From The Community: The CronotempVs Collectors Oris Spirit Of Sixty-Five Limited Edition
With only 65 units available, this inspired take on the classic dive watch proves that membership has its privileges.
It is a crazy time for watch lovers. Demand for luxury and vintage timepieces seems to be at an all-time high. Enthusiasts must educate themselves on hundreds of brands, including heritage manufactures, independents, and start-ups. That’s why watch collector communities provide a safe harbor for explorers navigating this fun but complicated world.
CronotempVs Collectors is one of these crucial enthusiast communities. Created in Madrid, Spain, the group launched in 2009 as a private collectors’ club, and it now has members in 18 different countries. It is also an organization that seeks to connect manufacturers directly with consumers.
The Spirit of Collaboration
Groups like CronotempVs Collectors and brands can, and often do, express their mutual love of horology through limited-edition, member’s-only collaborations. CronotempVs Collectors has created 15 different editions. That translates into 350 watches with a market value of 5 million Euros.
This trend of brand and collector community collaborations only started in the last 25 years or so, as the widespread use of the internet has allowed people from all over the world to more easily connect and learn from each other.
Now, for their 16th limited edition, CronotempVs Collectors partners with Oris for a member's-only edition of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, taking a stylish new approach to the beloved dive watch.
When asked how this collaboration came to be, CronotempVs Collectors co-founder @Scaramanga told Watchonista, "I was most certainly intrigued by Oris and the gamble they took to enter the neo-vintage market. Reissuing one of their divers models was a bold move. At a time when most brands were reluctant to go into that segment. For many years that model and [the idea of a] collaboration crossed many conversations. Then one day, the story just clicked. The watch would have to be inspired by an era."
Humans are curious and adventurous creatures. Roald Amundsen stood on the South Pole in 1911, Tenzing and Hillary reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon in 1969. But the sea is still one of the last frontiers of human exploration. But it wasn’t until 2012 that Canadian film director James Cameron dove 10,908 meters (35,787 ft) in the Deepsea Challenger submersible to the deepest oceanic trench on Earth and reached the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, advanced technology made modern SCUBA diving possible, and aquanauts, such as Jacques Cousteau, Hans Hass, and Christian J. Lambertsen, inspired generations of divers with their discoveries (as well as their popular documentaries, TV shows, and books).
@Scaramanga agreed, commenting, "Although born the decade after, the Sixties have always been a source of inspiration to me. It was a decade full of style and elegance, and cultural changes that shaped the modern times to come."
During this era, Oris began to focus its attention on creating professional-grade diver’s watches. The first model boasted luminescent markers, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a bold design, and a water-resistant case. Powered by the Oris Calibre 652, this watch was chronometer-certified and accurate to the highest of Swiss standards. By 1969, thanks to the popularity of this original Diver collection, Oris had become one of the world’s top 10 watch companies, employing over 800 people over various factories in Holstein and beyond.
The legacy of the Oris Diver is enduring. But for collectors, only one model from 1965 stands out, and it is why the Divers Sixty-Five collection was born. In 2015 Oris took design codes from the first Diver (like its waterproof case design), updated the technology with a new in-house automatic caliber, and made it a little bit bigger to bring the emblematic tool watch into the millennium.
Making a Splash
The Sixty-Five collection was inspired by listening to collectors. That is why it’s only natural for CronotempVs Collectors to team up with Oris for another chapter in the Divers Sixty-Five story — the Spirit of Sixty-Five.
As @Scaramanga explained to Watchonista, "The inspiration for the Spirit of Sixty-Five is not a diver. Instead, it would be a decade: The Sixties. A watch that could take you back to that era every time you look at it. So, the questions are: What would such a watch look like after 60 years? Would the once pristine black dial have faded to grey? Would the tritium indices have decomposed to an elegant olive-green color? In essence, what we looked for is the best of both worlds, a piece with '60s charm but combined with Swiss manufacturing from this millennium.”
This exclusive member's-only edition is a tribute to the history of the Divers Sixty-Five. Protected by a domed sapphire crystal, the Spirit of Sixty-Five has a retro grey-fume dial. The smoky finish of the face is complemented nicely by the green Super-LumiNova that looks like aged tritium. For further contrast and legibility, deep red lacquer coats the second hand. And to complete this classic look, the dial is surrounded by a black aluminum unidirectional bezel.
Just like the original, the Spirit of Sixty-Five is waterproof to 100 meters with a screw-down crown and caseback. But like the deep-sea adventurers that inspired Oris in the 1960s, the 42 mm CronotempVs Collectors Limited Edition Oris Spirit of Sixty-Five boasts all the technological advancements of modern-day manufacturing, including the in-house Calibre 733 with hours, minutes, and seconds function. The Spirit of Sixty-Five will be delivered on a luxe brown leather strap, making it a timepiece that works well on land too.
Speaking about what he loves most about the watch, @Scaramanga said, "When I hold it in my hand, it feels like a very well-made vintage watch. Everything on this watch works: the domed sapphire glass, the polished and brushed finishings on the case, the stunning grey fume contrast between the center and the edges. The proportions reflect the elegance of a decade despite it being a sporty tool watch."
By producing only 65 units of the Spirit of Sixty-Five, CronotempVs Collectors also pays homage to the watch’s history. Engraved on each caseback is the watch’s production number as a reminder to the owner of their status as a member of an exclusive club within their community. Happily, it’s also a welcoming club — the Oris Spirit of Sixty-Five is priced at a very accessible 2,000 Euros.
(Images © CronotempVs Collectors)