Oris Diver Watches
Ever since the introduction of the new Oris diver watches, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five models, people have been praising them. A cool retro watch with a very affordable price tag. We have reviewed a couple of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five variations ever since (the original Sixty-Five, the 42mm model, and just recently we reviewed the green dial version).
This article however, is not another review, but a comparison between the retro Divers Sixty-Five and the watch that inspired it. The original Oris diver ‘Waterproof’ from the 1960s. How close is the Oris Divers Sixty-Five to the original? What is so good about the Sixty-Five and what could have been done better in our opinion? Let’s go.
Oris Waterproof 17 Jewels
We actually received two Oris diver watches from the past. One Oris that has Waterproof on the dial and one watch that has been labeled as ‘Super’. As you can see, the Oris Waterproof (on the left) has the same dial as the 40mm Oris Divers Sixty-Five model and the Oris Super (outer right) has the dial with the dots as can be seen on the 42mm Sixty-Five models.
Long time ago, before Oris started using ETA and Sellita movements, Oris used their own in-house movements. The Oris Waterproof uses an Oris caliber 654 and the Super uses the caliber 484 movement. Both use KIF shock absorbers and tick at 18,000vph and have a 46 hour power reserve. As you can see on the picture below, these were hand-wound movements. A nice overview on these movements and other vintage movements can be found in this database by Roland Ranfft. This movement had 17 jewels, as the dials of both the Super and the Waterproof proudly indicated.
Today, Oris uses their caliber 733, which is based on the Sellita SW-200. The Sellita SW-200 is based on the ETA 2824-2.
The case of the original Oris diver watches was 36mm in diameter. The retro models use 40mm and 42mm cases. A bit more up-to-date. Some find the 42mm too large, or perhaps too far away from the original, but after wearing the green Oris Sixty-Five for a couple of days, I actually don’t mind. Although a 36mm in diameter wouldn’t look silly, since it is a nice vintage piece, it is rather small for today’s standards.
As you can see on the image above, the shape of the case, crown and bezel of the original Oris diver watch has been respected. I am glad that Oris didn’t put a crown protector on there, which would make it less credible in my opinion. The crystal on the new models is sapphire instead of acrylic (on the original Oris diver watches). I can understand this decision, but wouldn’t have mind an extra model (there are 25 different variations of it already anyways) with a plexi crystal as well.
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five came with a NATO strap or tropic strap at first, only later on Oris added the stainless steel bracelet. Some call it an Oyster bracelet, a shameless copy even, but the original Oris diver watches also came with this bracelet. It is a rivet bracelet that tapers quite a bit. For a premium of approximately 200 Euro, the new Oris Divers Sixty-Five can be bought with a retro version of that Oyster-style rivet bracelet.
It is a comfy bracelet and for the premium of approximately 200 Euro this is really a no-brainer. If you buy an Oris Divers Sixty-Five, get it on the bracelet. It is available for both the 40mm and 42mm versions. However, it is not an exact copy. The end-links are a bit different and the clasp as well. The clasp is a more modern interpretation with pushers for release. The only criticism I have towards the bracelet however, aren’t the end-links or clasp, but the rivets. On the new Oyster-style bracelet, they are only applied to the first four links on each side, while on the original bracelets, all links have rivets. I can understand why Oris did this, as resizing is now a hell-of-a-lot easier to do.
Dials, Hands and Bezels
Let’s start with the bezel. Interesting enough, neither of the two vintage Oris diver watches we have here has this triangle at 0 (or 60). Just a tritium dot. I have a slight preference for the bold font on the vintage bezel. The new bezel looks good though, but once you compare I think the vintage one just breaths a bit more ‘tool watch’.
As I’ve written above, the dials come basically in two different lay-outs. One with the funky 60s dial that has been used for the first Oris Divers Sixty-Five model in 40mm. The Oris Waterproof as pictured above was clearly the inspiration for the 2015 40mm model. Although a lot of the original dial has been respected by the designers at Oris, the date is located at 6 o’clock on the new model, instead of at 3 o’clock of the Oris Waterproof. Perhaps these are just modern interpretations, like the size and use of sapphire crystal are as well. That said, it is all done in a very good and tasteful manner. Just perhaps, I would have moved ‘Automatic’ from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock and instead use the word ‘Waterproof’ just below Oris. Instead, Oris used ‘Water Resistant’ at 6 o’clock.
The same applies to the ‘Super’ and the 42mm Sixty-Five models. Perhaps I would put ‘Super’ on the dial (also would be a nice wink to the size) instead of ‘Automatic’. What I really love about the 42mm version is that Oris respected the shape of the date aperture. A very nice detail. The hands are very similar to the original.
I am by no means an Oris expert (go here for Oris expertise), but in my opinion the Hölstein company did a nice job in creating a modern interpretation of their classic Oris diver watches. Purists might have some more issues or difficulties with some of the decisions that Oris took on certain details, but always keep in mind that they have to actually sell watches as well, so some decisions are often based with commercial reasons. I can understand and respect that. A watch company can hardly exist by the grace of the handful of purists and vintage watch lovers that buy a modern watch, so concessions need to be made. However, they didn’t make huge concessions that would ruin the watch. The opposite is true actually, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five seems to get a lot of respect from both vintage watch collectors and the watch enthusiasts in general.
Visit Oris on-line for more information on the Sixty-Five models.