If there’s one thing Oris is good at, it’s to create interesting and nicely designed limited editions, especially of dive watches. Well, it’s not that difficult when your base for these editions is the reliable, rugged, efficient but pretty affordable Aquis Date. We’ve seen for instance the Great Barrier Reef edition or the Carlos Coste version. This time, Oris teams up with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, to create a volcano-inspired version, the (of-course) black and red Oris El Hierro Limited Edition.
El Hierro? A Spanish Institute of Oceanography? A volcano? And a dive watch…? Ok, before going into the details of the Oris El Hierro Limited Edition, first a short story, explaining the reasons behind this watch. In October 2011, strange activity was observed off the coast of El Hierro, the most south-western of the Spanish-owned Canary Islands. Patches of pale-coloured water began appearing, dead fish floated on the ocean surface, and locals noted a strong smell of sulphur in the air. It turned out that these were the first signs of a submarine volcanic eruption, some 400 meters below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The eruption continued until March the following year, leaving the cone of the volcano just 88 meters below the water’s surface.
Oris announces that it has partnered with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) to support three scholarships for Master students, examining the activity of El Hierro. Funds for Oris’s contribution to the scholarship will be raised through sales of the Oris El Hierro Limited Edition watch, a black DLC-coated version of the Oris Aquis Date. The base is a very serious watch. The Aquis is certainly one efficient dive watch, with its 300m water resistance, its legible bezel, with brushed ceramic insert, its solid 43mm case, with prominent lugs and a good protection of the crown. Legibility is on par with what you expect from a professional-oriented dive watch, meaning sharp and clear in day- or night-time conditions.
The Oris El Hierro Limited Edition, just like the Aquis Date, has a reliable technical base, meaning an automatic movement, based on a Sellita SW-200. This movement will display the time accurately and will do the job for decades, without a single issue. A workhorse perfectly suitable for the vocation of the watch. It display the time classically – hours, minutes and seconds on the central axis – and a date discreetly inserted in a window at 6.
The Oris El Hierro Limited Edition sports several new visual features, which makes it rather different from the “normal” editions. The case first, still manufactured in stainless steel, with the same shape and the same brushed finish, is coated in scratch-resistant black DLC. Same goes for the bezel, with a black color, and an insert in black ceramic. The crown, the rubber strap and the buckle are finally all in black, to match the look of the case. Volcano-theme obliged, the Oris El Hierro adds some red accents to the black scheme. The bezel minutes scale, the dial’s minute track and the central seconds hand are painted in volcano red. Finally, the dial shows a nice dark grey color, with brushed sub-ray pattern, a color that enlivens the looks, preventing from the all-black / all-matte effect of certain DLC watches.
Usually not big fans of full black watches, we must admit that here, at Monochrome, we enjoyed this El Hierro Limited Edition of the Oris Aquis. Black but not plain, dark enough but also lively, this is a nice addition to a large collection of good, reliable and efficient dive watches, still reasonably priced – the Oris El Hierro Limited Edition will come for 1,950 Swiss Francs (limited to 2,000 pieces).
Specifications of the Oris El Hierro Limited Edition
- Case: 43mm diameter – stainless steel with black DLC coating – sapphire crystal on the front – 300m water resistant
- Movement: Calibre 733, based on Sellita SW-200 – automatic winding – 38h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – hours, minutes and seconds, date at 6
- Strap: black rubber strap on black DLC folding clasp