Less is more! This must have been the driving force when Oris invented the new “Aquis Depth Gauge”.
In the last years we saw quite a lot of divers watches with a depth gauge. In 1999 IWC was the first manufacturer to come out with such a watch. The IWC “GST Deep One”, with a mechanical depth gauge, was a innovative and stunning timepiece, no doubt. Years later we saw Jaeger-LeCoultre presenting the “Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic” its interpretation of a divers watch with a mechanical depth gauge, IWC presenting the “Aquatimer Deep Two”, Panerai implementing an electronic depth gauge in the “Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge” and finally Blancpain presenting another ingenious mechanical solution for a watch with a depth gauge in the “X-Fathoms”. What all these watches have in common is that they either work with a mechanical or electronic solution.
But no one ever thought about this: It´s a physical Law which triggered Oris’ invention
Robert Boyle (1627 – 1691) was a leading intellectual figure of the 17th century and one of the founders of modern chemistry. He was the first prominent scientist to perform controlled experiments and publish his work with details concerning procedure, apparatus and observations. He began to publish in 1659 and continued to do so for the rest of his life. It is Boyle’s Law for which he is most famous and which states that if the volume of a gas is decreased the pressure increases proportionally. Since this principle was also independently discovered by the French Edme Mariotte (1620 – 1684) the law was finally named after both scientists.
Oris product engineers were the first to apply the Boyle-Mariotte Law into the top crystal of a watch by milling a small channel into the side of a sapphire crystal. The channel runs anti-clockwise round the sapphire glass, stopping between one and two o’clock. At 12 o’clock, an inlet leads to this channel. The special sapphire crystal is about 50% thicker than an average watch top crystal, domed and anti-reflection coated on both sides. Oris patented this invention in 2012.
Oris used a proven diver case from the Aquis collection and combined it with the newly invented sapphire crystal. The join between the crystal and the case is sealed by a Zytel® gasket. Despite the milled channel the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is water- resistant to 50 bar/500m, thus providing the highest protection to the mechanical movement with automatic winding.
When descending with the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge, water enters into the milled channel through the inlet at 12 o’clock of the sapphire crystal. The increasing water pressure compresses the air inside the channel. The water causes the color of the channel to become dark grey. The edge between dark grey (water) and light grey (compressed air) marks the depth on the yellow meter scale on the inside of the sapphire crystal. For enhanced readability the sapphire crystal has a non-reflective treatment on both sides.
The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is a compact high quality timing and depth-measuring instrument. The black ceramic inlay of the unidirectional revolving top ring has an engraved 60-minute scale, with individual minute lines from zero to fifteen. The white Super-LumiNova® applied to the hands and indices, gives not only excellent visibility underwater but also one of the longest lasting luminosities of all Super-LumiNova® colors. The high contrast yellow meter scale printed on the inside of the sapphire crystal emphasizes the well-balanced technical look.
The crown of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is protected by a safety barrier.
The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge case back with engraved metres to feet conversion scale.
The innovative clasp of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge allows the strap to be adjusted rapidly.
The specially designed rubber strap with anchor feature of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge
The folding clasp of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge allows an easy adjustment.
The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge comes in a special waterproof case with a metal bracelet as alternative.
The technical features in brief …
- Automatic Oris movement Cal. 733, based on SW 200 with date window at 6 o’clock
- Centralized hour, minute and second displays
- Stainless steel case, water-resistant to 50bar/500metres
- Screwed case back with meters-feet scale engravings
- Sapphire crystal, on both sides doomed and on both sides with anti-reflective coating, features a milled channel for depth gauging and a metre scale in yellow, printed from the inside
- Diver’s unidirectional revolving top ring with minute scale on black ceramic inlay
- Dial with applied indices and hands, both with Super-LumiNova® inlay
- Rubber strap and metal bracelet as alternative
- Set includes waterproof case, certificate, metal bracelet, cleaning device and tools to change the strap/bracelet
The new Oris Aquis Depth Gauge costs only 2600 Euros including tax in Germany. What a watch and what a price!
One personal remark in the end: The only concern I have after discovering the Oris is how you clean the small channel where the water flows in… I think we will have to test the watch under real conditions … 🙂
I would not worry about water remaining in the gauge – capillary action would not allow it.
On a second thought, air is lighter than water. How does Oris prevent the air from escaping from the groove?
Alex – I was thinking exactly the same thing with regards to cleaning the water channel, I think over time, this might become very ugly to look at with water stains…
I’ll be interested to know how Oris are advising to clean this channell..
Stunning watch nonetheless…waiting for your real life testing of this piece!
Alex, I come and do the test with you under real conditions…. Did you know that in Basel, the local dive clubs exercise in a 50m deep water tank storing water for the fire brigade? Scary, but if you are still game …
We once studied the issue of a reliable mechanical depth indicator for wristwatches and abandoned the project after the first prototypes. As nice as the concept is and despite all the impressive sport watches you mentioned above, none of them work reliably. But then again, as an owner of such a piece, you probably brag about your diver’s watch rather in a bar than in actual action…..
As a reader of my “old” german blog you might have discovered the first tests I did with divers watches. In the same manner I will continue! I assume you speak German, so go and look for the tests if you don’t´t know them yet .. :-))
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