Oris added the Aquis Depth Gauge, an innovative divers’ timepiece that measured depth while its wearer was submerged, to its lineup in 2013. The Hölstein, Switzerland-based watchmaker has made small adjustments to the model in the years since, but this year, it has updated it in three key areas that improve both its performance in the water and its versatility on the wrist. Here’s what you need to know about the second-generation Oris Aquis Depth Gauge.
Like its predecessors, the latest version of the watch uses a patented system based on the principle of the Boyle-Mariotte law — named for the two scientists who discovered it — which states that if the volume of a gas is decreased, the pressure increases proportionally. In practice, that means the watch’s sapphire crystal, which is a full 50 percent thicker than an average one, has small hole drilled into it at 12 o’clock, allowing water into a channel milled around its outer edge running counterclockwise to the dial. As a diver descends underwater while wearing the watch, a rubber gasket seals the joint between crystal and case while the water in the channel creates a watermark that corresponds to a gauge indicated in yellow on the dial. This clever functionality has earned the Aquis Depth Gauge the nickname, “the watch with a hole.”
The first of the three upgrades Oris has made to the watch is in the process used to mill the channel into the crystal, which has been refined so as to increase the accuracy and legibility of the gauge. The second is on the meters-to-feet conversion chart engraved in the watch’s solid steel, screwed caseback, which is now set at 90 degrees to the 12 o’clock position, i.e., more easy to use for a diver that relies on it. Finally, Oris has equipped the new model with its patented Quick Strap Change system, which allows wearers to switch between a metal bracelet and rubber strap swiftly and securely without the need for tools.
Retained from the original Aquis Depth Gauge is the multi-part stainless steel case, which measures 45.8 mm in diameter and, thanks to the clever gasket system for the gauge and the screw-in security crown, still boasting a water resistance of 500 meters. The case’s unidirectional rotating divers’ bezel is fitted with a ceramic insert and its black dial hosts Super-LumiNova-treated hands and indices. Also unchanged is the movement, Oris Caliber 733, based on the Sellita SW 200, which includes an instantaneous correction for the date display at 6 o’clock, a stop-seconds function, and a power reserve of 38 hours.
Available as of May 2021, the new Oris Aquis Depth Gauge, on either a bracelet or rubber strap — both with the Quick-Change functionality as well as an Oris-developed folding security clasp and anchor extension system — is presented in a waterproof Peli case diving box. It retails for $3,900 on the strap and for $4,100 on the bracelet.