In The Metal With Oris’ Downsized Aquis Date With Calibre 400 Movement
The Holstein-based brand celebrates its biggest launch of the year by putting its innovative new mechanism housed in an Aquis Date with a smaller 41.5mm case.
Oris has been putting the fun back into watch collecting this year. From the colorful Divers Sixty-Five “Cotton Candy” to the Big Crown Pointer-Date Hölstein Edition 2021, the manufacture has been knocking it out of the park with timepieces that boast a modern aesthetic at a price point that’s appealing to younger enthusiasts.
Now Oris has announced another game-changer, the Aquis Date Automatic Calibre 400 41.5mm. The company is treating this timepiece as its most important launch this year. Here are three ways that this dive watch will tickle your fancy.
Introduced in 2020, the Oris Calibre 400 was developed to meet the expectations of today’s luxury watch consumers. That means dependable, high-performance movements. But Oris’ watchmakers also recognized that enthusiasts also crave more than just timekeeping when they buy a mechanical watch.
“In our digital, connected, touch-sensitive world, the joy of mechanics has taken on new meaning. Whether we’re looking at a Ferris wheel with its open workings or a mechanical watch movement through a caseback, it warms us to see how things work,” began the press release for the Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm. It continues: “We know no one needs a mechanical watch. But the simple pleasure of owning one and seeing it work makes life that much more enjoyable. That’s what we mean by the joy of mechanics.”
And Oris went to great lengths to make this new movement. The Calibre 400 took five years to develop and pushed the limits of mechanical watchmaking.
Cédric Röhrich, an Oris watchmaker who has the lead watchmaker for the Calibre 400 Series of automatic movements, explained: “It’s not sexy, but it’s also really important to develop movements that are as simple as possible and not prone to faults, so that, even if they go wrong, they can be repaired quickly and affordably. We favored dependable components and simplified the construction, using anti-magnetic alloys that are also highly anti-corrosive. You only really notice how reliable something is when it fails. Hopefully, Oris customers never notice.”
Oris has also put a 10-year warranty on all Calibre 400 Series movements, including the Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm. “We also recommend getting them serviced once every 10 years. That’s unusual with a mechanical watch, which is one of the reasons we’re calling it the new standard,” added Röhrich.
A New Beat
As for precision, the Oris team has also recognized that the modern collector wears watches differently than previous generations. When conceptualizing the self-winding Calibre 400 Series, Oris’ engineers recognized that these days don’t wear the same watch every day. “One of the basics is a long power reserve,” said Röhrich. “We want Calibre 400 Series watch owners to enjoy the freedom of knowing they can put their watch aside for a few days without it stopping.”
The Calibre 400 Series boasts a five-day power reserve. And the reason it can run for so long is its twin barrels, both of which house an extended mainspring.
Boosting anti-magnetism was also essential to the engineers. We are surrounded by magnetic fields from smartphones, computers, tablets, monitors, speakers, and kitchen appliances, and these forces all have the potential to mess with your watch’s accuracy. To fight this, Oris engineered the Calibre 400 Series using more than 30 non-ferrous and anti-magnetic components, including a silicon escape wheel and a silicon anchor. All of which can be enjoyed through a screwed-down, see-through sapphire glass caseback.
A good portion of the Calibre 400’s development time was taken up by testing these new components at the renowned Laboratoire Dubois in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. “We have to check components, ensure the quality of every part, manage assembly, control the quality of fully assembled and mounted movements,” explained Röhrich. And the goal for Oris was a deviation of fewer than 10 seconds a day after exposure to 2,250 gauss. For context, to qualify as anti-magnetic, a watch must be accurate to within 30 seconds a day after exposure to only 200 gauss.
This robustness brings joy because it means that the Aquis Date Calibre 400 41.5mm is a dive watch (with a water resistance of 300 m) that you can enjoy on the land without worrying that it will have lost accuracy when you are in the water.
While the Calibre 400 can already be found in the 49.5mm AquisPro Date Cal 400, this is the first time that the new movement is appearing in an Oris diver’s watch with a 41.5mm case. That makes us happy because these dimensions make the Aquis more alluring to folks who like the comfort of a smaller case.
Other than the case dimensions, the look of this stainless steel watch is not a huge departure from the rest of the Aquis collection. It is, however, available in three attractive dial and bezel options – blue, anthracite, or green. And it is also available with a Quick Change steel metal bracelet or black rubber strap, both with security folding clasp with extension.
(Photography by Kat Shoulders & Liam O'Donnell)