The Oris Aquis is undoubtedly an extremely popular dive watch, not just within the Oris company, but across the board in the entire watch world, it has become a watch worn by countless watch collectors. It is no surprise considering that Oris is a very popular brand, especially since the early 2000s, and with the Aquis being almost a decade old in sold in over 20 different variations and sizes, there is one for every style and wrist size.
That brings me to today’s review, the Oris Aquis 41.5mm. Before I get into the review, let’s get one thing out of the way, Oris and their sizes are, well, odd. Across the Aquis lineup, you have 36.5mm, 39.5mm, this one at 41.5 and a 43.5, and on it goes. While not a big deal obviously, it is unique to Oris as far as I know, but at least they are consistent with it.
So, this new smaller size, but not the smallest size offered is one that has the watch world is divided about. The 36.5mm is geared more towards females, (of course guys can still wear it) and the 39.5m is your 40mm standard. This 41.5mm though, is a little odd, as it is only 2mm smaller than the 43.5mm that has been the main size for the Aquis for many years. That brings up the question, who is this size for?
Priced at $2200, the Oris Aquis line has certainly jumped in price in the last 10 years. Of course, a lot of products went up in price in the last decade, so that is not uncommon, but the Aquis was more affordable at one time. The 41.5mm is currently only available with the blue dial and black ceramic bezel, and either a stainless bracelet or rubber strap. Unlike the new GMT’s or some of the limited editions, nothing has changed but the size for this Aquis. The case, bracelet, dial, bezel, and movement are all the same as well. It is just smaller. Because of that, I will give a general overview and your thoughts on the Aquis lineup overall, but first, how about a wrist shot to show you what this middle size looks like on my 7 1/2 inch wrist.
The Aquis line and the Titan model that preceded it, has always been a winner for Oris. The unique case shape and lugs allow the watch to stand out, but still be a very wearable dive watch; one that can be worn for many different occasions when out of the water. I think now is as good of a time as any to discuss my issues with this particular Aquis though. Yes, there are more Aquis models with different finishes than I can even remember, but the one I have in hand is a very flashy watch, and if truth be told, it does make me scratch my head a bit. This model is rated to 300 meters and despite it having a display case back, it should be as capable as any other Aquis. That makes me question though why this watch has so much high polish. Just wearing it a bit and handling it for video and photography, I can see the scratches and marks. It is also a fingerprint magnet. I understand maybe doing the top of the case, but the lugs, the outer links of the bracelet, the crown, etc are all mirror polished. I mean, I will give credit where credit is due, this polish is tremendous, but I would prefer an all brushed finish, or at the very least, a mostly brushed finish.
I believe I am in the minority on that though, as I stated earlier just how popular the Oris Aquis lineup is. When they debuted in 2011, the case was a little softer, not as angled and masculine and it had a very different set of hour and minute hand as well. Jus like most watch models, the Aquis has evolved and I think for the better. I have no problem stating that in this exact configure this watch is not for me, but I also still appreciate the overall aesthetic of this model, always have and always will.
The Aquis still has the unique lugs, and something I didn’t realize until getting this one in hand is the lug screw bars. Quite a distinct screw head don’t you think? Unfortunately, I did not get a screwdriver in the box to attempt to unscrew these, and I do not believe anyone else will either. The good news is, this is not a watch you will be changing straps often with, if at all. The inner dimension of the lugs prevents this, and that is the one gripe I hear so many have of this watch. I will state here what I tell others who say that-It is part of the design of the Aquis. Without it, the watch would not look the same and hence will not have the same appeal. To those that love to change straps, this watch is probably just not for you. But both the solid bracelet and the rubber strap are great ways to wear this watch, so I do not know why anyone would want to stick a leather or canvas on it anyways.
As usual, the famous red rotor is present, though that is not always the case with the Oris Aquis as some models have some very nice stamped solid case backs. The red rotor helps to wince the Oris 773 automatic movement, which is just a clever way to say they added a red rotor to an Sellita SW200. I have ranted on this before, and not just with Oris. Many brands will add a custom rotor to a movement and then list it as their caliber. I am not sure when this became a bandwagon to jump on, but I wish every company would jump off. Yes, for me and most watch enthusiasts, we know the deal. But to the unsuspecting or uniformed, they may think it is an in-house movement, which again, it is not.
Okay, back to the good. The bezel turns with a nice feel and solid click and the crown action is superb. It is very easy to access and the crown guards protect but do not get in the way. The bracelet has always been extremely comfortable, and this is no different. The clasp is a beautiful piece of engineering as well. No off the shelf parts were used for this clasp, and at $2200 retail, one would hope not. Oris builds a solid watch for sure, and this Aquis is no different. While this watch may be a little smaller, it is of course just as capable and functional, and nothing about this piece feels cheap.
Oris seems to be hell bent on offering as many sizes of the Aquis (and some of their other models as well). This is not a bad thing by any stretch. If Oris has the funds to keep producing the same watch but in different sizes to cater to a larger audience, then I see no harm in it. At 41.5mm, I think this watch fits me just fine, but I would probably still opt for the more standard 43.5mm, as I never felt the Aquis was a massive watch to begin with , and I like the larger dial opening. I get it though, many are callling for smaller sized dive watches (or watches in general) and it is great to see brands like Oris are paying attention. Will there be more colors offered of this size soon? Is Oris just testing the waters with the blue dial, which is arguably the most poplar of the Aquis date lineup, or are they working up new variations in the factory as we speak? What colors would you like to see in this size and would you make any other changes? Let me know in the comments below.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.