The Oris Divers Sixty Five is surprising. When I first saw the watch at Baselworld early last year, it stood out among the usual burly pro-style diving watches for which Oris is known. On the same table, I saw the impressive 48mm Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph and the comparatively diminutive and unassuming Oris Divers Sixty Five. With that initial viewing, the Sixty Five was stuck in my head. I knew I wanted to take it somewhere sunny and see if its golden-age charm could elicit both pool-side Cary Grant and boat-side Jacques Cousteau.
Based on a 50-year-old legacy design from Oris’ past, the Oris Divers Sixty Five is a faithful reproduction of that design but it has been up-sized to 40mm (comparison photo below). With an inherently vintage look and feel, while the Oris Divers Sixty Five is a brand new watch, it manages to effectively capture a classic charm, especially on the included tropic-style rubber strap. Lug to lug is 48mm, and thickness is 12.8mm including the massively domed bubble sapphire crystal. These dimensions make for a very wearable piece that still feels sporty and is most certainly dive-ready.
With a nicely gripped and simple dive bezel and a screw-down crown and case back, the Oris Divers Sixty Five is as dive-ready as its (much) older sibling. With 100 meters water resistance, you won’t be taking the Oris Divers Sixty Five on your next zip down the Marianas Trench, but its depth rating is plenty for recreational diving, which bottoms out between 30 and 40 meters. For me, that 30 to 40 meters would be in the Pacific just off the coast of Punta Mita, Mexico. With warm waters, sunny beaches and colorful drinks aplenty, this seemed as fitting a locale as any for a vacation with the Oris Divers Sixty Five. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see that the pace was not exactly rushed…
My dives were on the South side of a bay just North of Bahia de Banderas. The water was relatively calm with a rocky bottom not often exceeding 50 feet of depth. As a Vancouver-based diver, the 20-foot viz was good but less than expected given the tropical setting. Regardless, due to the relatively warm waters, I was able to dive the Sixty Five with bare arms, and thus I didn’t have to worry about fitting an extension or a longer strap to accommodate a wetsuit sleeve.
On descent, as I set the bezel to our start time, the Oris Divers Sixty Five glimmered in the light of the reflective ceiling overhead. Thanks to a slight overhang that expands off the edge of the case, the Sixty Five’s bezel is easy to use in both wet and dry settings. The scale is printed in a bright and rather reflective silver, and there is a pip at 12 for proper low-light use.
Legibility is very good, when diving or otherwise, and once you are used to the minute track’s position within the main markers, the Oris Divers Sixty Five can be accurately read at a glance. Depending on your taste, the crystal may detract from the Oris Divers Sixty Five or it may prove to enhance its charm. The Oris Divers Sixty Five’s dramatically domed crystal is one of my favorite elements, despite my general position that crystal reflection detracts from the wearability of a watch. For the Oris Divers Sixty Five, the combination of the liquid-like glare at the edge of the crystal and the way it magnifies the glassy black dial works in its favor, almost like the hilarious curve on the rear window of a 64’+ C2 Corvette.
Both aesthetically and functionally, the lume is very good. The hour markers, including the retro negative numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9, are rendered entirely from lume, so the watch really shouts when the lights go out. Longevity is on par with what you would expect given the size of the hands, and the glow is an even warm green that really suits the watch and is accentuated by the curved edges of the crystal.
Movement-wise, the Oris Divers Sixty Five is functional but far from fancy, relying on Oris’ 733 automatic calibre, which is essentially a Sellita SW 200-1. Sporting 26 jewels, 38 hours of power reserve, and a rate of 4Hz, the Oris Divers Sixty Five manages a simple three-hand display with a discreet date display at six o’clock. The screw-down crown is great, large enough to provide an easy grip with predictable threading and a solid action. Winding, setting, and even for that last-minute crown check before rolling backwards off some tiny boat in the Pacific, the Oris Divers Sixty Five’s ease of use echoes its effortless laid-back style.
On wrist, the Oris Divers Sixty Five is all charm. While it might be easiest to attribute the Sixty Five’s charm to its vintage aesthetic, the effect is so complete in its execution that it might be more accurate to suggest that wearing the Oris Divers Sixty Five elicits a less vintage you. The Oris Divers Sixty Five doesn’t feel like a new-old-stock safe queen as much as wearing it feels like stepping back in time. It wears its vintage aesthetic in a very straightforward manner, less of a nod to a past model and more of a philosophy, the original model is the mentor and the Oris Divers Sixty Five is the student.
The Oris Divers Sixty Five can be had with a textile nylon-style two-piece strap or the rubber strap seen in this review. The rubber strap is soft, elastic, and very comfortable. One note: in some of the photos it may look as though the strap is not quite wide enough for the lugs. In fact, the strap is so soft and pliant that when worn on wrist, especially when posing for a wrist shot, it compresses ever so slightly to reveal a small gap. If this will bother you, I suggest going with the textile strap.
Weighing just 76g, the Oris Divers Sixty Five wears well, looks great on a variety of straps and is just at home on a dive trip as it would be on the couch or at the bar. To make the mix just a bit more exciting, Oris recently announced a second version of the Divers Sixty Five that is identical save for a lovely blue and grey dial inspired by the fashionable ’60s vacation scene in the French town of Deauville. In either color option, I can easily see the Oris Divers Sixty Five making for an excellent everyday watch for casual environments or the ideal weekend piece for those who require a dressier piece for their nine-to-five.
Regardless of color, the Oris Divers Sixty Five retails for a price of $1850 USD, with your choice of either a textile strap or the rubber seen in the photos here. Viewed within the breadth of the market, this price is quite reasonable. With the vintage market growing ever hotter, Oris is far from the first brand to offer a vintage-inspired piece in their lineup, but the Oris Divers Sixty Five is as successful as any I’ve experienced and it costs considerably less than all-star examples like the Tudor Black Bay ($3100+) or the Longines Heritage Diver 1967 ($3150). The Oris Divers Sixty Five’s most direct competition is likely the Longines Legend diver, which has a 42mm steel case, an ETA 2824-2, and a price tag of $1900 USD. Picking between the two will largely come down to personal preference as both are great, but if you want to go diving, I’d stick with the Oris and its more accessible external bezel. Needless to say, if you’re in the market for an easy-wearing, fun and dive-ready vintage-inspired watch, the Oris Divers Sixty Five is most certainly worth a closer look. oris.ch
>Model: Divers Sixty Five
>Price: $1850 USD
>Size: 40 mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone who likes a vintage watch but wants to avoid any of the pitfalls and headaches.
>Best characteristic of watch: Dial design and proportions
>Worst characteristic of watch: The reflective bubble domed crystal may be too reflective for some.