Oris Source of Life Limited Edition

The Oris Source of Life Limited Edition celebrates ‘the role water plays in creating and sustaining life’. Angus Davies appraises this accessible diver’s watch from Hölstein.

This detailed review of the Oris Source of Life Limited Edition includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Oris Source of Life Limited Edition

One of life’s challenges is to ascertain if the words spoken by an individual are congruent their actual thoughts. In some instances, non-verbal behaviour can reveal a falsehood. An inability to maintain eye-contact or a face beaded with perspiration may disclose that a person is uttering an untruth. It is not always simple to ascertain honesty.

When I am asked to recommend an affordable watch, various names come to the fore. One such name is Oris. The watches engineered by this company have a palpable honesty. They do not hide behind gimmicks or come with unnecessarily high pricing. Usually an Oris watch is robust, simple to read, endowed with a Swiss watch movement and reasonably priced.

Recently, the Swiss watch company unveiled a new timepiece, the Oris Source of Life Limited Edition. This watch has been created to ‘celebrate the role water plays in creating and sustaining life’. The case-back of the watch is embossed with a depiction of the Rhine, the river which runs close to the village of Hölstein, the home of Oris.

The dial

The dial of the Oris Source of Life Limited Edition is described as ‘blue grey’. Such a description is most apt at it morphs from blue to grey, depending on the prevailing light. This capacity for change is augmented by the sunray motif emanating from the fulcrum of the dial.

Oris Source of Life Limited Edition

Bold hour and minute hands, lined with white luminescent fill, convey the time candidly. There is no possibility for any misunderstanding, the message is clear. The central sweep seconds hand features a luminescent ‘lollipop’ and a counterweight, providing an obvious indication that the watch is operational. This latter detail is essential for a diver’s watch as the indicated dive times may prove inaccurate if the watch has stopped, potentially resulting in grave consequences.

Each applied hour marker is faceted and lined with a generous application of Super-LumiNova. In between each hour marker are succinct white strokes, proving especially useful when reading-off minutes and seconds.

A circular date display occupies the central area of the dial. The days of the month are represented on a snailed circlet. The prevailing date is indicated with a white, rectangular indicator. While I doubt that many divers will refer to this indication underwater, it does have relevance on dry land.

The inventory of indications is limited and, in my opinion, this is the secret to the dial’s success. The bold hour and minute hands, the lollipop circumnavigating the dial and the prominent hour markers all collaborate to deliver excellent legibility.

The case

Measuring 43.5mm in diameter, this unashamedly masculine stainless steel case looks capable of post-apocalyptic survival. The screw-in security crown nestles adjacent a chunky crown protector which is held steadfast with two rugged screws.

Oris Source of Life Limited Edition

The Oris Source of Life Limited Edition is offered with a grey rubber strap or a 3-rows steel bracelet. The press model I viewed was fitted with a bracelet equipped with an extension for use with a diver’s suit. Each surface was smooth and beautifully executed.

Oris Source of Life Limited Edition

Typical of a diver’s watch, the Oris Source of Life Limited Edition is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel. In this instance, the bezel is fitted with a grey tungsten insert and marked with a 60-minute timer scale.

Again, upholding watchmaking tradition, this diver’s watch is equipped with a solid case-back, which as mentioned earlier, is embossed with a map of the River Rhine along with a unique serial number.

Oris Source of Life Limited Edition

With a maximum water resistance of 300 metres, this genuine diver’s watch is capable of deep sea exploration. However, despite its diving remit, the watch looks good with jeans or formal attire.

The movement

The automatic Oris Cal. 733 is based on the Sellita SW 200-1. The movement has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and contains 26 jewels. The power-reserve provides 38 hours of autonomy. The watch is equipped with a stop-seconds.

Owing to the solid case-back, it was not possible to appraise the movement finishing, although Oris state that the movement features their red rotor.

Closing remarks

Recently, while tidying my study, I happened upon some old price lists for a variety of watch brands. I was surprised to see how some brands have significantly inflated their retail prices over the years. Indeed, some companies have repositioned their brands merely by increasing their prices without any uplift in specification.

However, it seems Oris has kept its head when several about it have lost theirs. The Swiss brand has not lost touch with its clientele and has kept prices under control. The Oris Source of Life Limited Edition has a retail price of £1900.00 (RRP as at 5.7.2018). This is not an inconsequential sum but, based on this model’s array of attributes, it represents excellent value.

The Oris Source of Life Limited Edition features an attractive and simple to read dial, a tough case and a Swiss movement. It is not a paragon of haute horlogerie, but neither does it have a six figure price tag. With its good looks and robust construction, this watch stands comparison with the best in this price segment.

Quite simply, Oris’s marketing is consistent with the products it makes. If only everyone was this honest, life would be much simpler.

Further reading

Technical specifications

  • Model: Oris Source of Life Limited Edition
    Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43.4mm, sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback; water resistant to 30 ATM (300 metres).
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date
  • Movement: Oris Cal.733; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 26 jewels; power reserve 38 hours.
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with extension
  • Price: £1900 (RRP as at 5.7.2018) 

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