I have owned the Sixty Five for just over two days now and so far I am feeling positive about it, a feeling that is not uncommon while in the honeymoon period. This, however, feels different because of how much time I spent choosing the exact model for my needs.
I was helped by the fact that I owned a Sixty Five 42mm (in blue) a few years back and so I had some familiarity with the main design aspects of functionality of this model. The problem is that a lot of watches have come since and so my experiences have changed a lot. Some smaller, none larger, some quartz, some more expensive and some cheaper.
As time has passed and my tastes have refined I have tended to look at slimmer watches in recent times and now have an aversion to large and bulky timepieces. There simply is no need to wear a large watch on your wrist unless you are trying to project something to complete strangers.
So I will now look at each part of the Sixty Five Sixty Five 733 7720 4054MB in turn-
How does it wear?
It’s bigger than I remember. The 42mm diameter and near 50mm lug to lug are noticeable on my 7.25” wrist. It is arguably a little too big, but only by a tiny bit which makes me believe that the 42mm was the right choice and that the 40mm may have felt small. This is a tricky area and Oris offers much variety (36mm, 40mm and 42mm) so I am not complaining at all and I do appreciate the relatively slim bezel which makes for a decent sized dial.
To me, the most positive part of the wearing experience comes from the side. This is not a slim watch at 13mm, but the design is just superb. When you view it from the side you get a domed crystal, a super slim bezel and curved sides that make the Tudor Black Bays look more slabby than ever. It is hard to describe, but take a look at the image and you may understand what I mean. Oris appears to understand the visual tricks needed to make something relatively deep feel completely the opposite.
It is also not too heavy, but has just enough weight to make me know it is on my wrist. I am undecided as to if this is a good thing or not, but it is most certainly not uncomfortable.
How practical is it?
In almost every respect the Sixty Five does an excellent job of telling the time. The hour markers stand out and the small minute track is there when you need it without ever getting in the way. Some have criticised the marked for being faux patina, but I would challenge this. They are cream in colour, but do not look like forced vintage to me. Indeed, they perfectly suit the overall design of the dial and add a touch of warmth that still feels modern. The hands are very clean, almost to the point of being boring, and the bezel markers give way to the boldness on the dial in a pleasing manner. There is consistency in every aspect of the design and yet it still remains interesting which is again a hard trick to perform.
The only visual aspect that I am not too keen on is the date window. I have no issue with the unusual shape or the white background which actually works well with the shorted 3 o’clock hour marker, but I would like the date font to be thicker. It is very thin indeed and can be difficult to read in most lighting conditions which is an oversight in my opinion. If you are going to include a date window that is a practical choice and so you may as well make it work on a practical level.
Finally, the bezel is decent enough. The 120-click mechanism has almost zero backplay and feels solid, but there is a somewhat metallic sound when it is turned. It also lines up perfectly which is a must for me because I never actually need to use a watch bezel for any purpose. Let’s be honest, none of us do.
The movement (value?)
This is an area of contention for a watch that costs £1,650 retail. I may have paid £1,320 for it, but it still contains an Oris 733 Automatic (Sellita SW200 base) movement which can be had in much lower priced watches. It can, however, be seen in more expensive models so gauging the value is difficult.
Oris does not regulate the movement as far as I know, but I am getting +4 seconds a day which is not too bad. I had very similar performance on my previous Oris so I suspect some checking is happening before it leaves the factory.
I am perhaps less inclined to be worried about a movement unless it is inaccurate and my experience of the SW200 has been pretty good to date so I can live with it. However, it is the only part of the watch that nags at me when I consider the price.
Now this is a case of very good and somewhat strange. The bracelet feels fantastic when worn and I really do appreciate the slimness of the links and the fairly aggressive taper which both suit the design of the watch itself. The clasp is also well made with a full five micro-adjustment positions. Add to this half-links either side and you should have no problem sizing it to fit you perfectly.
Resizing the bracelet is not easy at all, however, thanks to the pin and collar system. The collar is quite long and sits in the middle of the link, and the trick is to use some force to get the pin out. A normal link opener does not have a long enough pin to do this so I had to resort to pushing it half way out and then using another tool with my watch hammer to go through the process. Eventually I got there, however, and it now fits perfectly.
My final point on the bracelet is the very odd change between the links with rivets in them (oh how I don’t like unnecessary rivets) and the non-rivets links below them. There is a noticeable difference in width (about half a millimetre either side) which feels lazy to me. While it may not make any difference and is almost impossible to notice in normal use it is an unnecessary quirk.
Overall I am very impressed with this particular Sixty Five and am certain I made the right choice. The black dial and cream markers are why I chose this reference in place of the blue which didn’t quick work for me.
It’s accurate, it’s a subtle and stylish timepiece and most important of all it ticks the boxes that other watches have only managed in specific areas. Some will look down on what they perceive to be budget luxury, but that to me is yet another advantage of this watch. I just hope I can grow to enjoy it over a longer period than I have with so many other watches.