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.
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.