After a development period of five years, Oris Launches its new in-house movement with 10-year recommended service intervals and a 10-year warranty. The movement, Caliber 400, runs five more days and offers increased antimagnetic protection. It started in modern times Water date Today we revisit the dive watch, a timepiece that represents the essence of the brand, in our latest visit to the watchtime archives in the article below from Fall 2021.
At first glance this looks like a “perfectly normal” Oris Aquis date. It’s not immediately obvious what awaits you inside. The familiar gradient dial is immediately apparent, gradually changing from bright blue in the center to almost black at the edge. Surrounding it is a unidirectional rotating bezel that marks the Aquis Date as a functional dive watch. The grooved ring ratchets in half-minute increments and has a dark blue, scratch-resistant ceramic inlay. This, along with luminous Super-LumiNova-coated hour markers and hands, is designed for safe diving.
At the bottom of the dial, a second glance reveals a “5 days” power-reserve indication just below the “30BAR/300M” pressure-resistance indication. It’s a very discreet way to show off the innovation in the Acquis date that Oris calls “revolutionary” — the modern Caliber 400. It’s clearly visible through the transparent threaded caseback. With its unique construction that lacks any of the “high-mech” trademarks (such as the red segment on the winding rotor) that Oris movements are known for – it’s clearly new. In addition to the in-house hand-wound caliber series from 110 to 115, new in-house automatic caliber 400 series movements from major suppliers such as Cellita join the ranks. As offering good watches at affordable prices is important to Oris, the Caliber 400 does not replace existing standard movements, but rather complements them and does not increase the prices of accompanying models.
Caliber 400 fits the brand and its base
Oris developed the Caliber 400 movement in-house and designed it to perfectly match the character of Oris timepieces and the demands of its customers. This automatic movement has been redesigned from the bottom up and every detail has been tested. According to Oris’ COO Beat Fischli, who developed the new caliber with his team, the goal was to create the most efficient and strongest movement. It was created in response to modern needs: offering superior quality at a reasonable price to provide real value to the customer and emphasize the concept of sustainability, with many models and initiatives – ambitious goals Oris has pursued over the years. Oris Brand Philosophy.
After a five-year development period, the movement was created based on a solid foundation visible at first glance through the large, transparent caseback. Matte-finish bridges and a fine finish on the skeletonized rotor give the Caliber 400 a technically strong impression perfectly suited to the brand. The eye rests on the center of the movement and the sole bearing of the automatic rotor. Oris has eliminated the ball bearing and replaced it with a smooth-running friction bearing in which a steel shaft runs through an oiled bushing. Engineers discovered that problems occurred with the ball bearing’s unidirectional winding mechanism, which allows the oscillating weight to rotate freely. The winding system in Caliber 400 is unidirectional. It is less complex than the bidirectional winding mechanism, but still efficient and, thanks to the friction bearing, particularly resistant to wear.
An automatic winding mechanism powers the two barrels, which can keep moving for five days when fully wound. The rate is remarkably constant throughout. Amplitudes drop from an average of 300 degrees when fully wound to 240 degrees on the fifth day. To achieve this level of performance, two large barrels with long mainsprings are required. Two barrels are arranged in series and they take about half the movement. Each barrel can store 60 hours of energy. As the torque is low the system provides efficient management of power and thus reduces stress on the gear train, which limits wear. The efficiency of power transmission is also increased thanks to the new gear design. In total, the movement uses 85 percent of the energy provided by the barrels. The average is usually 70 percent.
At the other end of the power line, we find a completely new escapement. The pallet fork and escape wheel are made of silicone and match each other perfectly. Non-ferrous alloys were chosen for the shafts, as well as for the balance wheel. More than 30 of the total 135 parts are made of such materials. This generally reduces the effect of magnetism on the Caliber 400 compared to traditional Swiss movements. Oris claims this reduction to be 90 percent. In collaboration with the Laboratoire Dubois testing lab, Caliber 400 was pressure tested at a total of 2,250 gauss for one day. After that, the rate pulled back in less than 10 seconds. By comparison, a soft iron cage, such as that used by Rolex for its Milgauss, for example, provides up to 1,000 gauss of magnetic protection. According to the current ISO 764 standard, a watch is antimagnetic if it does not deviate more than 30 seconds per day after exposure to 200 gauss. Not only does the range no longer look fresh, but the Oris Caliber 400 turns at less than a third of its stated rate at 11 times the load.
We conducted the following test in our office. For a period of time, we subjected the watch to a field of about 1,000 gauss, a level that a mild-iron cage can withstand and a level that a person would encounter in everyday life. During this test, the amplitude dropped significantly and the watch rate was disrupted. This is completely normal and something we have seen during other magnetic field tests (for example, watches from Certina or Mido). Diffusion fully normalized only shortly after the field was removed. As stated by the manufacturer, the rate is equalized with a deviation of -7 seconds. It inspires confidence and is definitely better than standard. After the magnetic field was removed, everything returned to the “green range”.
