Hands-On With The Oris Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown Watch
Under the haze of dusk, Oris snuck in a Divers Sixty-Five in October. No fanfare or press release that usually accompanies a new configuration. Instead, just a quiet assurance that this watch was available by listing it on the website. But don’t think this smooth criminal will get away with its stealthy strike. The sunset gradient brown dial has rekindled my interest in the Sixty-Five range, and I’m here to tell you why.
Before I backtrack, let me jump straight to the action. New for 2020 is the 40mm Divers Sixty-Five with what Oris calls the “Brown” dial. For me, this sells it short as the gradient from the black aluminum bezel to the golden center takes you on a journey of color. It reminds me of Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters that have a “Tobacco Burst” finish. As soon as I made that connection, it was an Oris I was desperate to get my hands on. And that’s despite my guitar of choice being the PRS Custom 22. Alongside the sunburst dial are the color-coordinated bronze center-links and outer bezel. The latest in a long line of Sixty-Fives with this bi-color mix of steel and bronze.
Five Years Earlier
Like a Tarantino flick, I’m mixing the chronology. Five years back, I set my sights on the then brand new Oris Divers Sixty-Five that was fresh from its Baselworld unveiling. But it wasn’t until December of 2015 that I pulled the trigger on it. I was in Germany at the time and staying with friends. With me for the trip — yes I always pack two watches — was my IWC Aquatimer and Omega Speedmaster. I felt content that these watches covered the extremes of any excursions. I even proclaimed that there would be no more watch purchases for at least another year.
The first Sixty-Five from 2015 had a black dial with luminescent exploded numerals and rubber and fabric straps.
Well, this proclamation lasted a good 48-hours after I returned. Killing time in the high street, I saw the Sixty-Five in the window of the AD. Back then, the only configuration was with the black dial with luminescent exploded numerals and a rubber tropic strap. Not even a bracelet existed. Still, the 13mm case height skin-diver had a broad appeal that had my number. I paid through finance, which was the first and last time I have spent this way. Nothing wrong with paying in recurring installments, but through the process, I decided I wanted to own something outright and not have outstanding payments.
Oris entering the bronze age
I spent many great times with the Sixty-Five, including sailing adventures in the Adriatic. When the rivet bracelet came out in 2016, I bought it separately for my Oris. The rivet bracelet had a nice vintage look with a bracelet tapering from 20mm to 16mm. But with a modern and robust feel. Over time, the Sixty-Five got less and less wear. Until 2018, I eventually sold it with the bracelet and strap. At the same time, Oris announced new variations of the Sixty-Five with bronze touches. The outer circumference of the bezel has a bronze surround that will slowly patina with time.
The dials remained inky black with a 40mm and a new 36mm case diameter — closely resembling the original vintage Divers watch from the ‘60s. But 2019 saw two new Sixty-Fives that led to the watch we have today. The Rake and Revolution launched its limited “Honey” Diver with the burnt orange dial, no date and a bronze bezel. I remember a rep from Revolution showcasing a sample in the Baselworld press area and asking media types to take shots and share online. My camera was charging at the time, and the lights were pretty terrible, so the image above was the best I could do. This “Honey” diver was limited to 250 pieces and sold through Revolution’s e-store with a few pieces ending up in Oris boutiques. Not unlike Fratello’s own Oris Big Crown Pointer Date in Bronze with ox-blood dial.
In the same event, Oris introduced a bi-color steel and bronze bracelet that continued the theme with an entirely bronze bezel and blue dial. Oris Co-CEO Rolf Studer even let me try out his watch as we shared some drinks at a Swiss hotel bar. At some point, a few bright sparks made the combination of The Rake and Revolutions’ Divers Sixty-Five “Honey” and bi-color bracelet. This is no better demonstrated than in my favorite wrist-shot of the year by @meirwrist.
By toning down the bronze to just the outer edge, instead of the entire bezel, the blend is a little more harmonious. The aging of the bronze would also be a little less evident than the fully bronze bezel.
Sixty-Five in harmony
This all brings us to the new Divers Sixty-Five Sunset Brown. A non-limited version that officially combines the two-tone bracelet to the black aluminium and bronze bezel. Not only that but the dial is slightly more desaturated than the “Honey” orange dial. I also notice the quality has improved over the past five years. The bezel turn actions feel a lot more substantial and satisfying. The signed crown also pops out with more authority when unscrewed with less play in the winding stem. Rather than exploded numerals, the dot and baton markers provide the indications, as they have become the norm since the 42mm case size. The beige lume is a nice touch with rose gold PVD-coated brass on the hands and marker surrounds.
Some elements stay the same, however. The case-back has that vintage ‘70s shield logo and the domed sapphire crystal bends and stretches the light. Powering this charming Diver is the Oris Calibre 733, which is a Sellita SW200-1 with hacking seconds, date at 6 o’clock and 38-hours power reserve. Much less than the 120-hours of the new Aquis Calibre 400, which took the limelight from this release. Understandably so, with the advancement of movement technology exclusive to Oris. But as I’ve discovered, the new Divers Sixty-Five is not a watch to ignore at €2,100. My only gripe was the pin and collar system to remove links that were the stiffest I had experienced in a bracelet. Once sized, however, the fit is comfortable and stylish.
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