The Oris Aquis line of dive watches has served as platform for a number of special limited editions, most paying tribute to an ocean environment, marine conservation organization, or aquatic species. The latest in this lineage is the “Source of Life” Limited Edition, which again is inspired by water – but this time it’s a river, the Rhine, which has its origins in the Swiss Alps and flows past Hölstein, where Oris is headquartered. In fact, a feeder brook known as the Orisbach, is adjacent to the Oris workshops and is the original source of the company’s name.
The 43.5mm stainless steel case of the Source of Life Limited Edition, with its bolted-on crown guards and thick lugs, is by now a familiar profile to those who know the the Aquis diver. But this iteration features a sunburst blue-grey dial set off with a matte grey tungsten bezel ring. The date is indicated with a white marker that moves around a ring of numerals on the dial. The caseback is engraved with the serpentine route that the Rhine follows through six countries to its mouth at the North Sea. Band choices are either a grey rubber strap with adjustable foldover clasp and dive extension, or a stainless steel bracelet. The limited number of 2,343 watches is a nod to the height, in meters, of the Tomasee, the lake in the Alps where the Rhine originates.
Why This Watch Matters
Let’s be honest, limited edition watches are so plentiful these days, it’s easy to get inured to them or even jaded. But what these editions offer are usually bold spins on existing watches, with colors and cues you won’t then see on everyone’s wrist, such as IWC’s Laureus editions or Omega’s 007 watches. The Oris Source of Life Limited Edition might be significant not for its subject matter (unless you’re a Rhine River fanatic), but more for its handsome looks. The blue-grey dial, grey in the bezel and strap, and the unique date indication combine to set this one apart from the rest of the Aquis line, or really from other dive watches out there in general.
Few brands do gradient and sunburst blue dials as well as Oris and even fewer make use of grey rubber straps or bezels. So while I’ve never been drawn particularly to the Aquis divers in general (my eye always goes to the retro-goodness of the Diver 65), this limited edition is, in my opinion, the most handsome of the lot. Besides the color palette, the date function maintains a nice dial symmetry and adds visual interest. Plus, it’s nice to see a dive watch from landlocked Switzerland that pays tribute to an Alpine lake and major river system for a change, instead of the predictable tropical seas. Anyone up for a drift dive down the Rhine?
Model: “Source of Life” Limited Edition
Reference Number: 01 733 7730 4125 MB
Case Material: Stainless steel with tungsten bezel ring
Dial Color: Blue-grey
Indexes: Applied batons
Lume: Yes, on indexes and hands
Water Resistance: 300 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Grey rubber strap with quick-adjust folding clasp and diver’s extension or stainless steel bracelet with diver’s extension
Caliber: Oris Cal. 733 (based on Sellita SW 200-1)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date indication ring
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Frequency: 4Hz (28,800 vph)
Pricing & Availability
Price: $2,200 on rubber strap, $2,400 on stainless steel bracelet
Availability: July 2018
Limited Edition: 2,343 pieces