This range is around 3 seconds per day, as our Acquis Date Caliber 400 showed in real-life testing on the wrist, where it is normally fully wound. In an electronic timing machine, it showed the same rate as when fully wound. As the power reserve dwindled, the rate remained constant on the second and third day, at about 2 seconds per day. On the fourth day, the watch showed no deviation at all and only on the fifth day it went into the minus range. These are very good results including dispersion and location differences as mentioned earlier. The watch is adjusted with the proprietary Oris system, already established in its in-house hand-wound movements: a screw-driven pinion engages with a curved rack to control the regulator.
10 year warranty for Caliber 400
Oris is so sure of this advanced technology that the company guarantees the Aquis Date Caliber 400 and all future watches with this movement with a 10-year warranty. “Caliber 400 is a new standard,” says Oris CEO Rolf Studer. “There is nothing comparable. Thanks to its structural solutions, we not only offer a 10-year warranty, but also a long service interval,” he adds with justifiable pride, along with the traditional water-resistance tests required of the Oris Aquis. Date Caliber 400 as a professional dive watch.
The threaded caseback and screw-down crown contribute to the specified water resistance of 300 meters, which is nicely protected by a screwed crown guard. Given its dimensions and large lateral grooves, the crown is easy to grasp and unscrew from its locked position. In the middle position it allows the wearer to quickly adjust the date. As usual, the date display appears at the 6 o’clock position — now with white numerals on a black ring, which complements the black tone of the gradient dial and the large window. This means the date ring is stretched and requires more power to move forward. In daily use, the date begins its visible movement one hour before midnight and reaches the next position approximately at this time. When setting the time, we noticed that the minute hand flew slightly when the crown was pulled out. Here we used an old watchmaker’s trick: when setting the watch, thanks to the modern stop-seconds mechanism in Caliber 400, first move the minute hand slightly back to ensure an accurate setting for the second.
The Aquis Date Caliber 400 comes with a high quality steel bracelet and Oris’ own “quick strap change” technology, which has become more or less the norm these days and not just for functional sports watches. Here, a rigid flap is fed onto the bar and locked securely with an audible click. All it takes is a fingernail to open and release it. Unlike other systems, it inspires confidence as does the solid action of the folding clasp, which opens with the push of push buttons on either side and features an integrated, 20-mm dive extension. For those who prefer to go into the water with a rubber strap, the “quick strap change” system works well. The length of the stainless-steel bracelet can be adjusted to the exact wrist size using several screwed elements at the clasp.
Caliber 400 responds to everyday demands
The Aquis Date is a professional dive watch, down to the last link of its highly functional stainless-steel bracelet, and for good reason, chosen as the first to be equipped with the innovative Caliber 400. Robust, stylish, technologically up to date and offered at an affordable price, it reflects the Oris philosophy. Equipped with Caliber 400, it offers added value for its customer: constant rate results, high power reserves, reliable antimagnetic protection and long service intervals. It is like a famous athlete who, with a newfound inner strength, is at the top of its game and able to easily respond to the demands of modern day-to-day life.
Manufacturer: Oris SA, Ribigasse 1, 4434 Holstein, Switzerland
Reference Number: 01 400 7763 4135-07 8 24 09PEB
Duties: Hours, minutes, center sweep seconds, date, dive bezel, screw-down crown
Movement: Oris Caliber 400, automatic, 28,800 vph, 21 jewels, copper beryllium gold-plated balance, iron / nickel / chrome alloy hairspring, two-part eccentric (with screw), inblock shock absorption, 120-day (5-hour) power reserve , diameter = 30.0 mm, height = 4.75 mm
Case: Stainless steel with curved sapphire crystals, dome on both sides, anti-glare coating inside (top), sapphire crystal on caseback, water resistance up to 300 meters
Bracelet and Cuff: Stainless-steel bracelet, simple folding clasp with fold-out dive extension, Oris “quick strap change” system
Rate the results (Deviation in seconds at 24 hours, complete injury/24 hours):
+3.1 on the wrist
Dial up +2.9 / -0.1
Dial down +4.8 / +1.7
Crown Up +1.8 / +3.2
Crown Down +3.9 / +1.7
Crown left +3.6 / +3.7
The greatest deviation is 3.0 / 3.8
Average deviation is +3.4 / +2.0
Flat positions are 318° / 309°
Hanging positions are 290° / 278°
Measurements: Diameter = 43.51 mm, Lug Width = 25 mm, Height = 13.27 mm, Weight = 178.0 grams
Variations: With gasket (ref 01 400 7763 4135-07 4 24 74EB, $3,300)