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The time has come! Oris introduces its new Aquis Date with the new name addition Calibre 400. This makes the Aquis the first watch with an in-house manufacture caliber! Find out what else makes the new diver’s watch from the prestigious Swiss watch manufacturer so special in this review!
Oris in the Uhrenlounge
On Christmas Eve 2020 I found the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 under my Christmas tree. So there was a good week to test the watch extensively. For this watch test, I collaborated with the Uhrenlounge by Aika juwelers from Dresden, Germany, who kindly sent me with the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400. The Uhrenlounge has specialized its assortment on exclusive luxury watches from renowned manufacturers. With more than 20 brands, Uhrenlounge offers an exquisite selection. I can also recommend the online store, which offers everything from good customer service to fast delivery and secure payment, which is important for your watch purchase. The Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 is among other models of the Swiss traditional manufacturer also in the assortment of the Uhrenlounge. As always, you can find links to the watch in the store at the end of this review!
High expectations for the Oris Aquis Calibre 400
October 2020, Oris introduces the new model of its Aquis Date series. Watches with the name Aquis Date stand at Oris for reliable and proven diving watches in the higher-priced premium segment. Until now, the watches were equipped with automatic movements from Swiss manufactures such as Sellita. The SW 200, for example, was the movement of the Aquis diving watch models for a long time. These watches are considered the flagships par excellence at Oris.
That is changing now. Oris is venturing into its own movement. The manufacture caliber with the sonorous name Calibre 400 is intended to elevate Oris’ premium divers to a whole new level. And where, if not in the Aquis Date, the Swiss manufacturer’s most successful watch, would be the best premiere for the new movement. At the same time, the pressure is enormous. After all, a debut movement in the brand’s best model has to be a hit! Will it succeed?
Last but not least, the regular customers have to be satisfied. Oris demands a price that is more than 1000 euros higher than its predecessor. And this must ultimately have a positive effect on the quality of the new diver’s watch. Here, Oris comes up with big announcements. 120 hours of power autonomy, increased magnetic field protection and a 10-year warranty.
It’s October 2020 and the mission is clear. The Calibre 400 is expected to be nothing less than a milestone for Oris and will find its way into the Swiss manufacturer’s other models and series in the coming months and years. Whether it will succeed? So for a serious forecast, a test is needed.
December 2020: A diver under the Christmas tree
No sooner said than done. On Christmas morning after Christmas Eve, I finally have enough time to take a closer look at the Swiss diver’s watch. For newcomers to the brand, the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 is a diver’s watch that creates an immediate impression and makes it clear what model it is. The rich blue of the gradient dial, the robust case, the diver’s watch-typical bezel with ceramic inlay or the futuristic-technical-looking rubber strap… The first appearance is impressive. Or typical Aquis Date, as a die-hard Oris fan might claim. Because the new Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 has the old familiar garb of its cheaper sister, the normal Aquis Date. Only the new, refreshing blue hue and the small ‘5 DAYS’ signature above 6 o’clock, which stands for the power autonomy, reveal at first glance that this is the new flagship of the Aquis family.
Progressive with a familiar design
What critics might find lacking in innovation should perhaps be interpreted as more traditional. For me personally, at any rate, the unique design of the Aquis Date is iconic and immediately lets others know which watch you’re wearing on your wrist. This is where the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 seamlessly follows suit. The familiar design offers another advantage as well. Oris can thus determine whether customers are willing to spend over 1000 euros more for a better movement.
For me, however, the watch itself is also interesting in this test. And other innovations as well. With a diameter of 43.5 millimeters, the new Oris Aquis Calibre 400 is one of the larger watches on the market. For a diver’s watch with this design, the diameter is perfect. On the wrist, the Aquis stands out with it. It is not a discreet fashion watch, after all.
I hold the diver in my hand, turn it and examine the quality – flawless! And that’s what you can expect from a diver’s watch from a premium Swiss manufacturer. The fine workmanship of the high-quality chosen materials simply knows how to please anyway. Whether this positive impression can be confirmed when looking at the details, I now want to find out.
The case of the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400: made for all requirements
Already in the design of the bulky diver’s watch can be read: the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 is a waterproof timepiece, which can easily cope with long and demanding diving missions. The case is made of waterproof stainless steel, as befits its status, and has a minimalist and functional shape. With a case diameter of 43.5 millimeters, the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 brings it to a height of a proud 13.5 millimeters. After all, the generously sized movement has to be housed somewhere.
Oris uses cambered sapphire crystal to protect the dial. The resulting convex shape is typical of most diving watches and gives the Oris Aquis Date a certain elegance. On the inside, the Swiss manufacturer has provided the sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. This benefits the readability. Sunlight and murky water are therefore no problem. The crown, which is also made of stainless steel, is screwed to the middle part of the case. On the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400, it has two functions. First, it winds the automatic movement, and second, it sets the date and hands. The roughly fluted shape with the prominent Oris lettering is easy to operate. However, I hardly had to use it during my several days of testing. The long power autonomy and high accuracy of the movement hardly require any intervention.
The water resistance indicator is one of the crucial criteria that distinguishes a serious diver’s watch. Despite the change of movement in the case and the resulting change in circumstances, Oris can still guarantee a water resistance of a sufficient 30 bar. So, if you really want to take the Aquis Date on more demanding dives, you don’t have to worry in this regard.
Generous views of the case back
The six-screw caseback offers a view of the new heart of the Aquis Date: the Calibre 400. To my positive surprise, the viewing window has turned out to be larger than average. Comparable models can’t keep up with it. Often, the material of the viewing window is saved. In this case, however, it is made of sapphire crystal. There are still no flaws.
