Browsing Category


Oris Tudor

Would you wear a smaller dive watch?

During the recent Wind Up Watch Fair I stopped by the Oris booth to try on their 36mm version of the Aquis Date dive watch. It looked small on the wrist, but it felt very comfortable and it could be a look that I’d get used to. The 36mm size is more commonly associated with watches such as the classic Datejust and works really well with more traditional business attire.

We love dive watches, of course, and our own Oceanking is sized at 40.7mm wide and 11.9mm thick, which we think is the ideal size for most men. The standard bearer, of course, is the Rolex Submariner, which comes in right at that 40mm mark, even in its modern ceramic bezel incarnation.

But to go down 4mm in case size for a dive watch is pretty drastic, but it’s nice to see more available in a smaller size, which is great for women and men who want to wear a dive watch in dressier situations. The size is very sleek and discrete, which sometimes is a necessity in settings where flashy jewelry may not be a good look. Even the aluminum bezel Submariners have a lot of wrist presence and shiny bits to be quite noticeable.

Tudor 75090

This mid-sized Tudor Sub features a 35mm case and wears small. No longer in production this 1990s model has a matte back dial and tritium lume plots. These can be found for sale at a relatively lower cost due the its 39mm brother being more popular. If you love the classic diver look and have a smaller wrist, this one could satisfy your needs for an excellent everyday wearer.

Oris Aquis Date 36mm

The Aquis Date is one of the most practical sport watches within an lineup. While still maintaining a relatively conservative design, it possesses its own look thanks to Oris’ smart design team. The proprietary bracelet interface works really well and it’s a solid piece for the price. For some time, this watch was only offered in a 43mm size and now comes in and 40mm and 36mm sizes too. As seen below, it works really well for smaller wrists.

Rolex Yachtmaster 37

The Yachtmaster line is under appreciated and overlooked by many due to the resounding popularity of the Submariner, GMT Master and Daytona models. The Yachtmaster comes in a 37mm size and the Everose Gold ref. 268655 is stunning, especially under natural lighting conditions. This particular watch is perfect for the guy or gal who wants to rock a more refined sport watch look.

Tudor Black Bay 36

With the release of the Black Bay 58 (in 39mm) the popular modern Tudor dive watch line listened to consumers who demanded something smaller than the 41mm original. But those with smaller wrists shouldn’t forget the Black Bay 36, which could be a nice substitute for those who wanted a now discontinued 36mm Rolex Explorer I. We know the many watches thrown into the Go Anywhere Do Anything category, but the Black Bay 36 pretty much nails that definition with flying colors.


Two Approaches to Vintage Styled Diver Watches

It’s no secret that we love dive watches designed with vintage style in mind. Our own Oceanking takes its design cues from divers from the 1950s and 1960s, where simplicity ruled. The Rolex Submariner 5513, born in the 1960s, is an exercise in restraint and is quite often what pops into watch collectors’ heads when they think of great dive watch designs for decades ago.

It makes sense that new dive watches coming out in recent years unabashedly incorporate vintage looks, down to a faked aged (or faux patina) dial where the lume looks more tan than white right out of the box. Some people only wear unwashed dark denim and some people welcome the pre-distressed look on their jeans. We aren’t that serious about adhering to authenticity in aging. If a watch looks good overall, we won’t judge how it got there too much. A lot depends on the execution of the entire package.

For example, Longines has now offers a modern version of its Nautilus Skin Diver called the Heritage Skin Diver. For the most part, it’s faithful the original version, which was released in the 1959. It’s larger than the original at 42mm (a point of contention for the vocal crew representing the smaller is better contingency), but it maintains some very important old-school traits such as the omission of crown guards and a date complication. The modern black bezel is PVD’d and domed sapphire, an is powered by an ETA 2892 movement modified to have a longer power reserve.

