Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Dive Watch

Renowned for producing specialist diving watches, Oris is proud to introduce the new Oris Aquis with mechanical depth gauge. Oris proudly states that this is the “first divers watch which measures depth by allowing water to enter the timepiece.”   So is this a “poor man’s” X-Fathoms, or an innovative dive watch all its own?  You can decide for yourself, below.

Oris engineers achieve their depth gauge by applying the Boyle Mariotte Law (aka Boyle’s Law) which states that the absolute pressure and volume of a given mass of confined gas are inversely proportional.   Oris notes that “the indicator benefits from no inertia, not delaying the accurate and actual depth indication – particularly useful in decompression breaks in lesser depths.” The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge is, not surprisingly, patented.

46mm steel case (water resistant 500 meters, unidirectional black ceramic bezel inlay with minute scale), automatic mechanical Oris 733 movement, with date window at 6 o’clock, full box set (below)

How It Works

The special sapphire crystal, 50% thicker than an average top glass, features a channel milled into the side which runs counterclockwise round the dial, stopping between one and two o’clock.   At 12 o’clock, a hole leads to this channel.  On descent, the air inside the channel is compressed by the surrounding water pressure, allowing water to enter through the hole at 12 o’clock.  The edge, in light grey and dark grey, differentiates between water and compressed air on the scale around the outside of the dial, indicating depth while descending or ascending.

As might have been expected for an instrument watch like this, the case size is fairly substantial at 46mm, though a far cry from Blancpain’s X-Fathoms which comes in at a monser 55mm.

While I’m making the comparison, I would also note the extreme difference of the price tag — X-Fathoms at about $40,000, and this piece — complete with box set shown above — for $3,500.   A “poor man’s” X-Fathoms?   You decide.





  • goju1

    I think that the answer has to be (just) a poor man’s diving watch (regardless of the X Fathoms). But that sounds a bit snooty and (although I don’t own an Oris watch) I have long held the opinion that they offer excellent value for money.
    If I did have an Oris watch I’d be very happy about it and would not think twice about diving with it because they appear to be very fit for purpose instruments.
    I also think that this simple approach to providing a depth gauge should be applauded because not much can go wrong. It’s a very innovative design on an old principle.
    However, one should note that capillary depth gauges are (mostly) only of practical value between 0 – 10 metres from the surface, due to the fact that the scale ‘compresses’ beyond that point and the accuracy for reading the precise depth becomes an approximation. This makes this type of depth gauge impractical for determining decompression requirements. But it is very useful if the diver wants to remain at a depth shallower than 9 metres (where decompression is not needed).
    Looks like a great watch, which is also very well presented.
    But might as well compare it with a Patek Philipe Nautilus as a Blanpain 50, 500 or X Fathoms – a very different breed of watch (IMO).

  • pelo

    X fathoms is a 40k watch with other unique amenities and a much higher orological design. There is no comparison here with the Oris.

    • http://www.perpetuelle.com/ Perpetuelle

      @e94a188355949448ad21ae01019ff7e2:disqus Agreed.

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