The Oris Divers 65 isn’t a new watch. Oris launched the watch a few years ago and it has been a huge success. When I reviewed the Divers 65 Chronograph, I discussed how the watch is essentially Oris’ version of the Tudor Black Bay. They have multiple iterations, colorways, available complications, and limited editions available of the Divers 65. The watch is versatile, like the Black Bay, and looks good with just about anything you put into it.
If you haven’t heard of the Divers 65 or just don’t know much about the watch from the independent Swiss watch manufacturer, you’re in for a treat. The Divers 65 line is composed of a few main collections with the standouts being one with round, applied markers and another with Arabic numerals which we will be looking at today.
On the Wrist
Oris offers the Divers 65 in multiple case sizes ranging from 36mm to 42mm for the 3-hand versions. However, when it comes to the Arabic numeral version, only case size is offered: 40mm. I’ve tried on the different case sizes of each version and the 40mm is by far the best, at least for my 6.75” wrist. Even if your wrist is larger or smaller the 40mm watch’s proportions are balanced well and should be comfortable for any wrist size.
The Divers 65 has a nice trick up its sleeve: the bracelet taper. It’s something I have never experienced on another watch and I honestly can’t think of a modern watch that does this. The Divers 65 bracelet tapers from 20mm to 14mm at the clasp, an insane 6mm taper. Because of this, the stepdown for each link is dramatic and the removable links don’t have the faux rivet of the rest of the bracelet. It’s not a perfect bracelet and I’ll discuss more about it later, but that taper is delightful.
Heavily domed crystals go one of two ways; they are either fantastic and complement the design of the dial or are an afterthought that distorts the dial into an unreadable abyss. Thankfully, the Divers 65 is the former. The domed crystal only distorts the outer edges of the dial and handset, so the watch remains readable at most angles. It also creates one of the coolest effects on any watch as it curves down over the numerals.
Oris obviously intended for the Divers 65 to be vintage-inspired; after all, it is in its name. Vintage-inspired watches either go for a direct replication of the original watch or a contemporary take on the original. The Divers 65 feels like a modern watch. The materials used and the overall execution scream modern watch. Oris did a great job working vintage aesthetics into the dial only. Although there are those who might consider this blasphemy, this feels like a vintage watch that was restored by the manufacturer using modern materials. To me, that is a good thing.
Oris Divers 65 Video Review
My favorite thing about this watch is the dial. The numerals at the cardinal positions have a unique font that is distorted by the sapphire crystal, creating a stretched-out appearance when looking at it straight on. The lume application for these numerals is heavy which gives them a puffy or raised look. At some angles, it almost looks like a reverse applied numeral.
Speaking of the lume, one of my gripes with the Divers 65 Chronograph was the lume application. The hands glowed differently than the rest of the dial, which created a weird look. I wasn’t a huge fan of it. That isn’t the case here. The lume application on the review sample I had was excellent. It was even, glowed brightly, lasted quite a long time, and was the same between the hands and dial. It was strange to me that the cheaper watch had a better lume application, but I’ll take it as this is the one I would buy.
It should come as no surprise that some fauxtina was used on the lume, but it isn’t as extreme as old radium lume. Instead of a brownish color seen on a lot of watches trying to fake age, the lume on the Divers 65 is more of a yellow color. It works well with the rest of the design and is one of the few applications of this nature I like.
I know Oris released a limited edition of this watch without the date at 6 o’clock, but I wish they had done that for all versions. Although the date window doesn’t cut too much away from the numeral at 6, I would prefer it wasn’t there. That said, it does fade into the dial due to the black date wheel so it’s easy to overlook.
Oris consistently puts great handsets on their watches. The Aquis, ProPilot, and Pointer Date all have fantastic handsets that complement their respective watches perfectly and the Divers 65 is no exception. They match the markers on the dial and bezel and create a cohesive look. While I like the lollipop seconds hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing what a shovel or stoplight seconds hand would have looked like on the Divers 65.
Yet another conundrum I discovered in the differences between the Divers 65 Chronograph and the more affordable 3-hander is the bezel action. The look of the bezels is nearly identical but the action on the 3 hander is so much better than the chronograph. It felt tight yet easy to turn and had no backplay. It was a much better user experience than on the chronograph.
Case and Bracelet
Coming in at 12.8mm thick, the Divers 65 isn’t a thick watch, but it isn’t super thin either – at least on paper. The actual feel and look of the Divers 65 is a watch that wears much thinner than the dimensions suggest. There are a few elements playing into this.
