The Oris Calibre 400 and the Aquis Date Calibre 400By Stephen Watson
For many manufacturers, reissuing watches of the past is the smartest way to continue moving forward. The tried and true, stick to the script if it ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ formula. The development of a new timepiece, or a new movement, based on current watch wearing needs, is something you don’t see every day. Of course, as a consumer, we initially get drawn in by a watches style and good looks, but it’s the unseen, the inside functionality that really makes a timepiece exceptional. A new movement developed by Oris, the Calibre 400, is just such a revelation.
Producing and manufacturing a new movement is often the work of a much larger brand. It requires time, resources, and deep pockets. For Oris, the release of a new movement is a very big deal. Especially when the movement, the Calibre 400, solves many of today’s watches consumers’ needs. Developed over five years, the caliber not only offers much-improved watch functionality, but it comes in at a fantastic price point for a watch of this stature. It also opens a new window to create slimmer cases and more design possibilities. It provides Oris with additional freedom, especially on their own terms.
The first item of note for the Oris Calibre 400 is that it offers a robust five-day power reserve. Five days (120 hours) without having to wind your watch means long life practicality, right off the bat. The appeal of being able to take off your watch, leave it, and pick it up days later without fuss is a very attractive proposal. Second, high anti-magnetism levels keep the watch moving while being inundated with the effects of the world around us. Third, a 10-year warranty and 10-year recommended service intervals takes away the worry of annoying upkeep.
‘The solution was to develop a highly efficient movement that would be much more resistant to wear and tear,” says Beat Fischli, Oris’s Chief Operating Officer, the guiding force behind the new movement. “We focused on reducing torque in the mainspring – where power is stored – to help conserve power and put less pressure on moving parts. We also introduced a new wheel design into the gear train that delivers far greater efficiency. Calibre 400 retains 85% of the energy transferred from the mainspring, compared to a norm of around 70%.”
Eliminating problems before they occur was key to the solution. A ball bearing system often used to allow the oscillating weight, or rotor, to rotate gets replaced with a low friction slide bearing system, in which a metal stud runs through a lubricated sleeve. This more straightforward system makes things run more efficiently and less prone to mechanical failure. The result? A standard three-day power reserve can now run much, much, longer.
The added anti-magnetic qualities gained by the use of materials gives Oris the ability to extend the warranty for ten years and offer ten-year service intervals due to the added reliability. “Calibre 400 is the new standard; the Oris standard,” says Rolf Studer, Oris’s Co-CEO. “It’s an intelligent concept, it has a smart choice of materials that gives it its anti-magnetic properties, and the engineering solutions deliver the reliability that means we can offer a 10-year warranty and 10-year service intervals. There’s nothing else like it.”
The first Oris model to come equipped with the Caliber 400, the Aquis Date, is unquestionably a watch made for watch lovers. Already a bestselling style within the collection, the added value of the caliber 400 gives the Aquis an unprecedented modern appeal. The new movement’s introduction adds all of the benefits mentioned above, plus a few esthetic changes.
Performance stats appear printed on the gradient blue dial, stating the impressive new power reserve of Five Days, along with the 30 Bar/300M pressure resistance. Unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel in matching blue scratch-proof ceramic and SuperLuminova hands and indices deliver an ultra-desirable dial and case in a year where bold color is key.
A see-through case back allows for excellent viewing of the all-important powerful Calibre 400 movement, while upfront, a domed sapphire crystal highlights the gradient blue face, allowing for a beautiful light and shadow effect to play across the watch’s dial. Versatility comes in the form of the ‘Quick Strap Change’ system, allowing the wearer to effortlessly clip the steel bracelet or rubber strap in place with ease.
A substantial watch on the wrist, the appeal of the new ORIS Aquis Date Calibre 400 goes without saying. As Studer explains, “This is the Oris way of doing things. We think a bit harder and come up with sober solutions that mean we can make a watch for people in love with watches, and not only for the privileged few.” This ORIS diver is solid through and through, and quite simply, you’ll fall in love with mechanical watches all over again.
Automatic winding Oris Calibre 400. Accuracy -3/+5 seconds a day (within COSC tolerances) Power reserve of 120 hours.
43.50 mm multi-piece stainless steel case, unidirectional rotating bezel with ceramic insert.
Black rubber or stainless steel metal bracelet, both with security folding clasp with extension and ‘Quick Change Strap’ system.
3,200 CHF/3,500 USD on bracelet; 3,100 CHF/3,300 USD on strap.