Think about it for a second… What is the most important feature of a dive watch? Its water resistance? Its second hand? Its bezel? Of course, it is a combination of all these elements however, and I am sure pro-divers will agree, THE ultimate feature of a dive watch is the minute hand. For safety reasons, the minute hand is key to calculating the remaining dive time and decompression stages. Oris has been well aware of this already for some years and so this year presents a new version of the Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’, a watch that has been intensively thought through, built for pro-divers and offers a very appealing original display.
When it comes to professional-oriented dive watches, Oris’ reputation has been firmly established. Think about the Aquis Depth Gauge, the Prodiver 1000 or simply the Aquis Date. All of them are sturdy, well conceived, purpose-built watches with recognition as legitimate instruments by those who, in the end, have authority: divers. These watches were not created to be desk-divers (even if they might be often used as such… but that’s another debate). In addition to these, Oris has gone what I consider “a step further” for dive watches, introducing a watch that not only offers the water resistance, the compliance with ISO-6425 standards and the required robustness, but that emphasizes the crucial feature of a dive watch: the minute hand, by employing a regulator display. This watch is the Oris Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ and, for Baselworld 2017, Oris has decided to give it a facelift, in accordance with style of the new Aquis collection.
Why am I highlighting the minute hand on a dive watch? In fact, combined with the rotating bezel, the minute hand is key to calculating remaining dive time and to measure decompression stages, two elements crucial to the security of divers. If you think about it, what is the best way to have an easy to read, easy to see minute hand? The answer is simple: a regulator display. A regulator relies on non-coaxial hands, meaning the hour and minute hands are separated. The minute hand is in the centre, while the hour, an important feature of course but secondary when diving, is shown by a separate, smaller hand on a sub-dial at 3. This isolates the key piece of information for a diver, who can set dive time by aligning the minute hand to the 60-minute scale on the uni-directional rotating bezel. Other features of this display are a small-second (a running indication is required by ISO standards) and a date.
This feature is key to the unique charm of the ‘Der Meistertaucher’, not a new watch for Oris, however a niche piece that has become sort of an icon. (In 1999, Oris became the first watch company to introduce this traditional complication into a dive watch). To better integrate this watch into the collection, the brand gave it the same facelift as the 2017 version of the Aquis, meaning a slightly slimmer case, redesigned crown protection piece, reshaped lugs and different indexes on the dial. Overall, the watch feels a bit more compact than before and also more modern.
The 43.5mm case of the Oris Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ is entirely devoted to efficiency: lightweight thanks to the use of titanium (for the case, the buckle and the additional bracelet), well protected, designed for divers, with a 300m water resistance and an automatic helium escape valve, built into the side of the case at 9, a rubber strap or a bracelet, both with a quick-adjust extension system (so you can strap the watch around a diving suit). The dial also follows the same idea, with clearly identified hands, thanks to bright colors: all secondary indications are white painted (hours, seconds, date, indexes) while the main indicators – the minute hand and first 15-minutes of the ceramic bezel’s scale – are painted in bright red. This display is powered by an automatic calibre, the Oris Cal. 749, based on Sellita SW 220-1.
The new Oris Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ keeps the appeal of the model, meaning the unique charm of the regulator (being one of the only regulator dive watches available), combined with a great execution. Complication is used here for one goal only; creating an even safer and more practical watch. This Oris ‘Der Meistertaucher’ is a niche offer but one that is really relevant. The 2017 facelift is welcomed, and brings a modern feel to this proper tool watch. Price: EUR 2,900, including titanium bracelet, additional rubber strap with folding buckle and water-resistant case with strap-changing tools. Available in May 2017.
Technical Specifications of the 2017 Oris Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’
- Case: 43.5mm diameter – titanium case, ceramic bezel, helium escape valve – sapphire crystal on the dial side and titanium caseback – 30 bar / 300m water resistant
- Movement: Oris Cal. 749, based on Sellita SW 220-1 – automatic – 4Hz frequency – 38h power reserve – minute hand in the centre, hour hand on a subdial at 3, small seconds at 9, date window at 6
- Strap: titanium bracelet with folding clasp and extension system. Supplied with red rubber strap with folding clasp and quick-adjust extension system
- Reference: 01 749 7734 7154 MB
- Price: EUR 2,900 / CHF 3,100
- Availability: May 2017