There are several “big name” brands that offer affordable divers with pro credentials. Seiko’s expansive Prospex collection and Hamilton’s Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic are a couple of examples. Oris is a major player in the field and last year’s Aquis Date 41.5mm Cherry Red introduced an eye-catching cherry red dial that seemed to target land dwellers. Let’s be honest, many dive watches never actually see water outside of a rain shower or occasional dip in the pool. They’re cool, stylish and have a rugged vibe that enthusiasts gravitate to, so the brand added some eye candy to an otherwise purpose-built piece, with the new Oris Aquis Date Cherry 43.5mm.
The 43.5mm diameter of the stainless steel case of the Oris Aquis Date is well sized for a serious diver. In fact, that’s the original size of the Aquis when it launched in 2011 and it has since been offered in smaller packages such as 39.5mm and 41.5mm. The style was updated in 2017 to a more refined aesthetic, but the collection has always been a capable diving tool at heart. I wouldn’t say that changed with last year’s cherry red dial and unique bezel, but it helped lure some land-based buyers. The new model maintains the original cherry model’s specs in a larger form factor. The unidirectional rotating bezel has the same stainless steel insert with a detailed diver’s scale in relief. The numerals and marks are polished, which stand out against a sandblasted base and it’s both contemporary and subtle. It doesn’t scream “dive watch” like a more traditional black bezel. The screw-down crown is guarded by screwed sections, which is also a bit more stylish than simple extensions of the case. A domed AR sapphire crystal protects the dial, while a mineral glass exhibition caseback doesn’t compromise the 300-metre water-resistance rating.
The sunray cherry red dial steals the show as a vibrant, eye-catching centrepiece. Legibility is excellent with silver applied indices sporting large Super-LumiNova inserts. The silver hour and minutes hands also have Super-LumiNova, as does the lollipop seconds hand. A black date window tastefully sits at 6 o’clock. The three-link stainless steel bracelet seamlessly integrates with the case and matches with brushed and polished finishes, and it’s secured via a folding clasp and inventive clasp extension system. This new Oris Aquis Date Cherry may look great in the board room, but if you want to hit the open ocean, it’s more than ready for action.
Powering the watch is the Oris 733 automatic, based on the Sellita SW200-1. Although not the new in-house Oris 400 calibre, it’s the same movement found in last year’s model and an excellent engine for the price. It has 26 jewels, and beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. Seen from the exhibition caseback, it’s light on decorations but has the classic bright red Oris rotor.
The new Oris Aquis Date Cherry 43.5mm retails for CHF 2,100, which is a solid price for such a capable Swiss diver with a slick aesthetic to boot. For more information and orders, please visit www.oris.ch.