Watchmaker Oris has been championing environmental projects around the world under its “Change for the Better” umbrella, always revolving around the theme of water. From whale and dolphin conservation to cleaning up the world’s lakes and rivers and saving coral reefs, Oris has struck upon another original project involving bivalve molluscs. This time, Oris is collaborating with the Billion Oyster Project, a non-profit determined to restore one billion oysters to New York Harbor. To help the Billion Oyster Project reseed the harbour waters with baby oysters, Oris is releasing 2,000 pieces of its high-performance Aquis diver’s watch with a wonderful watery green mother-of-pearl designed to evoke the colour of the waters of New York Harbor.
Billion Oyster Project
According to a report by NY’s Department of Environmental Projection, the Harbor is cleaner today than it’s been in nearly 110 years, attracting humpback whales feeding on menhaden, or bunker fish that are now thriving thanks to the cleaner waters. In addition to the growing population of bunker fish, the Billion Oyster Project wants to restore one billion oysters to the city’s Harbor by 2035.
Oysters, which act as natural water filters and can filter up to 189 litres of water a day, were once abundant in the waters surrounding New York (220,000 acres) when Henry Hudson sailed into the city in 1609. Some calculate that the oyster beds below the surface of the Harbor floor comprised nearly half the oysters in the world. Untreated sewage, industrial waste dumped into the Harbor, over-harvesting and the city’s expanding shoreline signalled the demise of the oyster beds in the mid-1920s. Following the introduction of New York’s Clean Water Act in 1972, the quality of water began to improve and whales were spotted in the Harbor.
Founded in 2014 by educators Murray Fisher and Pete Malinowski and working closely with young school children, volunteers and restaurant partners, the Billion Oyster Project has already introduced 75 million juvenile oysters to 18 restorations that are now self-sustaining. The process starts by collecting reclaimed oyster shells that are rinsed, exposed to the elements for a year and then placed in tanks of Harbor water. Next, free-swimming oyster larvae are released into the tank and find a spot to settle and grow before being placed in any one of the 18 restoration sites in the Harbor.
Oysters are not only natural water filters but oyster reefs also provide habitat for hundreds of species. Compared to the role of trees in a forest, oyster reefs are ecosystem engineers and can protect the city from storm damage by softening the impact of large waves, reducing flooding and preventing erosion along the shorelines.
Oris New York Harbor Limited Edition
The 2,000 pieces Oris Aquis Date New York Harbor Limited Edition designed to support the Billion Oyster Project capture the changing tones of the green waters of New York Harbor with a green mother-of-pearl dial. The ever-changing natural opalescence of mother-of-pearl plays with the light and insinuates the changing moods of the Harbor’s green water when it is hit by sunlight. Like other Aquis Date models, the legibility of the dial is excellent. The hour and minute hands, the central seconds hand with its lollipop feature and the applied hour markers are all treated with Super-LumiNova.
The robust 41.5mm steel case construction, with its angular crown guards, well-defined grooves on the bezel and seamlessly integrated bracelet, is designed to withstand extreme sports and depths of up to 300 metres. The unidirectional rotating dive bezel in steel has a sandblasted background and polished numerals and markings in relief. A domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating protects the dial while the sealed caseback features a realistic relief engraving of three oysters, the inscription ‘New York Harbor Limited Edition’ and the limited number edition 0001/2000 set against a matte sandblasted background.
For the record, this Aquis Date New York Harbor Limited Edition is not equipped with the brand’s automatic calibre 400 released in October 2020. Behind the sealed caseback is the tried-and-tested calibre 733, based on a Sellita SW 200-1. This automatic movement beats at 4Hz, has a 38-hour power reserve and the signature red Oris rotor.
Availability & Price
The Oris Aquis Date New York Harbor Limited Edition will be produced in 2,000 numbered pieces and comes with two straps: a green rubber strap and a stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp and extension. The watch comes in a special presentation box with a strap change tool and retails for USD 2,700 or CHF 2,400.
For more information, please visit oris.ch.