A Closer Look At The New Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition

A Closer Look At The New Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition

Today, Oris releases a watch that pays tribute to the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark.

By Josh Shanks

As we here at Watchonista have said time and time again, Oris is a brand that puts its money and efforts where its mouth is. Oris is not about to back away from an environmental challenge, and as part of their Change for the Better campaign, the brand has managed to combat ocean plastics, coral bleaching, and now the conservation of whale sharks.

So today, Oris is launching the new Whale Shark Limited Edition. A stunning Aquis GMT made with the support of Oris ambassador Gerardo del Villar, a renowned explorer and photographer. Villar’s specialty is photographing whale sharks, which he’s been doing for over 15 years.

Why the Whale Shark

The Rhincodon typus is more commonly known as the whale shark, which is a bit of a misnomer because it is neither a whale nor is it the image people conjure when they think of a shark. Not a mammal, taxonomically speaking, it is classified as a fish, making it the largest fish in the ocean, capable of growing to 40 feet in length and 20 tons in weight, about the same size as a school bus.

As the lone member of the genus Rhincodon, the whale shark is also one of the 2,270 species classified as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The primary cause for the decline of the whale shark's population is illegal fishing, fishing nets, and boat collisions.

According to Gerardo del Villar, “As top predators, sharks play an essential role in the ecosystem… They help to eliminate the weak and sick and to maintain balance with competitors, thus guaranteeing species diversity. Without whale sharks, ecosystems will collapse in the future.”

Introducing the Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition

Oris’ latest limited edition is not just a watch. It is part of a broader discussion and awareness campaign that the brand is undertaking with del Villar. In the coming months, del Villar and Oris will release a series of short films dedicated to telling the whale shark's story. As del Villar explained in a press release, “The idea is to help people get to know the wonderful whale shark more closely and to encourage them to get involved with conservation, before it's too late."

The new Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition is a 43.50mm special edition timepiece based on the Oris Aquis GMT diver's watch. Made to support conservation efforts of the world’s largest fish, this new model is a limited edition of 2,016 pieces to commemorate the year (2016) the International Union for Conservation of Nature added the whale shark to its Red List of Threatened Species.

Only available on a metal bracelet, the stainless steel timepiece features a teal blue dial with a unique pattern produced via a special engraving process that gives it a texture resembling a whale shark's skin. Additionally, the watch has a specially engraved caseback featuring a whale shark and its limited-edition number. Finally, the ceramic bezel has a stunning day/night indicator with a dark blue and black motif.

Powered by the Oris 798 calibre with a 42-hour power reserve, this three-handed automatic movement with date features a GMT complication displayed via an orange-tipped GMT hand rotating around an inner GMT bezel.

The watch will be delivered in a special whale shark box along with a certification acknowledging the purchaser's role in the conservation and protection of the whale shark

“We’re not going to stop drawing attention to the issues facing the world’s water. We’re proud to work with Gerardo and support his work, but this is a drop in the ocean. To bring Change for the Better, everyone needs to play their part,” said Oris’ Co-CEO Rolf Studer in the press release.

Pricing And Availability

Priced at $3,200 or 2,800 CHF, the Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition is a limited series of 2,016 pieces. The watch is available now at your nearest Oris retailer.

Learn more at Oris’ website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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