The black bezel helps slim down the profile view of the watch and it also overhangs the case of the watch slightly. I recently reviewed the Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer which also had a black bezel and the effect was similar. It’s an easy way to shave some perceived thickness off a watch without sacrificing anything.
The other element playing into how great this watch wears is the case shape. Although it looks angular when viewing it from the top, the lugs turn down gently. Combine this with the excellent bracelet and you have a watch that wears great.
I discussed the bracelet briefly at the beginning of the review, but there is a little more to unpack with the bracelet. The taper is great, yes, but thankfully Oris used solid links throughout the bracelet so despite the smaller size near the clasp it never feels flimsy. The double pushbutton clasp Oris uses on the Divers 65 is also excellent and closes securely.
My one gripe with the bracelet is the fitment to the watch case. Everything is solid and nothing moves around; it is the flow from the case to the bracelet that bugs me a little. It almost feels as though a bracelet from a different watch was used and it was a decent fit to the Divers 65. Considering how good Oris’ other bracelets are and how they fit to their respective cases, this was a little surprising to me.
Another small point of contention I have with the Divers 65 is the movement. I have no issues with the Sellita SW200 as a movement in general. It is a great movement that is reliable and easy to service. However, this watch commands a $2,100 price tag. The Sellita SW200 is a great movement for a watch around $1,000. The SW200 may have been acceptable in 2015 when this watch came out but Oris should update this movement to the higher-grade SW300, especially given how much this watch costs.
The Divers 65 sits right in the middle of one of the competitive price points, especially for dive watches. While this watch retails for $2,100, the street price is likely to be a few hundred less. The $1,000-$2,000 dive watch range is packed with great watches. Let’s look at how the Divers 65 stacks up against a couple picks.
Doxa Sub 200
At the lower end of this range sits the fairly new Doxa Sub 200. I haven’t experienced this watch in person yet but there is no denying it is a good value. Coming in at a hair under $1,000, the vintage-inspired watch from the storied brand packs a lot in at that price. An ETA 2824 movement, 42mm case with a beads of rice bracelet, and a variety of classic Doxa colors makes it hard to ignore. However, I’m sure because of this price you might not get the overall build quality of higher-tier Doxas or what I feel is the excellent build quality of the Oris Divers 65.
Monta recently raised the price of the Oceanking (as well as the rest of their lineup) to be on par with the MSRP of the Oris Divers 65. There is no denying you’re going to get a great watch with the Oceanking. While the Divers 65 and Oceanking are both dive watches that cost around $2,000, they are watches with different souls. The Divers 65 is undoubtably going after the vintage reissue buyer while the Oceanking is targeting someone who wants the latest and greatest technology. This may be a question of if you want heritage or the new kid on the block.
I put this one on the list because it was a watch I was looking at when I purchased another Oris diver, the Aquis. Longines has done something like Oris and offers this watch in a variety of colors, complications, and configurations including quartz options. The street prices on these are all over the place but for the most part seem to be in line with the street prices of the Divers 65. The Hydroconquest doesn’t have the elegance of the Divers 65 but is still an attractive watch. For me, the Hydroconquest falls somewhere between the Doxa Sub 200 and the Divers 65. I’d pick the Oris Divers 65 over the Hydroconquest for a few reasons but if you want something with more wrist presence, the Longines might be your best bet.
On a recent episode of the 40&20 Podcast I talked about how some watches I review really make my wallet lust for them. This is one of those watches. It isn’t perfect, but it almost feels as though Oris did those things on purpose to make it feel older than it is. I doubt that is really the case, but it has that lovable charm.
The Divers 65 is a great watch with a wrist presence and profile that is perfect for my 6.75” wrist. I feel that is true for a variety of other wrist sizes and given the popularity of the Divers 65, this appears to ring true.
If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired dive watch, examples of which are quite common these days, but want something with styling that feels original, the Divers 65 is a great choice. It puts modern materials into a design made famous by Oris decades ago. It strikes a nice balance between looking modern and adding a bit of fauxtina to remind you it’s from days gone by. I’d have a hard time not recommending this watch to people looking for a dive watch in the $1,000-$2,000 price point.
Check out other Oris reviews at The Watch Clicker
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|Lug-to-lug Height||48mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Water Resistance||100 meters||Lume||Aged Lume|
|Movement||Sellita SW200 / Oris 733||Price||$2,100|