Introduced already five years ago just ahead of Baselworld, the Divers Sixty-Five has quickly become one of the most emblematic watches of Oris, existing in countless permanent, special or limited editions, in multiple materials and in several sizes. Surprisingly, Oris managed to make it consistent and most of the editions proved successful – remember the Bi-Co or the silver dial? The latest in the series is also one of the boldest and most fashion-oriented… Something that could have sounded scary but the result of this collaboration with cult Japanese jean maker, named the Oris x Momotaro Jeans Divers Sixty-Five, was quite cool indeed. And we have it live with us today.
Based on the acclaimed ’65
The story behind the Divers Sixty-Five is quite interesting. One of the members of the Oris team – a Dutch fellow who’s also a true watch enthusiast – was the owner of a small, quite unknown dive watch from the mid-1960s, a watch with a glossy black domed dial, an external rotating bezel and, mainly, a bold bold design with unique hour markers.
Having this watch in hand, the team at Oris saw its potential and decided to create a modern interpretation, larger and upgraded for contemporary life, but still very much in line with the original design – meaning, still quite bold and unusual. In the coming years the larger (42mm) or smaller (36mm) versions would follow with different dials, layout and colours and materials such as bronze and even a model with a chronograph movement.
What’s true about almost all the versions is that Oris has managed to remain coherent with the original concept, with a great quality of execution and fair prices – usually well below EUR 2,000 – and a vintage-inspired design that pleases most watch enthusiasts. Today, the brand has launched yet another edition; a fashion-based collaboration resulting in one of the best-looking versions of the ’65.
Teaming up with Momotaro Jeans
The basic idea of this new edition, as you might have guessed from its name Momotaro Jeans Edition, is to seal the collaboration with niche yet cult brand Momotaro. This brand is particularly acclaimed among enthusiasts, being the most famous jeans company in Japan – renowned for its high-quality jeans with the insignia white stripes on the back pocket. Founded in 2006 by Hisao Manabe as the offshoot of his former textile company called Collect, Momotaro jeans are handmade by artisans in the coastal town of Kojima, dyed, woven, sewn and washed to produce what are probably the highest quality jeans on the market today. Fans of the brand are familiar with the countless handmade details that characterise these top-quality jeans. The name Momotaro or Peach Boy was taken from a Japanese folk tale in which an old couple regain their youth by eating a peach and have a son called Momotaro.
Today, the overseas development of Momotaro is in the hands of the founder’s son Katsu Manabe. Asked what the differences between Japanese, American and European jeans are, Manabe replies: “In the USA, jeans have a simple but strong image and the focus is on fit. In Europe, the story is around design and styling, In Japan, we focus on details and quality.”
Extremely unusual in today’s mass-produced casual garment industry, Manabe explains the ‘no compromise’ component of his brand’s mantra: “We don’t compromise on any aspect of the manufacturing process. The original material has to be long-staple, high-quality cotton; we only use deep indigo rope dye for a beautiful fade; we use old vintage shuttle looms to create a hand-made feel to our textiles, and details are carefully hand-sewn. In short, no compromise on quality. We always exceed global standards.”
Same but different
The watch itself is not much different from other editions of the Divers Sixty Five and shares elements already used in the past. First, the case is the mid-size version. With its 40mm diameter, it’s a great size, which will fit most wrists and has a nice combination of modern proportions and comfort. The case is made of stainless steel with its surfaces brushed on top and polished on the caseband. The crown, oversized, screws down and combined with the screwed caseback, this gives this aquatic piece a 100m water-resistance. The Divers Sixty Five isn’t a true, instrumental dive watch but a vintage-inspired, more urban model. If you’re looking for a powerful Oris dive watch, the Aquis Date might be the one for you.
This Momotaro Jeans edition is based on the existing Steel-and-Bronze version we covered here. As such, it features a bezel in polished bronze/aluminium alloy, resulting in a warm, gold-like colour when new. This specific alloy is relatively stable and will gain a reasonable amount of patina, without transforming into a toxic-looking vert de gris. The unidirectional bezel with 120 clicks features a classic black anodized aluminium insert with 60-minute diving scale.
The real deal with this model comes from the unprecedented dial and its surprising colour. The layout corresponds to the second generation, with more classic applied indexes. The earliest models featured painted markers, which were not to everyone’s taste. The indexes and hands are gold-coloured, and filled with a generous amount of ‘light old radium’ Super-LumiNova paint – this fauxtina lume works well in this context, in combination with the bronze and golden elements.
For this Oris x Momotaro Jeans Divers Sixty-Five, the brand chose a gradient light green colour, a colour rarely seen in watchmaking and that gives this special edition its true personality. Original, light, lively but not overly done, this dial really stands out in the metal – even more than in the present photos. The darker edges accentuate the domed profile of the dial and allow for better contrast between the background and the applied indexes. Last but not least, the Momotaro edition is a no-date watch, which will certainly please most (including us).
The other unique feature of this edition is the strap, which is made from indigo Momotaro jean, with two painted white stripes. Not doubt that this is the most striking and original element of the watch and that it makes sense in the present collaboration context. While its execution is great, I can imagine that some won’t like the strap or will grow tired of this bold combination. But, it’s only a strap and can easily be changed. And once you’ve done that, you’ll end up with what’s probably one of the best examples of the Oris Divers Sixty Five, with this beautiful light green dial.
Availability and price
The Oris x Momotaro Jeans Divers Sixty-Five is delivered in a denim travel pouch and is a special, non-limited edition. It is now available in stores and on the brand’s e-boutique. It is priced at EUR 2,000 – CHF 2,100 – USD 2,200. More details and orders at oris.ch.