Oris has always harboured a deep respect for the environment and supported efforts to protect the ocean and sea life therein. This isn’t a tokenistic move either. The brand really puts their money where their mouth is, aiming to become CO2 neutral by 2021 and incorporating recycled materials in both their watches and their packaging. In addition, Oris protects our wallets, too, consistently releasing offerings with high value at lower costs than many of their competitors, making their novelties attractive to both new and veteran watch collectors alike. Today, the brand has released their Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition, a watch based on the Oris Aquis GMT, with a a unique and eye-catching dial.
So why whale sharks? The short answer is that they’re an endangered species that needs man’s help to survive. According to Oris ambassador and underwater photographer Gerardo del Villar, who has been documenting whale sharks for more than 15 years, “As top predators, sharks play an important role in the ecosystem by keeping species below them in the food chain, and as indicators of ocean health, they help to eliminate the weak and sick and to maintain balance with competitors, thus guaranteeing species diversity. Without whale sharks, ecosystems will collapse in the future.”
The stainless-steel case of this watch is on the larger side at 43.5mm in diameter, but is around 50mm lug to lug perhaps making it more compact than the diameter suggests. It is predominantly satin brushed, with a hint of polish to the bezel’s knurling and top facets of the crown guards. The 24 hour GMT is made of highly robust ceramic, with the night-time half of the bezel in black and the daytime half of the bezel in a blue that matches the dial. The screw down crown and gaskets throughout the watch can be credited for its 300 metre depth rating, which means this watch is more than up to your next diving adventure. The lug width is a fairly big 24mm, so it may prove tricky to find aftermarket straps if you want to take it off its steel bracelet.
The dial is a symphony of textures, the most distinct being its unique whale shark pattern. The bubble-like pattern, reminiscent of a whale shark’s skin, is stamped into the brass dial plate and then treated with a blue lacquer to achieve its rich blue tone. The only interruptions to the texture are the white on black date aperture at 3 o’clock, as well as the 24-hour scale within a radially striped stepped ring in the dial’s centre. The hands and applied indices are all filled with SuperLuminova®, ensuring the GMT diver is legible in all environments. The GMT hand is tipped with an orange triangle/arrow to match the triangle at the top of the GMT bezel.
The stainless-steel bracelet is comprised of two polished shoulder links with a broader central satin-brushed link. As an ocean-themed diver, it is only fitting that the bracelet is outfitted with a secure stainless-steel folding clasp with dive extension feature.
Beneath the Whale Shark Limited Edition engraved solid caseback is the caliber Oris 798 (based on the Sellita SW-330-1), with instantaneous date, date and 24-hour corrector, hacking seconds, and a power reserve of 42 hours. It is a highly functional and reliable caliber, a great choice for a watch meant for active wear and exploration.
Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition Aquis GMT pricing and availability:
The Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition Aquis GMT is a limited edition of 2016 pieces, available February 2021 via Oris Authorized Dealers worldwide. Price: CHF 2,800