As a designer, I will always favour watches that represent at least the style of our days, or even better those that are in the avant-garde. Of course, there are a few exceptions among watches inspired by iconic models of the past, like the Longines Legend Diver, or the Seamaster 300, and a few others, but in general, I’m not sold on everything vintage or vintage-inspired. When it was first announced, during Baselworld 2015, I really liked the Oris Divers Sixty Five, and I was looking forward to having a closer look at it.
Because I have a small wrist, I’m quite limited in the watches I can wear and modern divers, with their bold proportions, are usually too bulky for me. Without seeing it or trying it, just based on its specs, the Divers Sixty-Five ticks off many boxes on my wishlist. So without going any further, here are the numbers:
Oris Divers Sixty-Five
Ref. No. 733 7707 4064
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 40 x 48 x 12.8 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Crystal: Bubble-curved sapphire crystal domed on both sides and with anti-reflective coating inside
Dial: Black curved dial with printed Super-LumiNova numerals
Hands: Coated with Super-Luminova
Water resistance: 100 metres
Movement: Automatic Oris Cal. 733, based on Sellita SW200, with date at 6 o’clock, 28,800 vph, 38-hour power reserve
Canadian MSRP: $2,000
As it is indicated in the name, this Oris is based on a popular diver, presented in 1965. The original model was a three-hands and date watch with a 36 mm chromium-plated brass case with plexi-crystal, featuring a bi-directional rotating bezel and it was water resistant to 10bar/100m. The charm of the new model resides in the successful update of the specs without impacting the design.
While it has a larger diameter, the new model is still among the smaller divers out there. On the wrist, it sits flat, the only protrusion is the rounded shape of the curved sapphire crystal. Usually, in a watch review, when it comes to the crystal, I would not go into much details beyond the fact that it’s flat or domed and it has AR coating. With the Divers Sixty-Five, the bubble-curved sapphire crystal deserves a closer look as it really spices things up. Even now, as I’m writing these lines, I had to stop and grab my camera to take another picture of the dial seen through the crystal, with light coming from my lamp and the computer screen, merging together with the distorted image of the dial. These kinds of distortions will make you fall in love with the Sixty-Five, it is like a girlfriend full of surprises whom you want to marry because you will never get bored with her.
The screw-down crown is fairly large compared to the rest of the watch offering and excellent grip, adjusting the time and winding the movement was never a hassle. The stainless steel case is an exercise of simplicity, it is purely functional, the decoration is kept to a minimum, it is almost imperceptible. The thin side is polished while the top part has a subtle, barely visible, brushed finish.
The solid stainless steel back of the watch is decorated with the old ORIS logo, a bow to the original source of inspiration. The pure form of the case and its thin profile focuses the attention on the most important part of the watch, the dial. Even the aluminium unidirectional rotating bezel is reserved and sits humbled by the proud crystal. Unlike the crown, I found the bezel to be a bit hard to operate because of its thin profile, but once I had a good grip, it turns in a precise manner.
The dial screams 60s from every angle. Just look at the numerals in the four cardinal points, the “futuristic” square fonts are drawn as negative spaces in a Super-Luminova coated trapezoid block. Luminous coating that is also used for the indexes, the hands and the dot on the bezel, is very effective in dark places and it gives the watch an unmistakable identity. I made a little test by posting a lume shot on Facebook and Instagram to see how long it would take for someone to name the watch, the correct answer came almost instantly. When a watch has such a strong identity that people can recognize even from the lume shot, I think it deserves more than just a hat tip, it should be a serious contender for a place in your collection.
The dial itself is slightly curved towards the edges, adding to the action coming from the crystal. On the original model, the date window was placed at 3 o’clock, on the new model, Oris opted for 6 o’clock, making it less conspicuous by giving the dial a balanced composition.
The sword hour and minute hands are proportional with the indexes, and I really like that they are slim as opposed to the thick hands we see on many diving pieces. The thin second hand rotates a lume filled circle around the dial, especially in dark conditions it is quite fun to observe.
The review model was not fitted with the standard black rubber strap, but with a khaki nylon strap that still worked nicely with the overal look of the watch.
Under the hood, the Sixty-Five is powered by the automatic Oris Cal. 733, based on Sellita SW200, a movement we are seeing more and more used by companies moving away from ETA. I’m not particularly obsessed with the accuracy of mechanical watches, and I did not notice any significant discrepancies in time-keeping of the Sixty-Five during the past weeks. On paper, it has a power reserve of 38-hours, nothing to be excited about, after a couple of days of not wearing the watch, you’ll have to adjust the time and wind it.
I love many things about the Divers Sixty-Five, first of all, it’s a piece of design history you can wear on your wrist, it’s a time capsule. It’s a diving watch that was conceived to be worn every day, not just in extreme scenarios of professional diving. 100 meters of water resistance is enough so that you can take it to the beach, without carrying around all the bulk that a deeper — read as unnecessary — waterproofing would have required.
It’s a weekend warrior that I was happy to wear even during more formal occasions. Its sporty and casual DNA, always makes me feel at ease and as I mentioned before, it is a watch full of nice surprises that I will miss, now that I have to give it back. Among the watches launched in 2015, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five is among the few that I really like, I want to buy and I can afford to add to my collection.
In Canada, it retails for $2,000, in a typical Oris huge-bang-for-your-buck style.
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