Oris has a strong reputation when it comes to serious, professional-oriented, highly capable yet relatively accessible dive watches. Under the Aquis and Prodiver collections, the brand has already presented multiple instruments for aquatic purposes. Think, for instance, about the Meistertaucher. Or the new AquisPro. One that has long been in the collection and that has been praised by the diving community is the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge, which we covered in details here. Equipped with a clever, safe and easy-to-use system to measure depth (the most simple you can imagine actually), it comes back this year with multiple small upgrades and refinements, both visually and mechanically. Here’s the 2021 Oris Aquis Depth Gauge.
The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is one of the brand’s most acclaimed dive watches, not only because of its look and feel, but mainly because of its cleverly simple construction for the main function, measuring depth. Launched in steel with a black bezel’s insert in 2013, it will be slightly facelifted in 2014 with a DLC-coated case and a brushed tungsten bezel’s insert, but still a multitude of yellow accents, paired with a yellow rubber strap option (a black strap was also included). When it comes to crucial elements that can help save your life, we all know that simpler solutions are often the most reliable. And that’s where the Aquis Depth Gauge makes sense. No mechanical devices here that can fault. The depth gauge simply relies on physics and a well-known scientific principle. But more on that later.
Now, for 2021, we have a new edition of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge, the second-generation model. What has changed? Well, we’re talking about details and small tweaks all around to make the watch more consistent with the rest of the collection, and slightly more functional. The case, for instance, is now back to non-coated stainless steel, with brushed and polished surfaces. It still measures about 46mm in diameter, with the typical lug module integrated into the central container. Some more details have been updated to match with the current Aquis Date models, such as a redesigned crown guard.
As for the unidirectional bezel, the new Depth Gauge watch now features a polished black ceramic insert, engraved with a 60-minute diving scale – again, in line with the Aquis Date. In the same vein, the dial has been updated with new hands and applied indexes, differently positioned text with new fonts and overall slightly larger inclusions of Super-LumiNova for better contrast at night. There are still some yellow accents all around, mostly on the depth scale, somehow the hallmark of this watch. Specifications still include a screw-in crown, a sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-reflective coating and a 500m water-resistance.
What’s new then? Well, the brand has refined the depth gauge system. The process used to mill the channel into the outer edge of the crystal has been refined so the accuracy and legibility of the gauge are increased. How does this system work? While most other depth gauge watches rely on a mechanical system with a membrane, the Oris uses science and physics to bring its indication to life. No mechanics here, just a clever system, which all comes down to the Boyle- Mariotte Law, which states for gases that: pressure x volume = constant. Due to this, the volume of air contained in the channel milled into the sapphire crystal would reduce during a dive, compressed under pressure. As such, the deeper you go, the more water will enter into the channel. Due to the frosted surface of the channel, the level can be read once the water comes inside. The air then decompresses during an ascent, forcing the water out of the hole. Simple, thus reliable.
On this second generation, the channel has a more finely grained channel than before, making the indication even clearer. The watermark corresponds to a yellow gauge running around the outside of the dial, and the two combine to indicate depth. Another novelty for this second generation is the presence of a new metres-to-feet conversion chart engraved on the caseback.
Finally, the new Oris Aquis Depth Gauge comes equipped with the brand’s patented Quick Strap Change system, so owners can change between a strap and a bracelet quickly and without the need to use a tool. This new model is available either on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet or a black rubber strap. Each is equipped with Oris-developed folding security clasp with extension and safety anchor systems. The watch is powered by the automatic Calibre 733, based on the tried-and-tested Sellita SW200-1, which displays H-M-S and date.
The new Oris Aquis Depth Gauge will soon be available (announced May 2021) from retailers and from the brand’s website. It will be priced at EUR 3,400 or CHF 3,600 on a rubber strap, and EUR 3,500 or CHF 3,700 on a stainless steel bracelet. More details at oris.ch.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.