$2,600 at

If all this upsizing of watches has you yearning for a vintage styled diver with vintage style case dimensions, our friends at Oris have come through with a 36mm version of its Divers Sixty-Five model. It also comes in 40 and 42mm, but we’re shining the spotlight on their smallest version for our readers who have been searching for something rugged and small. The thing with watches around 36mm if that they feel small compared to anything over and around 40mm until your eye adjusts. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five in 36mm is the ideal watch for someone who regularly dons a suit jacket or blazer but isn’t into the dress watch look.

With this Oris diver, you get the classy vintage diver looks (plus a bronze bezel option) with the appeal of 100 meters of water resistance and a date function (to keep those business meeting appointments). This watch also uses faux patina lume and has no crown guards. It’s really going for the vintage esthetic, which really works well when you pair it with the bronze bezel version.

$1,900 at



Monta Oris Tudor

Blue dialed divers: It’s essential for dive watch lovers

There’s something about the color blue and how well it works with dive watches. Of course, the ocean is blue, but there is also something soothing about the warmth of blue set against the coldness of steel. We, of course, adore the blue dialed version of our Oceanking. But at the end of the day, we’re just watch guys who can appreciate any well-executed version of the blue diver. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites:

Monta Oceanking: At 40.7mm wide and 11.9mm thick, our Oceanking draws inspiration from vintage divers. The modern features make it ready to go for real ocean adventures. The Oceanking’s bezel has been favorably reviewed (both other watch media) as having one of the best feelings of any rotating bezel in any class. The blue Oceanking, with its ceramic bezel, is an excellent choice for the watch collector who appreciates upscale details in a classic package. $1,925 at

Oris Aquis Date: It’s not secret that we love Oris as a brand. The Aquis Date remains one of the best values of any automatic watch. Their blue sunburst dial is beautifully executed. When we visited their booth as Baselworld, we were smitten with their entire range. The Aquis Date now comes in both 43mm and 40mm sizes, so it will fit well on a range of wrist sizes. $2,000 at

Omega  600m Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer: A lot of watch collectors will declare that no one does blue like Omega. It’s Planet Ocean series has a loyal following. It’s a bold statement watch for sure encased in grade 5 titanium. The co-axial movement and Liquid Metal ceramic bezel make this stunner a much coveted piece. $6,550 at

Tudor Pelagos: There’s not much more to be said about one of the most-heralded modern dive watches. This one has a three-dimensional dial, matte finish and in-house Tudor movement. The rectangular markers match the Snowflake handset and draws lots of attention from folks who aren’t watch enthusiasts. $4,400 at

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Blue Diver: This one has a square case, a feature that by itself makes it standout from the rest. Bell & Ross is known for its square cases and this watch has enough traditional design elements to tame its unconventional shape. $3,700 at

Oris Uncategorized

The Oris Aquis 39.5: Sized just right for many

We’ve recently gushed about the Tudor Black Bay 58, which is a new soon-to-be release under-40mm version of their popular vintage-inspired dive watch. Oris, a brand we unabashedly love, also introduced a smaller version of their flagship entry-level diver the Oris Aquis Date. The Oris Aquis 39.5 is a return to the 40mm case size range for this model (after a brief discontinuation), and it sure looked and felt great when we got to try them on first hand at the Oris booth at Baselworld 2018.

39.5 mm to the left, 43.5 mm version to the right

For most guys, the 40-39mm sized case for a dive watch works well. After all, the Rolex Submariner has been this size since the dawn of its existence. This size doesn’t look puny on a big wrist and doesn’t look massive on a small wrist. And if you have an average sized wrist, the 40mm-ish sport watch case size looks just right for modern times.

When we spoke to Oris’ media reps, they confirmed that the company does pay attention to customer feedback very closely and the smaller Aquis was a response to requests for a smaller sized version. Oris’ motto is “Real watches for real people,” which is a philosophy that has really translated into Oris’ product line. Nothing is very flashy, and their designs are, for the most part, very original across their lineup.

