It was roughly a year ago that Oris introduced their in-house automatic Calibre 400 to the world, a movement that ushered a new chapter in the brand’s future. Following this surprise announcement, the first watch that this new movement would come in was unveiled only two weeks after that, and after all the anticipation, it made sense that the Aquis collection would have the honour.
With the Aquis line of diving watches being the most popular from the brand, and with the diving watch genre in general finding favour all round for its everyday durability and wearability, this choice would ensure that the most number of watch buyers would be able to enjoy the qualities of the new Calibre 400 – having anti-magnetic protection, a 120 hour (or 5 day) power reserve and an industry leading 10-year warranty. (see more on the Calibre 400 via the video link at the end of the article.)
Oris chose an Aquis diving watch to launch the movement, specifically the 43mm version, and in so doing made it a landmark piece in the brand’s history. That watch has gone to become hugely desired for the aforementioned reasons and it’s easy to understand why.
Against this backdrop, it’s no surprise that a new 41.5mm sized version would be introduced. It’s a move that coincides with the prevailing trend towards smaller case sizes, and even so Oris generally likes to offer different watch sizes when it makes sense, which is a good strategy since it gives customers more options.
Personally, I’m not opposed to wearing a 43mm Aquis diver everyday, but I have to admit, there are moments when the size and weight of one (especially on a full stainless steel bracelet) can be a touch overbearing, not to mention the propensity of a larger watch to just get in the way more often, and have a bigger chance of knocking into surrounding objects.
With this in mind, even I have to admit, that no matter how manly I consider myself to be, sometimes, a smaller watch overall is more suitable. The 41.5mm size is by no means small, being plenty big enough to offer supreme legibility if I do go diving with it. Or put it this way, if I had to decide between the sizes and with both having Calibre 400, I’m more inclined to the new 41.5mm size.
For those interested to see more dimensions, have a look at the pictures below where I measure the new watch under calipers, including case thickness and lug to lug measurements.
Unlike the 43mm version that was launched in only one colour, a tropical blue, the new 41.5mm comes at launch in three dial colours – the first, the same tropical blue as the aforementioned 43mm sibling, the second, an on trend green, and lastly, anthracite (grey).
I’m inclined towards the tropical blue, as I’d expect most who buy this watch would choose. My second choice would be the anthracite, if I don’t want to stand out or if I am more monochromatic in my taste. For the last option, I’m not too keen on green generally, but for those who follow trends, it’s available for your consideration.
The new 41.5mm Aquis Calibre 400 also comes with the Quick Strap Change system that was introduced with the 43mm Aquis Calibre 400. It’s the same quick and easy system that works for both the stainless steel bracelet and the rubber strap, and this is done via a tab on the underside that has to be lifted up.
A note on the rubber strap – I wasn’t able to get this when the 43mm Aquis Calibre 400 was launched and have only been able to try it on this 41.5mm version. I have to say, having worn this watch on the rubber strap that it is extremely comfortable. Part of the reason why is that the material is extremely soft, and also that the clasp is relatively small, and doesn’t get in the way when wearing the watch.
I generally advise people to buy the bracelet version of a watch if it is available versus a strap option, and my advice remains the same for this watch. But I’ll add that it would be a good idea to look into buying the rubber strap as well. The fact that the watch has a proprietary strap system means that aftermarket options will be limited. But that’s no great loss given how the Oris ones are so good, and also makes the watch look and feel different on the wrist from the bracelet.
Oris Calibre 400
Centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date window at 6 o’clock, date
corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
41.5mm wide; 13.5mm thick (as measured)
Stainless steel metal bracelet or black rubber strap, both with security folding clasp with extension and Quick Strap Change
CHF 3,200 on bracelet; CHF 3,100 on strap (Swiss retail price)