By James Henderson

It would seem that Orange Really is the New Black. But in fairness folks, I coined that phrase back in 2007 when I was writing copy for DOXA’s SUB 1000T. Check it out!

The latest dive watch offering from ORIS embraces the notion of color (specifically orange) enhancing legibility in clear water.

The inspiration for their use of orange is based upon the research of John A. Adolfson and Thomas E. Berghage which was penned in 1974 – essentially, that orange, yellow and other colors were the most legible colors when viewed in clear water.

Hmmm…

Therefore, it would be safe to assume that the research conducted by DOXA and their team of divers (among them some unknown guy called Cousteau) back in the 60s was just a bunch of guys fiddling around in a lake… or if I take a more reasoned view, it would seem that the research of Adolfson and Berghage confirmed it.

But let’s get back to the main point, which is the watch itself.

The 43 mm stainless steel case is finished in a very smart looking “gun metal” grey PVD. With it’s screw down case back and enhanced crown guard the Aquis Date Orange is warranted to be water resistant to 300 meters, or to get all “nautical” on you, the movement will stay “dry” to 30 bars.

Oris_Aquis-Date-Orange_2

The 43 mm stainless steel case is finished in a very smart looking “gun metal” grey PVD. With it’s screw down case back and enhanced crown guard the Aquis Date Orange is warranted to be water resistant to 300 meters, or to get all “nautical” – 30 bars.

The movement is Sellita’s SW 200-1. Hours, minutes, seconds and date at 6 o’clock. I have to say that I do like this touch – as I am at heart a sucker for a sub-dial second hand.

The strap, an orange rubber item is a semi non-standard style owing to the outsized lugs. So let’s hope Oris continues to make this model, cause you aren’t going to be able to replace this non-standard strap without their help – i.e. buying their OEM replacement strap. I have no experience with Oris Switzerland, but trying to contact Oris in North America produces the same results as trying to write Santa Clause with an updated Christmas list – YOU NEVER HEAR BACK.

Oris_Aquis-Date-Orange_3

Ever try contacting Oris HQ in the US? Yeah, good luck with that one…

If I sound a bit cynical about this offering, it is important to be clear that I am not anti-Oris. I loved some of their models back in the late 90s – the touneau with moon phase? That WAS the Shit that Killed Elvis! And they are offering some interesting pieces these days.

But the level of support and commitment to the US market has historically been pretty weak, and the level of indifference has been pretty well-felt. Moreover, having large portions of your collections in the chop-shop world of online grey marketers does not necessarily lead to consumer confidence for the long term.

And I think maybe this is where the rubber meets the proverbial road – by all accounts Oris seems to do okay elsewhere, but here in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the I Won’t Pay Anything over 65%” there seems to be a belief that you should do whatever you have to to “make your numbers”, even if that means dumping large chunks of your inventory. It’s a bit like trying to ignore the dog poop in the yard, waiting for it to magically fade away.

But back to the topic –

At just south of $2,000 it appears to be a solid watch for the money, and Oris needs to get some real traction here in the US – let’s hope this is a step in the right direction. For more info, please visit oris.ch

James Henderson
James Henderson – Contributing Writer

Known to many in the industry as their “nagging conscience”, James Henderson writes the Tempus Fugit Blog. Prior to writing about watches he worked for DOXA Watches for three years and currently works with several brands on marketing and communication projects. Having taught English in Japan, Portugal, Finland and Scotland, James now calls Santa Barbara, California home. Read his articles here.