The Tide Is High: A Closer Look At The Oris Dat Watt Limited Edition
Created with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, this stunning collaboration aims to conserve the Wadden Sea, the world’s largest tidal system and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Oris Dat Watt Limited Edition may just be the feel-good watch of the summer. The Hölstein-based watchmaker is well known for its environmentalism through its Change for the Better initiative. But Oris is also celebrated for its fine-looking timepieces. So if the idea is to support sustainability by investing in a watch that you can wear every day for the rest of your life, then the unique design and solid craftsmanship of the Dat Watt is for you.
The Wadden Sea is a delicate ecosystem that is home to a vast array of migratory birds. And to fully appreciate its impact, you must see it in person. To do that, you will need this timepiece and a deep dive into its creation to understand its uniqueness. Luckily, the Watchonista team got our hands on one of these limited editions and will do our best to convey why you need to care about this watch and this cause.
What’s Dat Watt?
Over the past decade, Oris has partnered with retailers, press, and end consumers to join forces with different non-profit environmental organizations and clean-up movements around the world. And its ongoing relationships with groups like the Coral Restoration Foundation and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation have brought real change to the oceans. Now the activist brand turns its efforts to the Wadden Sea.
Known as Dat Watt in a local German dialect, the Wadden Sea stretches from Den Helder, in the northwest of the Netherlands, past the great river estuaries of Germany to its northern boundary at Skallingen, Denmark. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most human-altered habitats on the planet.
Covering 11,500km2 in the North Sea, the Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken tidal flat and barrier-island depositional system on earth. Due to its flatness, it is not always easy to appreciate its scale and beauty, especially at sea level. But when viewed from above, the transition from salt marshes to marine and brackish areas becomes visible, and its staggering beauty and global importance becomes clear.
The Wadden Sea is hugely biodiverse. More than 6 million bird species can be found within its borders at any one time. And each year, between 10 and 12 million migratory birds pass through it. Additionally, the salt marshes host around 2,300 species of flora and fauna. Moreover, the surrounding marine and brackish areas are home to a further 2,700 species, including 30 species of breeding birds.
Prince of Tides
The role of protecting this valuable environment falls under the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS), acting on behalf of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation and its executive secretary Bernard Baerends.
“When we heard about the scale and value of the work done by the CWSS, we felt compelled to offer our support,” said Oris Co-CEO Rolf Studer. “As well as raising awareness, we will also [be] supporting the organization’s conservation efforts with funds raised from sales of the Dat Watt Limited Edition.”
Oris initially approached the CWSS about teaming up to bring the group’s advocacy efforts to a wider audience. “Before we could enter into a partnership, we had to evaluate the company,” said Baerends. “We found that Oris follows the highest standards of sustainability, and it has a strong track record of working with esteemed environmental organizations.”
It is the CWSS’s first partnership with a private company outside the Wadden Sea area, and it is set to run for a minimum of three years. But to bring the beauty of this habitat to the rest of the world, the first step is introducing the specially developed Dat Watt Limited Edition.
The Dat Watt Limited Edition is as inspiring as the Wadden Sea. Based on the Oris Aquis diver’s watch, its most notable feature is the dial.
The Dat Watt Limited Edition dial displays the lunar cycle and tidal range in the Northern Hemisphere via an in-house-developed Pointer Moon function, originally created for professional divers. This display uses a central white pointer hand that, when aligned with the correct day in the 29.5-day lunar cycle, shows the corresponding tidal range via the white outline on the gradient blue/grey dial. The same hand indicates the waxing and waning of the moon.
It is, undoubtedly, a cool complication, but it is also a powerful design that reminds us of the rhythms of the natural world.
The screwed caseback is numbered “XXXX/2009” and engraved with an image of the Dat Watt landscape below a full moon along with the words “Dat Watt Limited Edition.” These details sit nicely contrasted against the brushed finishes of the 43.5mm stainless steel case and bracelet.
Limited to 2,009 pieces to mark the year the Wadden Sea was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status; it is powered by the Oris 761 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Available now, the Dat Watt Limited Edition comes in a special presentation box and costs $2,750.
Learn more on Oris's website.
(Photography by Simon Wernovsky)