With a gradient blue dial that resembles the way light plays on the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and a specially engraved commemorative caseback – Oris pay tribute to the conservation work carried out on Clipperton Island. The location is under threat from the depletion of local bird and fish species and struggling from the effects of plastic waste, but Oris combines the performance of the modified Calibre 733 with a sustainable limited edition presentation box to highlight their passion for conservation in this new sporty wristwatch from the powerful Aquis collection.
Picture this if you will. A remote coral attol just west of South America in the Pacific Ocean. A guano-covered rock in the middle of nowhere. Home to many colourful crabs and lots of bird species – but also a catchment for a lot of nasty plastic garbage. Clipperton Island also facilitates part of the migration corridor between the Baja Peninsula and Chile, so for 16 days the Big Migrations II Research Team, supported by Swiss watchmaker Oris who were a primary sponsor, conducted exhaustive surveys of the surrounding reef. They tagged sharks, logged plastic waste and studied man’s impact through the debris deposited on the island. Another goal of the expedition was to document the migration patterns of pelagic species in order to support and protect their marine habitat against overfishing. And so begins the story of the Oris Aquis Clipperton Limited Edition Watch…
Celebrating Clipperton Island and commemorating the expedition, the Oris Clipperton Limited Edition watch features so many popular characteristics of the already-refined Oris Aquis watch. The SuperLumiNova-swathed hands and markers which make time reading so effortless in dark conditions and the 300 meter water resistant casing which allows for deep and daring exploration of the underwater world. The timepiece is a more-than-capable divers watch, yet it offers so much more than that!
Over the years the iconic design of the Oris Aquis has become more sophisticated and refined through some slight changes. The crown guards, the case and the bracelet have all undergone a strict diet in order to slim down the aesthetics. The hour indices are bevelled and slope inwards towards the centre of the dial and the case constructions are generally lighter in weight. The downward-turned angles of the lugs on this limited edition watch, which take either a rubber strap or a steel bracelet, allow the watch to hug the wrist tighter. The diameter of the Oris Aquis Clipperton watch case however, still measures the fully modern 43.5mm diameter. It poses a great presence on the wrist and thus is markedly distinct from a distance – exactly what you want for a watch that has so much character and depth to its story.
The gripping ceramic timing ring bezel is easy to rotate under the finger or through a pair of gloves, and the gradient blue dial is vibrant and dynamic. Its mesmerising hue certainly emulates deep blue waters, with shades that grow lighter towards the centre of the dial, likening to the way the sun catches the shimmering ripples of water on a clear day. It is quite obvious to the eye, whether a watch lover or not, that Oris have intentionally mimicked the visual cues found in the ocean depths surrounding this remote location.
The back of the Oris Aquis Clipperton watch is embellished with a special engraving – it is a stark contrast from the usual sapphire crystal glass bottom that other Aquis watches are equipped with, but at the same time, it’s a welcomed alternative. Instead the smooth surface of the stainless steel back bears a motif of the island, along with latitude/longitude coordinates and some commemorative text. The Aquis lettering has earned its place on the centre of this limited edition dial, along with the 300m water resistant marking. Inside the watch, the self winding movement comes courtesy of Sellita. It has however, been decorated by Oris and renamed the Calibre 733. It provides a 40-ish hour power reserve across 28,800 vibrations per hour. The presentation box is manufactured from a box made of 30% algae which ties in nicely with the message behind this special diver’s watch.
Despite some discreet give-aways that this Oris Aquis watch is of a limited edition collection (2000 to be precise), the manufacturer does well to maintain the most popular hallmarks of the iconic Aquis model. The angular outward-sloping kettle shaped case, integrated horn lugs and the bezel with ceramic insert are all desirable features that Oris guarantee are here to stay.