty-Five to emerge from the depths of the brand’s inspiration brings together both of those elements, with a rich gradient mahogany dial and a two-tone case design in bronze and stainless steel. Available with either a dark brown leather strap or a matching two-tone bracelet, Oris has nicknamed the models “Sunset Brown,” and both examples are now available in the HODINKEE Shop.
With a warm suntanned flair, the new Sunset Brown models are the most recent watches to come from the company’s long-running penchant for the age-old alloy. We’ve consistently seen the Swiss brand experiment with bronze in its collections, such as the Divers Sixty-Five and Big Crown Pointer Date (notably, one Big Crown Pointer Date released in late 2019 featured a first-of-its-kind bronze dial) for a number of years now. Compared to stainless steel, titanium, or any number of precious metals, bronze has a personality all its own, with a propensity for developing a distinctive and unique patina through age and wear. A bronze watch can develop anything from a soft speckled brine that’s barely noticeable to a level of green oxidation that is nothing short of extraordinary. It all depends on where you are and how you wear your watch.
If you ask us, the Divers Sixty-Five Sunburst Brown models beg for the warm rays of summer by the beach, where saltwater and sand will aid in the patination process. The dial, which fades from a reddish-brown hue to light gold and then black on its periphery, recalls a sun-kissed shoreline, or the subsequent tan line that might develop after a long day outside. But, you might ask, what of winter weather? It is January, after all, and frigid temperatures currently have their icy grip on much of the Northern Hemisphere. We say you don’t have to be a snowbird to appreciate the Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown this time of year. Just think of it as a way to bring thoughts of warm weather to your wrist – no sunblock required.
While the Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown sports a new, warm dial tone complete with rose-tinted hands and applied hour markers filled with beige Super-LumiNova, it also retains all the attributes for which the series is known. That means a well-proportioned case that measures 40mm in diameter and 13mm thick, an oversized screw-down crown without crown guards, a date aperture at six o’clock on the dial, a domed sapphire crystal, and a closed caseback that protects the automatic movement (the brand’s standby self-winding caliber 733, a rebadged Sellita SW 200-1) ticking inside.
It’s the two-tone elements on the case and bracelet that highlight the Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown’s more interesting features. For instance, the black aluminum bezel insert is surrounded by a touch of bronze that will gain a slight patina over time without overwhelming the aesthetic. For those that want to dip their toes into the world of bronze watches, the Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown is an excellent place to start. But if you’re ready to dive headfirst into the world of patina, the bracelet option for the Sunset Brown features solid bronze center links, not unlike the bracelet found on the popular Divers Sixty-Five “BiCo” unveiled in 2019.
Available now in the HODINKEE Shop, the new Oris Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown is available with either a bronze leather strap, for $ 2,100, or a two-tone steel and bronze rivet-style bracelet, for $ 2,400. You can learn more right here.