By Michelle Graff
The Oris Dive Control Limited Edition is a 51 mm dive watch with a lightweight titanium case coated in black DLC (diamond-like carbon). The watch is water resistant to 1,000 meters and is part of the brand’s ProDiver line.
Vail, Colorado—Oris went up to 8,022 feet to present a watch that works at 3,280 feet down.

Earlier this month, Oris presented the new Dive Control Limited Edition, along with a handful of other still-under-wraps watches, to journalists in Vail, Colorado.

The pre-Basel release of the new dive watch follows the November unveiling of the special bronze 80th anniversary version of the Big Crown Pointer Date.

20190116 Oris Big CrownReleased in November, the special bronze 80th anniversary version of the Big Crown Pointer Date has a 40 mm case and is powered by the Oris 754 movement with a 38-hour power reserve.

It’s also part of the Holstein, Switzerland-based watch brand’s new strategy: put less emphasis on Baselworld, push out more newness throughout the year and tell the stories behind the products while letting the now-numerous watch blogs, websites and Instagram accounts do the rest.

“Basel has lost its importance,” Oris co-CEO Rolf Studer said before presenting the watches over lunch at Swiss restaurant Almresi Vail. “You can launch a watch in August and through social media, through events, through all these multipliers, it will be as effective, or even more effective, than doing it in Basel.”

Released globally Jan. 7, the Dive Control Limited Edition is big and bold—51 mm with an optional bright-yellow rubber strap and matching yellow detailing on the dial.

The timepiece is part of Oris’ ProDiver line, which, as the name indicates, is designed for professional divers (though likely worn in equal measure by watch collectors and enthusiasts).

It features the company’s patented Rotation Safety System (RSS), developed in partnership with ballet dancer-turned-commercial offshore diver Roman Frischknecht, who joined the watch presentation in Vail via video conference from Switzerland to talk about his path from stage to sea and the importance of safety when diving.

“Life has its funny ways sometimes. You start off on one leg and you finish on another, no?” he said when asked how he got into commercial diving. “Like other kids would play tennis or football, I chose ballet for myself.

“I pursued it to a professional level but, pretty soon, I realized it was not going to stay with me for much longer and that I needed to do something else.”

20190116 Oris ProDiver insertA side view of the Dive Control Limited Edition on the black strap

After ballet, Frischknecht made a career out of another passion, diving, and discovered the two were quite similar, noting that in both lines of work, “you … have to put on a costume and enter a different world, and everybody’s going to watch you while you work.”

The RSS he worked with Oris to develop locks the unidirectional rotating bezel in place during a dive; the diver must pull it up to turn it, ensuring it cannot accidentally move if wearer hits his or her wrist against something while diving.

Frischknecht said safety is “paramount” in diving and, in fact, the name of the watch, Dive Control, references the central command unit present at each dive, the “conductors of the orchestra” who are responsible for the safety of the entire operation.

Water resistant to 1,000 meters, the Dive Control Limited Edition has a 60-minute chronograph counter at 12 o’clock with key detailing in yellow and is powered by the Oris Cal. 774 (Sellita SW 500) movement
with a 48-hour power reserve.

Oris is making 500 Dive Control Limited Edition watches.

The watch comes in a box with two straps—bright yellow and black rubber—and retails for CHF 4,850 (about $5,000).

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.