In a very early preview, Oris reveals details of three new watches for next year, including a silver-dialled Diver’s Sixty-Five
By Chris Hall
We may not even have said goodbye to 2016, much less got SIHH 2017 out of the way, but already several brands are bringing out details of watches that will be officially released at Baselworld next March. But hey, TAG Heuer told the world what it would be launching in 2017 before Baselworld 2016, so I guess anything goes these days.
Oris is the latest to leap out of the blocks. At an event in Zermatt earlier in December, it showed us several watches that give a good idea of the company’s direction for 2017 and beyond. Some of them we can’t tell you about yet – but they’re interesting, well-judged and in-keeping with what’s been going on lately at Oris (which is to say, good things). Some of them we can tell you about, however, and they are as follows:
Another Diver’s Sixty-Five, this time with a silver dial.
Since it came out two years ago we’ve hailed the Sixty-Five as the watch to really kick things on to the next level at Oris, and in that relatively short time the collection has grown to 24 references (counting strap/bracelet variations), including the bronze-cased Carl Brashear tribute. We will admit to a soft spot for the funky numerals of the original 2015 reissue, but there’s no doubting that the move to rich, colourful dials and traditional thick lume pots has done the Diver’s Sixty-Five no harm at all. QP Magazine editor James Buttery even picked it as his watch of the year.
To follow the blue and green versions, we now have a Diver’s Sixty-Five with a satin-sunburst silver dial. It’s arguably the most conservative styling to enter the range, but that’s not to call it dull. There’s a great shimmer to that dial and it combines very nicely with the distressed leather strap. (It may, although we’ve not seen it, be a bit too much silver on a steel bracelet, but time will tell.) The luminova appears greener than on the blue and green-dialled versions, as well.
In all other respects, it’s the same watch as before. 42mm, Sellita-based movement with date at 3 o’clock, rotating bezel with aluminium insert, water resistant to 100m. The specs alone don’t necessarily get you leaping out of your chair, but it’s very solid and the prices remain entirely reasonable for the overall package – £1,300 on a strap, and about £1,450 on a bracelet. We hear that this may be the last new variant of the Sixty-Five to come out for a while, which seems about right.
A limited-edition version of the Altimeter
Oris’s mechanical altimeter is one of the more interesting complications to have emerged in the last few years. The concept is simple enough (a pressure-sensitive expanding capsule housed within the watch, “activated” by unscrewing a crown at 4 o’clock to let the air in, coupled to a counter running around the edge of the dial that you can specify in metres or feet) but the execution is spot on – and notably more accessible than the approach taken by Breva.
Now Oris has released a version in partnership with Rega, one of the world’s only private search-and-rescue organisations. Operating primarily over Switzerland and Liechtenstein, it specialises in alpine air rescue. A non-profit foundation, Rega exists thanks to the fees paid by some three million members (a pretty sizeable 38 per cent of the population) and charges no fee for its services. It has its own emergency number, 1414, which is also the number of watches that Oris will produce.
The 47mm watch is stainless steel with a gunmetal PVD coating; it too uses a Sellita base movement and is water-resistant to 100m (as long as you remember to screw that second crown in). The dial features the Rega logo at 9 o’clock – it’s relatively subtle – and the grey fabric strap gains a red leather lining. It is available for CHF 3,950 (UK pricing has not yet been confirmed).
A tribute to jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon
It may not be the most obvious thing for an otherwise hardy, tool-watch-oriented brand, but Oris has been producing watches in tribute to legendary figures on the jazz scene for more than twenty years now (although not with a new watch every year; this is the seventeenth). For 2017, it is honouring the tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon – an LA-born musician credited as being the first to bring 20th century jazz to the instrument, playing and recording with Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Herbie Hancock.
Like last year’s Thelonious Monk tribute, it’s a classic looking watch that you could plausibly buy without an interest in jazz whatsoever. Dial-side, there are only a couple of very subtle nods to Dexter Gordon; at 12 o’clock, the hour marker has been re-shaped to resemble a saxophone reed, and the second hand has been elongated in honour of Gordon’s nickname, “Long Tall Dex”. This same nickname is laser-etched on the solid caseback. The watch measures 40mm across, has a dark grey sunburst dial with date at 6 o’clock, and is limited to 1,000 pieces. It will be priced at £1,400.