It’s now a rare sight—the small seconds subdial—rarer still on a dive watch. Oris has been offering this nostalgic twist for a while now. The latest Oris Aquis Small Second Date slims the case, moves the date to 3:00, and keeps the focus on the hour and minute hand—the latter being critically important in a watch meant for timing dives. By isolating the seconds at 9:00, a diver can focus on the minute hand counting dive time against the unidirectional black ceramic bezel.

This Oris Aquis Small Second Date is an extension of the Aquis redesign introduced earlier in 2017. Oris’s designers slimmed the lugs and bracelet, reworked the hands and indices, and beefed up the screw-down crown and crown guards. It’s a slightly smaller package, but still very sporty at 45.5mm. All the hands, even the tip of little baby seconds hand, get the Super-LumiNova treatment. Two colorways give you a modern blue/steel option or a vintage-y black/orange, with rubber strap or stainless bracelet alternatives featuring the Oris safety anchor and quick-adjust, sliding-sledge folding clasp, which can be adjusted on the wrist.

A central seconds hand is so common that it is easy to forget that it was once an innovation. Now, it’s mostly reserved for dress watches and the occasional sport watch. Nomos is a standout in the genre, and most of Panarei’s stocky offerings come to mind. As far as legitimate dive watches go, though, you can find a small seconds on the Panerai Luminor Submersible, the Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine, this Oris Aquis Small Second Date, and not much else.

Oris Aquis Small Second Date

  • Price: CHF/USD 2,200 (rubber strap); CHF/USD 2,400 (metal bracelet)
  • Who’s it for? Divers easily confused by too many big hands.
  • Would I wear it? Mighty big, but the small seconds is a compellingly unique feature.
  • What I’d change? Wish it was a few millimeters smaller.
  • Standout feature? Small seconds diver.

Tech Specs from Oris

  • Case Material: Stainless steel; unidirectional rotating bezel with black ceramic inlay with 60-minute timer and zero marker filled with Super-LumiNova
  • Case Dimensions: 45.5mm
  • Water resistance: 50 bar/500m
  • Movement: Oris Cal. 743, based on Sellita SW 220-1, with date at 3 o’clock and small second at 9 o’clock
  • Crystal: Sapphire crystal domed on both sides with anti-reflective coating inside
  • Strap: Black rubber strap (or blue on the blue-dial model) or stainless steel bracelet with Oris-developed safety anchor and quick-adjust, sliding-sledge folding clasp with extension
  • Ref. Nos.: 01 743 7733 4159 (orange); 01 743 7733 4135 (blue)

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