If there is one watch that has floated around in my subconscious for some time, it is the Divers Sixty-Five from Oris.
It ticks all of the boxes for what I want in a modern watch-
Decent lume (not too bright, but enough to see me through the night)
Trusted movement (Oris Cal. 733 based on the Sellita SW 200-1)
1960’s diving style ideally
Thin enough to not look like a desk diver’s penis extension
Consistency – it has to all work together for a reason and not just to stand out
That special something – I have no words to explain what that is, no one does
Despite the fact that this watch has always been there somewhere in my mind, I had no intention of buying one because it wasn’t figuring for some reason. The lack of a stand-out look or feature means that it will be overlook by most and even by people like me for whom it does tick those boxes. It’s nice, but it is not noticeable which ironically proved to be the biggest advantage of all.
All of this happened because my wife and I took our son out to purchase a watch for my son’s 18th birthday and the fact that he is heading off to university soon. He love watches (wonder where he got that from?) and his Seiko SRP has a few problems so we decided to buy him ‘the’ watch that he will wear for some time.
We were going to simply buy him a watch, but after asking for advice on what to buy James Stacey (The Grey Nato) advised to take him with us and to make it part of the experience. I should have known this because the purchasing experience is strangely important when buying a special watch and is something that will stay with you while you wear it. Sometimes buying online is not worth it even if you save a lot of money.
Anyway, we spent some time looking around and he seemed to focus in on the Oris Artelier Complication (reference 01 781 7729 4051-07 5 21 66FC) which was a surprise. He tried it on and absolutely loved it which seemed to shock me and the sales assistant. For some who is 18 years old this does not appear to be the kind of watch they would go for, but he has his tastes and is heading to university to study law so maybe he is trying to fit the part early. As he continued to just stare at the watch on his wrist my wife and I realised that we were about to spend a lot more than expected on his birthday present.
I haggled and haggled with the sales assistant until we agreed on a price and then made the mistake of trying on the Sixty-Five after my son had discarded it within seconds – he really did not like it which was a surprise as he loves his Seiko SRP. It then hit me.
You know when they say a watch has to speak to you, this happened with the Sixty-Five instantly. It just felt so right on my wrist and I was surprised at how thin the case is and the way it remains substantial despite what some would see as a smaller form factor. I really cannot explain what struck me about this watch, but something did and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I did not, however, buy it.
And then I bought it two days later in another store after lots more haggling. It was like an itch I just had to scratch and one that left me with uncertainty because I have some reservations about the Sixty-Five.
The term ‘desk diver’ usually refers to those of us who like dive watches, but who do not dive. In this case the term could accurately describe the watch itself. The compromises are quite substantial and in an honest way because to me there is no doubt that Oris is not selling this as a tool watch.
It’s 100m water resistant which is less than expected in a modern dive watch.
There are no crown guards, but the crown is a screw-in setup.
The lume is good enough, but maybe not enough for real diving?
There is no way to adjust the size of the strap without tools.
It feels just a little fragile and more suited to air conditioning than air tanks.
My first day with the Sixty-Five has made me realise than any regrets are theoretical because it is a stunning looking timepiece that stands out to me, but likely not to others who see me wearing it. I am never fussed by what others think and if I was I would wear a Rolex and tell everyone about it. The reality is that most people do not care about watches and what others are wearing, which is one reason to wear an Oris which few are aware of, and in this case I suspect that the Sixty-Five could be a long term wear which adorns my wrist most days. I am a desk diver who likes 1960’s dive watch styling and the Oris brand. This would seem to cover all that I need, but time will tell.