Finally, I would like to mention the bezel, which is a professional diving bezel. That means it is unidirectional. Anyone who does real diving should not do it without this detail. The individual clicks snap into place cleanly. The so-called inlay is made of ceramic. Ceramic helps to save valuable weight and is very robust at the same time. Therefore, there is no need to worry about scratches. Pointed stones or sharp coral reefs cannot harm the bezel.
An impressive manufacture caliber: the Calibre 400
The Calibre 400 is be the movement Oris will use in its upcoming models in the coming years. Proprietary movements have the advantage that they can be designed and constructed according to the wishes and demands of the watchmaker. This means that you no longer have to “build” a watch around a purchased caliber, but can perfectly match the various components.
Oris’ new Calibre 400 movement carries the brand’s genes and stands for functionality, precision and reliability. The most salient feature is probably the power autonomy. 120 hours is a truly unique selling point. In any case, such a powerful movement is unique in this segment and sets completely new standards. As already mentioned, the need to reach for the crown has become much rarer.
Never gets out of sync – with amagnetic components.
Of the 150 components, about 30 are amagnetic, i.e. not affected by a magnetic field. Magnetism is one of the most dangerous influences that can be exerted on a movement. If individual movement components are thrown out of sync, i.e. disturbed, the movement can come to a standstill in the worst case. The importance of amagnetic components in the movement should therefore not be underestimated.
Last but not least, Oris advertises its new manufacture caliber with a 10-year warranty. Expensive visits and inspections at the watchmaker are therefore not necessary and push the price premium of over 1000 euros significantly. In addition, the manufacturer offers a maintenance interval every 10 years.
What is striking is the uncomplicated nature of the movement. You get a long warranty period, you rarely have to reset the Oris Aquis Date due to good accuracy, and you can put it away for a few days without having to rewind it thanks to its 120-hour power autonomy. All these features set new standards in the watch industry. They help immensely in modern everyday life, as they save the wearer of the watch some effort. I’m curious to see if the Calibre 400 will make its way into the upcoming Oris watches. In any case, my test impression in Oris’ watch flagship Aquis Date Calibre 400 was extremely positive. If these impressions are confirmed in the long run, the rivals will have to catch up.
The dial of the Aquis Date Calibre 400 – traditionally Oris
When it comes to the dial, the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 follows the tradition of its predecessor. Only the real Oris fans are likely to recognize the big differences from the traditional Aquis Date at first glance. So what exactly is new? The ‘5 DAYS’ lettering above 6 o’clock, the new date window directly below it and the new color. The 6 o’clock index of the minute track has been dropped, and the date window now takes up more space. This is made possible by the new Calibre 400 and the new shade of blue. With a bit more green it seems fresher, more modern and lighter than the old black and blue combination of the Aquis Date, which now looks comparatively old-fashioned.
There are no other surprises. The dial of the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 has exactly what makes a good diver’s watch. The design is not overloaded, but functional and contains only the most necessary information that the wearer needs to know on his dive.
In the dark, the dial comes to life. This is ensured by Swiss SuperLuminova luminous coating, which is evenly and neatly applied to the indices of the dial and bezel. In deep water with little sunlight, an illuminated dial is essential for any diver.
Easy strap change and the agony of choice
Lastly, I take a look at the bracelet. As a buyer of the Oris Aquis Calibre 400, you are spoiled for choice. Should it be the cool stainless steel bracelet or the practical rubber strap? If you decide on the stainless steel variant, you pay 3000 euros instead of the 2900 euros estimated for the rubber alternative. However, this decision is not final. The bracelets are interchangeable. This is where Oris’ patented Quick Strap Change system comes into play. It works as follows: by lifting a small tab between the lugs, the strap can be quickly removed. The new strap can now be latched between the lugs. Finally, you close the tab again! Done – simple and uncomplicated.
A tool or a trip to the watchmaker are thus overdue. In addition, you save small micro scratches on the case or on the stainless steel band, which are often caused by careless handling of the tool.
I decided to use the rubber strap. For me personally, it offers some decisive advantages. Firstly, it is much more comfortable for sports and leisure, and secondly, the rubber strap ages better, because unlike stainless steel, it shows less signs of wear over the years. I can’t complain about the wearing comfort. The rubber strap is pleasant on the skin and sits firmly and securely. Of course, a diver’s folding clasp should not be missing. If you open the clasp, the bracelet is extended so that it also fits over the thick wetsuit.
Conclusion: The Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 sets new standards in the industry
Oris has really hit its stride with the new Aquis Date Calibre 400. In the end, you have to realize what you are actually buying with the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400! A premium Swiss-made diver’s watch with a manufacture caliber. Oris’ recommended retail prices of 2900 euros and 3000 euros respectively are comparatively modest. In addition, there is an unbeatable 10 year warranty! Similar comparable watches can be found on the market almost in vain.
In my opinion, the heart of the watch is the new Calibre 400, which sets new standards in this market segment and should already be a complete success for Oris. The Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 also proves its diving qualities. The functional design, the robust case and the overall very high-quality workmanship meet all the requirements of a professional diver.
For variety in everyday life, it is recommended to buy both straps together with the watch. The pleasantly simple strap change makes you want to combine the watch anew every day.
If 3000 euros is still too much for you, you should take a look at the cheaper Aquis Date with Sellita SW 200 automatic movement. The watch costs over 1000 Euros less, has an almost identical design and equally good diving qualities. You can purchase the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 since November 2020, among others, at Uhrenlounge!
Finally, I would like to thank Uhrenlounge once again for providing me with the Oris Aquis Date Calibre! You can find the watch in the store here.