Oris launched the first ProDiver Chronograph, designed as a tool watch for professional divers, in 2009. At this year’s Baselworld, the company released a revamped, upgraded version. Here is the scoop on the new Oris ProDiver Chronograph.
As it did for the original ProDiver Chronograph, Oris worked with professional diver and brand ambassador Roman Frischknecht to develop a timepiece suitable for use as a “real-world diving tool.” The new model retains many of its predecessor’s features and attributes, including a 51-mm-diameter case made of lightweight titanium; a black ceramic bezel insert with a white minutes scale (Oris claims to be the first watch brand to use this material in a divers’ watch); an automatic helium release valve that protects the watch from damage during saturation dives; and a unidirectional diver’s bezel with Oris’s patented Rotating Safety System, which locks the bezel in place once the dive time is set, ensuring that it won’t move in either direction and thus preventing accidental, and possibly life-threatening, timing errors by divers with a limited air supply.
The differences in the modern version are mostly subtle but significantly utilitarian. The watch has a slimmer profile and more angular, industrial-style lugs. The screw-down crown and chronograph pushers have deeper grooves to enable a better grip for divers wearing gloves. The ridges on the bezel, which is made of durable, shock-resistant vulcanized black rubber, are also deeper, for the same practical reason. Both the steel link bracelet and the rubber strap (each watch comes with both options) have been redesigned so the edges are flatter while the central sections are more rounded. For the strap and bracelet closures, Oris has retained its “sliding sledge” steel clasp (another in-house development) and quick-change adjust system that enables the wearer to adjust the strap for length without taking the watch off. The clasp now has a brushed finish, as opposed to the original, which was polished.
The watch’s black dial, which is protected by domed sapphire crystal with nonreflective coating on the inner side, has a diving-inspired wave pattern and features subdials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock for chronograph minutes, chronograph hours, and running seconds, respectively. The applied indices and hour and minute hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. The movement — hidden behind a titanium caseback with a meters-to-feet conversion scale — is Oris Caliber 774, based on the Sellita SW500, an automatic movement that powers the timekeeping and chronograph functions as well as the date, which is displayed in a window at 6 o’clock.
The new Oris ProDiver Chronograph is presented in a fully water-resistant carrying case, along with the additional rubber strap (pictured on the watch above) and a strap-changing tool. It goes on sale this summer, priced at 4,500 Swiss francs (about $4,575).