At a quick glance, the Aquis Date doesn’t look that far from other classic divers. Upon closer inspection one notices a circular case shape with a proprietary lugs to bracelet/band interface. The bracelet is incredible for a sub-$2,000 watch and the entire watch feels very solid and ready to take on some rough usage (should you choose).

What we’ve always liked about the Aquis line is that it offers modern bells and whistles without excess. The scratch-proof ceramic bezel insert, dependable Selita SW 200-1 base movement with 38-hour power reserve, and 300 meter water resistance rating has this watch inline with other divers that aim to be “professional standard.” Available in a beautiful blue sunburst as well as traditional black dial (in either matte or glossy), the Oris Aquis Date 39.5 is a strong contender is the sub-40mm diver category.



The Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot

During our visit to the Oris booth at Baselworld 2018, one of the models that we gravitated towards was the Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot Altimeter, a mechanical watch with an altimeter, a device used to measure altitude. This makes the Big Crown Pro Pilot a fantastic adventurer watch for those deep treks into the woods.

Obviously, you could grab a Suunto or G-Shock Rangeman for a bucketload of features for exploring, but having a mechanical (as opposed to digital) watch mark altitude is more of our style, which is, of course, always an important factor. This offering from Oris simply looks purposeful. The dual oversized crowns, the easy-to-read dial, and knurled bezel add to up to a look that makes the wearer appear very rugged.

Photo by Dante Barger for Bezel&Barrel

The altimeter is made by Thommen and takes its readings from changes in air pressure. There’s a capsule inside the the watch that shrinks and expands to move the needle indicating altitude on the dial. While using the watch for elevation readings, the lower crown must remain unscrewed so that air can flow inside the watch for reading. A red indicator around the stem lets the wearer know there is potential for water to enter the watch, but Oris has fitted a collar on the lower portion of the lower crown to protect the watch from moisture in the air.

Lots of people who read this may bemoan that the Oris isn’t the most practical, but neither is wearing a mechanical watch in general. We’re into this model for its feat of engineering and continue to applaud Oris for delivering true tool watches. This watch retails for $4,100.

image courtesy of Oris




The Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition Bronze Diver by Oris

One of the reasons we like Oris is because they oftentimes will produce watches that have meaning. For instance, they offer a limited edition Source of Life Aquis model to evoke the River Rhine and “celebrate the role water plays in creating, connecting and sustaining life, and invites us to think philosophically about how we care for the world’s water sources.” It doesn’t come across as sales tactic, but rather a concerted effort to give something back. With Oris’s special watch honoring the U.S. Navy’s first African American and first amputee Master Diver, Carl Brashear, there is actual meaning behind the watches design and material choice. The Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition was definitely one of the standout watches we saw at Baselworld 2018.

Photo courtesy of Oris

The two-counter chronograph is based on the Oris Divers Sixty-Five and cast in bronze as a nod to the diving equipment Brashear used in the 1960s and 70s. Bronze is not only used in the case, it’s employed in the bezel, crown and pushers. The dial is a deep blue, which is set off nicely with a domed sapphire crystal. The bicompax chronograph configuration allows for a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. There’s no date complication and runs on a modified Selita SW 510 movement.

Photo fo Carl Brashear courtesy of Oris

The man behind the watch

Carl Brashear joined the U.S. Navy at 17 and graduate from the Navy’s diving program in 1954. Not only did he face racial discrimination, he lost part of his lower leg in an accident on duty to salvage a hydrogen bomb. Brashear overcame his physical setback to become the Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968 and a master diver in 1970. To become a master diver, one must complete dives to 300 meters, which is well beyond most divers’ range. Brashear went on to a storied career in the Navy and his story is told in the 2000 film Men of Honour, where he was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr.

The watch is limited to 2,000 pieces and retails for $4,950. More information can be found at

Photo courtesy of Oris

Photo courtesy of Oris