Saving The Ocean One Watch At A Time: The New Oris Blue Whale Limited Edition And Ocean Trilogy Box Set
We sat down with Oris Co-CEO Rolf Studer to discuss the manufacture’s new chronograph and the awesome Ocean Star Trilogy Box Set —plus all the ways we can make water cleaner and more accessible to all.
It’s no secret that Oris’s diving watches are much loved by the Watchonista team. They're handsome, robust, and an excellent value. But we also admire he Hölstein-based brand's commitment to making sure the world's oceans are healthy enough to dive into in the first place.
The prognosis for our planet can feel hopeless at times. The UN believes 80 percent of ocean litter is made of plastic, and the costs to marine ecosystems are approx. $8 billion. Some experts believe that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, and an estimated 99 percent of all seabirds will have ingested plastic.
Studer believes that we all have good in us and that we can still make a difference. “Especially our customer, the luxury customer,” he says. “He or she is the one who can decide not to take that transatlantic flight or to stop using imported water.”
As a company, Oris has put its money where its mouth is by not using single-use plastics, for example, and by supporting projects like Pacific Garbage Screening. "While the first push is to not get garbage in the water in the first place," says Studer. "This architect Marcella Hansch has come up with a construction that uses the water currents to filter out microplastics."
And what to do with these plastics once they are removed from the water? The Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition features a medallion made of recycled PET plastic set into the case back. Studer says the company has plans to investigate other ways to use this material, but for these models, it provides an interesting way to make each example of this already limited edition unique. On one of the watches we examined, you could still make out the bar code on one of the plastic shreds. As a result, the recycled medallion again serves as a reminder to reduce our use of plastic.
And each of the 2,000 pieces will be presented in a box made of environmentally-friendly algae with a recycled plastic inset.
While the Clean Ocean Limited Edition, which arrives this month, will make you feel good, it also promises to work hard as well. "It is a truly unique watch," says Studer of its robust, stainless steel 39.5mm case, which houses an Oris 733 movement.
This watch will be part of the Ocean Trilogy limited to 200 pieces box set, which will be released later this year. These three versions of the Ocean come in different sizes and will include the new Blue Whale chronograph. This trio of watches come in a presentation box made of recycled PET plastic.
“We are proud to support these organizations and technologies,” says Studer. “Because these technologies trickle down into our business too.” Not just in packaging and corporate culture, but also in a philosophy that has helped Oris connect with its customers. “We are a brand that stands for common sense,” says Studer. “And everybody can be part of that goal.”
The New Blue Whale Limited Edition Chronograph
This watch will be part of the Ocean Trilogy limited to 200 pieces box set, which will be released later this year. These three versions include The Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III and the Clean Ocean Limited Edition as well as the king of the collection, the Blue Whale Limited Edition. The Blue Whale is limited to 200 pieces and will only be available as part of the trilogy. All will come in a presentation box made of recycled PET plastic.
The Blue Whale Limited Edition supports Oris’ new partner, the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), has been funding vital research and conservation projects for 30 years. The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet. And is currently listed as endangered. The 45.50 mm stainless steel case of this great timepiece is water-resistant to 50 bar (500 metres). Visually, it pays tribute to the whale with its aqua blue ceramic bezel, a graduated aqua blue dial and case back carries an embossed blue whale and the limited edition number Inside is an automatic Swiss Made chronograph movement, powering the first ever Aquis chronograph with a 3, 6 and 9 dial layout.
PROTECTING OUR OCEANS
The oceans play an essential role in regulating global climate, controlling the carbon, oxygen, and water cycles of the planet and supporting life on earth. Oris has been campaigning to protect and conserve the world's oceans for ages, which is good. But as hundreds of recent news stories about our polluted lakes, rivers, and seas suggest, there is a long way to go.
This month, Oris is launching its Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III. And Studer wants to point out that it is not just another ‘good cause’ watch.
“Oris is a brand about taking action,” says Studer. This is the third watch Oris created in honor of the world's largest and most diverse reef system (it's so big it can be seen from space), But since the last Great Barrier Reef was introduced, the situation has become more dire. Two hot summers in 2016 and 2017 led to back-to-back coral bleaching events, leaving vast areas of reefs all over the world devastated.
Outside of raising awareness of the situation, says Studer, Oris has partnered with the Reef Restoration Foundation — a non-profit social enterprise set up in 2016, which has begun a coral planting project off Fitzroy Island near Cairns.
The Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III, a diver’s watch based on the legendary Oris Aquis. This newest version is a limited to 2,000 pieces edition. Its very look evokes the ocean, with its a gradient blue dial and an aqua blue ceramic insert and its uni-directional rotating bezel.
Inside its 43.50 mm stainless steel case is an automatic movement that provides it with small seconds and a circular date window. It's water-resistant to 30 bar (300 meters). For extra underwater assurance, the multi-piece stainless steel bracelet with stainless steel security folding clasp with extension.
Action is good, but so is prevention is still the best medicine. Oris has teamed up with expedition swimmer and water ambassador Ernst Bromeis to introduce the Aquis Date Relief. Later this summer, Bromeis is going to swim across Lake Baikal — an ancient, massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border which is considered the deepest lake in the world.
Studer explains, "We want to raise awareness of the fragility of these ecosystems. When we did the expedition to Clipperton Island — one of the most remote places on earth — there was plastic trash on the beach. Where does this plastic come from? It floats across the oceans. Because everything is connected." A big part of Bromeis' Blue Miracle campaign is to educate people about how even small actions can impact the world's water.
The Oris Aquis Date Relief is the newest addition to the high-performance Aquis diver's watches. It's tough and practical and built to last. "A mechanical watch – there's nothing more sustainable," says Studer. "It doesn't use a lot of fuel to transport. You don't need batteries. There's no built-in obsolescence. If it breaks, you can always have it fixed. And who knows, it might even go up in value?"
Launched in January, this 43.5 mm, stainless steel watch is certainly sturdy enough for everyday use in the water and on land. The grey dial with Super-LuminNova coated indices and hands, and the domed, anti-reflective sapphire crystal makes it easy to read. The display looks uncluttered but is packed with crucial functions such as a date window at 6 o'clock, instantaneous date, date corrector, chronograph, and stop-second.
What else? It’s water resistant to 30 bar (300 m) and is powered by a self-winding movement with a power reserve of 38 hours. And it’s versatile and is available in either a multi-piece stainless steel bracelet with security folding clasp extension; grey or red rubber strap with steel security folding clasp with extension; or a grey leather strap with steel folding clasp with extension.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)