Oris is having a great start to the year. Take a look at what we’ve seen from them in 2021 so far, with the newest bronze-cased Carl Brashear Limited Edition – featuring the brand’s in-house-designed Caliber 401 – and the very-cool, trypophobia-inducing Whale Shark Aquis GMT Limited Edition. But who are we kidding? Oris never slows down. They ended last year going from strength-to-strength, with the Big Crown Pointer Date Roberto Clemente Limited Edition, the inaugural Aquis Caliber 400, and the “Sunset Brown” Divers Sixty-Five all fired off in rapid succession.
Oris was recently kind enough to grant the HODINKEE Shop team a sneak peek at a few upcoming releases and – no spoilers here – there’s a lot of really awesome stuff coming down the pipeline. But why wait? We convinced Oris to give the HODINKEE Shop audience first access to one of our favorites of the upcoming releases – the Oris Aquis Date “Cherry.” This is a crimson-dialed dive watch inside the brand’s new mid-size 41.5mm Aquis case with a relief stainless steel bezel, just like what you’d find on an old-school Oris Big Crown dive watch from the 1990s.
It’s priced at $ 2,300, and for the next few weeks, the HODINKEE Shop is the only place you can purchase it – right here.
Red Hot And Ready To Rock
The Aquis Date “Cherry” comes with all the fixings you’d anticipate from Oris’ best-selling modern dive watch. These are elements you’ve come to expect by now – including a multi-piece stainless steel case with bolted-on crown guards, an integrated stainless steel three-link bracelet with divers’ extension, 300 meters of water resistance, a unidirectional 60-minute bezel, a six o’clock color-matched date window, a sapphire crystal, an automatic movement, and a handset and applied hour markers filled with generous helpings of Super-LumiNova. But I don’t have to tell you that, right?
So here’s what the new Aquis Date “Cherry” brings to the table. It all starts with a 41.5mm diameter case, which fits cleanly as a Goldilocks option between the original 43.5mm Aquis Date and the smaller 39.5mm option. If you’ve ever strapped an Aquis on, however, you know that it generally wears a smidge smaller than its listed diameter indicates thanks to a proprietary lug design that angles downward on the wrist for a snug fit. This is only the third Aquis ever to be fitted in the 41.5mm case, after it was first fitted last year with this dark blue dial.
Oris calls the dial finish “sunray cherry red,” which is a great way to look at it. The punch-drunk color changes significantly depending on the light thanks to the sunburst lines emanating from the dial’s central pinion. In the sunlight, the color sings as rich crimson or burgundy – always retaining a slight darkness; never shying into pink territory – while in shady weather or inside, the color is slightly softer but just as impactful, sort of like a warm mulled wine on a cold winter’s night. “Cherry” is a fitting way to describe the bright color of red that Oris is using, but some of the other names the HODINKEE Shop team has thrown around since we first laid eyes on the watch include the Oris Aquis “Red Hot” and the Oris Aquis “Crimson Tide” – we recommend you pick your favorite and run with it.
There’s of course a bezel executed in relief, which means the steel insert has been engraved to where the numerals and markers appear three-dimensionally against the rest of the bezel, which is subsequently decorated with a grained finish. This is the first time a relief bezel has been used in the 41.5mm Aquis case and the first we’ve seen of a relief bezel at Oris since the Aquis Date Relief made its debut in 2019. A relief bezel offers a premium look and feel that is typically associated with watches multiple price points higher than what Oris charges for the Aquis, but it’s a design that Oris has sporadically iterated on in its sport watches for decades.
Rounding out the Oris Aquis Date “Cherry” is the classic Oris 733 caliber, a worry-free self-winding movement that’s based on the Sellita SW200-1. Oris updates the movement with its trademark red rotor that’s visible through an exhibition caseback – the perfect cherry on top (or around back?) of this special-edition Aquis dive watch.
The Fine Print
The Aquis Date 41.5mm is a no-nonsense diver that offers excellent wearability and features a modern aesthetic that feels refreshing among the constant flood of vintage- and heritage-inspired dive watches released these days. Think about that for a moment – we see plenty of dive watches come by the HODINKEE Shop, but how often does one feel totally, authentically original?
The Oris Aquis Date “Cherry” Edition is exactly that, and it can be yours right now, only in the HODINKEE Shop.