Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Dive Watch
by Kyle Stults on January 17, 2013

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.