Over the past few months I have become increasingly interested in vintage watches. My collection has evolved from primarily modern watches, to primarily vintage watches with just a modern watch or two sprinkled in for good balance. And its hard to talk about vintage watches without mentioning Oris.
Oris is an independent Swiss brand that has been privately owned and operated since the company was founded by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian in 1904. The certainly have history, having been in business for over 110 years.
The fact that Oris has remained an independent watch brand for all this time is great for the end user because it allows the company to provide top quality products with a great pedigree at a competitive price. The watch industry has experienced a lot of consolidation over the years. Swatch Group and Richemont now make up over a third of the global market. Independent makers like Oris help ensure a diverse and competitive marketplace.
Oris has also been bitten by the vintage watch bug, and the company has recently released a series of watches that melds the classic styling of their vintage pieces with new manufacturing methods and materials. The Divers Sixty Five (or the “Oris 65”) is one of the watches from this new collection, and is a reissue of a classic diver that Oris originally introduced in 1965. They primarily changed the size, increasing the case from 36/38mm to 40/42mm. Oris also upgraded the movements to automatic movements vs. their classic hand-wound movements. It’s this blend of modern and vintage that drew me to the Divers Sixty Five.
Before we get too far into this, let’s go over some specs:
- Case: 42mm w/crown
- Lug to Lug: 50mm
- Case Thickness: 14.9
- Lug Width: 21mm
- Weight on Bracelet: 4.7oz
My watch is the 42mm version of the Oris 65. I’ve found that my particular wrist is most comfortable with 42-44mm watches, and I also prefer the simpler dial on the 42mm version to the arabic numerals on the 40mm.
One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that with some rare exceptions I like thinner cases. Case height will be the main reason you damage your watch as it sticks up off your wrist. The 65 is just under 15mm high, and it rides tight and close to your skin. A watch needs to feel like it’s a built on extension of your wrist, not a large tumor strapped there as an afterthought.
This particular watch is running on an “Oris 733” movement, in essence this is a Sellita SW200, which again is just really an ETA 2824 clone. Oris added a jewel and made it their own, taking it from 25 to 26 jewels. In terms of accuracy it’s a phenomenal movement, my example is keeping well within COSC (roughly +0.3s/day) as measured using the iPhone App Hairspring.
Hairspring is a timing app that “listens” to the movement of the watch and can deliver a readout of the accuracy of that particular watch. It’s my best method to determine the actual accuracy of a piece. Now, I’m sure as this movement wears in that will change, but out of the box that is excellent accuracy to get out of a non-chronometer certified watch.
Case and Crown
The 65 Diver uses a steel case that is very utilitarian in nature. You won’t find any crazy polished bevels or twisted lugs on this particular piece. That being said, it’s this simplicity that makes this watch shine. The lack of overdone finishes makes it a lot easier to wrap your head around making it a daily wearer, this watch will take the day-to-day bumps and dings with grace. The case back is a feature worth noting as well, it’s signed and marked with the watch particulars, but also has a classic Oris logo stamped into it. It’s a nicely understated screw-down case back.
The crown is oversized and unguarded, that makes it easy to unscrew it and wind it up if you’re rated the Oris off your wrist for a few days. The screw down crown is one of the factors that lends to the Oris meeting the 6425 ISO certification as a dive watch, but we’ll talk more on that later.
Dial, Crystal, and Bezel
The reissued Oris 65 Divers have gilt blue dials. Gilt meaning the font and indices are accented in gold, not white or silver, and this contrasts excellently with the deep rich blue of the dial itself. The indices are applied, with the 12, 6, and 9 hours markers are larger and angular with the largest marker sitting at noon. All the lame on the watch is a beige faux patinated lume. The borders of the indices are a polished with a faint golden hue. The date window is at 3 o’clock, and is angular extending outward.
The crystal is a immense domed sapphire crystal, and it’s largely because of this dial alone that this watch looks so incredibly retro. It reminds me in many ways of my old Omega Speedmaster with its hesalite crystal. The large domed acrylic crystals are vintage watch trademarks, but to get a modern watch with a sapphire version is really a dream here.
The crystal has an application of an AR coating on the inside but still manages to reflect a good deal of the world around it, this fact really lends itself to the Oris 65 looking very “jewel-like,” in person. Technically that reflective nature isn’t something you’d want in a tool-watch, but then again this isn’t a very tool-y tool watch. It will preform in those contexts, but for reasons we’ll get into in a bit there are likely some better choices for a true tool watch.
The lume, well guys… it’s faux-vintage. Typically, in my opinion, that isn’t great. There are some exceptions where I think slightly off white lume works, like on some of Tudor’s watches, but it also works on the 65. Oris is guilty of bad-faux-vintage-lume on some of their other watches (ref the Aquas Carlos Coste LE) but they did okay here.
More importantly, the lume is quite bright, which I suppose is the more important factor here. It’ll hold a visible brightness that is proportionate to your eyes adjusting to darkness. In this regard the lume is very, very well done.
And finally, the diving bezel. It’s pretty straightforward here… We have a 120-click unidirectional bezel. It’s an aluminum insert that has the markers left bare and polished for a really cool shiny contrast. It’s got coined/serrated edges that provide a really stable grip when you’re using the bezel, the clicks are strong and really center the indicators with the minute marks on the dial. Not much else to say on that matter, this bezel is easy to like.
Oris offers the 65 on a variety of strap options, as well as a oystery-ish style steel bracelet. The ones I’d choose would be either the NATO with deployment, or the steel. In this category Oris commits a cardinal sin of watch manufacturers and they made this watch with 21mm lugs, WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THIS?! It is very difficult to find quality straps in this size, so you’re basically locked into either the OEM options, or have something custom made.
Moving past this though, the bracelet tapers from 21mm to a svelte 18mm. A tapering steel bracelet is a really easy way to class a watch up in my opinion, Rolex does it and it really works. The watch would benefit from having the option of half links, I was between two different link sizes, so it was either slightly too small or slightly too large.
Oris Divers Sixty Five – Final Thoughts
The Oris 65 diver packs an impressive amount of punch into a really nice price point. One criticism that you will generally hear is that with only 100m water resistance you’d crazy to take this dive watch swimming. This is moronic frankly, being a 100m diver meets the ISO 6425 requirements in terms of depth ratings for a dive watch. Most recreational divers won’t ever pass 30m, let alone 100M. If you are you are diving below 100M then you didn’t buy this watch to take with you.
However, if you want a sports watch is well made, looks a little different than anything else, harkens back to some very classic horological tropes, and won’t break the bank at the same time then I cant recommend the Diver Sixty Five more.
Editor: I recommend purchasing the Oris Divers Sixty Five at Amazon and Jomashop. Please consider that purchasing anything through any of the links on this website helps support BladeReviews.com, and keeps the site going. As always, any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.