The 2017 Aquis Date
The new 2017 Aquis (left) and the previous generation model (right).
For 2017, the "dive watch" portion of the Oris heritage collection has taken a bit of a breather. Indeed there was not a single new reference of the Divers Sixty-Five collection. This respite allows us an opportunity to look at the Oris Aquis Date line – one of Topper's best-selling dive watches, and in our opinion the best watch of its kind under $2,000
Introduced in 2011 as a replacement to the TT1 Diver, the Oris Aquis Date quickly made a name for itself as a versatile, capable, and purely modern sports watch, but one with enough distinctive elements to position it as a future classic and a signature of the brand. Fun fact about the TT1 – it actually came to life as a racing themed watch highlighted by the TT1 Chronograph – a racing watch whose case design was inspired by the wheel well of a race car. However, the diving variant that shared the same case shape ultimately became more popular, and thus paved the way for the current evolution of the modern Aquis – a pure, purpose-built dive watch, but one with plenty of Oris DNA at its core.
The modern Aquis is characterized by its angular horned lugs, integrated strap, deeply serrated bezel with ceramic insert, and slightly outward-sloping 'kettle' shaped case. These Aquis signatures – particularly the strap design and case silhouette give it a unique aesthetic that distinguish it from pieces like the other best selling pieces in the category, like Tag Heuer's Aquaracer, the Longines Hydroconquest, and even the Omega Seamaster Professional and Rolex Submariner.
Having recently received our first stock of the new Aquis at Topper, we thought it the perfect time to check out this subtly updated line, which appears to improve overall wearability and strengthen the visual identity that make this diver distinctly Oris. Now, it's worth mentioning that the difference between the newest generation of the Aquis and its outgoing variant are much more subtle than when we saw the Gen 1 Aquis replace the TT1 Diver, a little over five years ago. Though this round of changes may appear subtle at first glance, a closer examination reveals a watch that is lighter, thinner and ultimately more wearable for a larger cross section of potential buyers. The end result is a sporty and modern watch that continues to carry the Aquis torch, while becoming a little more iconic with each permutation.
The new black Oris Aquis with the matte dial.
Starting from the top down, Oris has removed the text 'automatic' and accompanying horizontal line from its logo at 12:00, keeping things in that dial quadrant clean and simple. Additionally, the "Aquis" wordmark joins the dial below the center axis which similarly promotes the Aquis name to design icons like the Submariner or Seamaster, but at a much more approachable price point.
The handset and indices have also undergone some subtle revision. The new alpha-type hands are more pointed at the ends, and shaped at the base, which works nicely to accentuate their slimmer, spear-shaped silhouettes (compared to more rounded paddle shapes from before). The indices are also now beveled and slightly sloped inwards towards the center of the dial, which enhances the overall visual slimming effect and creates an extra facet on each to play with the light.
The new glossy-dialed black and orange version of the 2017 Oris Aquis.
The black dial looking slightly blue in the noon sun of Burlingame. Shown here on a wrist of about 6 1/2 inches.
Our friend Paul in New York (with a wrist of just over eight inches) wearing the blue dial Aquis on a blue rubber strap.
A look at the lume of the 2017 Aquis. Shown again on Paul's wrist.
Speaking of light, while the previous generation Aquis only had sunburst as an option for the blue dial – which returns in this collection, there's now a black glossy (it actually has a subtle sunburst effect in the right light) on the orange variant. The comparable outgoing version in this color had a matte dial. As before, the signature white-on-black Aquis gets a matte black dial, which should please anyone looking for an ultra-classic, versatile sport watch that transitions effortlessly from business to leisure.
The previous generation Aquis (left) and the new thinner Aquis (right)
The dial isn't the only component of the new Aquis that's been slimmed down. Ever since the rounded, tub-shaped TT1 Diver case that preceded the Gen 1 Aquis, things for Oris' signature dive watch have been moving more towards a sportier, and more modern aesthetic. Nowhere is that more evident, than in the new case, which has been very subtly re-designed to yield a slimmer, yet more angular silhouette. This is most noticeable in the squared-off crown guards (protecting a matte crown, which had a polished surface on the outgoing version), which are attached at 3:00 with a pair of tri-point screws, and in the signature lug horns, which flow neatly into an new bracelet, re-designed for the 2017 Aquis.
The new Aquis bracelet continues the tradition of being one of the best bracelets we've experienced at this price point. And despite retaining the chunky 3-link shape of the predecessor, each link has been considerably reduced in thickness from lug horn all the way down to the clasp. This has helped reduce the overall weight of the Gen 2 Aquis relative to the first-generation Aquis. It's also created an overall slimmed-down aesthetic, and a far more wearable dive watch for its 43.5mm size. Those who prefer their Aquis on Oris' high-quality rubber strap will find that the clasp still has the excellent adjustable clasp, which has become something of a hallmark for the line. The new version of the watch weighs 178 grams on the bracelet while the previous version weighs in at 204 grams.
What do you think of the new Oris Aquis? Have additional questions, or want to reserve your own? We have all three variants of the new Aquis available on bracelet or rubber strap configurations, please call 888-730-2221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire. To see variations of the Aquis Date click here.The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.