At this point it comes as no surprise that Oris is passionate about two things, watches and saving the world’s oceans. In speaking with Oris North America CEO VJ Geronimo earlier this summer (check out the podcast episode here), we learned that Oris’ involvement in environmental conservation began in 2009 with a project supporting the Great Barrier Reef. Since that time, Oris has been involved with several marine life and ocean conservation foundations, producing limited edition watches while raising funds for these causes. Now the brand is teaming up with The Coral Restoration Foundation with their Carysfort Reef limited edition Aquis.
About the Coral Reef Foundation and Carysfort Reef
The Coral Reef Foundation is one of the world’s largest coral reef restoration organizations. Based in Key Largo, Florida, their aim is to reverse the damage that has been done to the Florida Reef Tract. But why are coral reefs so important? Martha Roesler, Chief Development Officer at Coral Restoration Foundation, explains “Although coral reefs cover less than 1 per cent of the Earth’s surface, they are home to 25 per cent of all marine fish species. Coral reefs are a critical part of a healthy ocean and provide essential ecosystem services. Over 70 percent of the oxygen on Earth is produced by the oceans. Coral reefs are important for human subsistence, supporting fisheries that provide protein for billions of people. They form natural barriers that protect shorelines and infrastructure from wave energy and
Carysfort Reef is one of the world’s most iconic coral reefs. Not only was it the the location in which the world’s first color underwater photo was taken, but it has played host to as a primary fishing destination fro several US Presidents. Unfortunately, the beauty and grace that was once Carysfort Reef has gone as it has suffered severe damage and degradation since the 1970s. Using underwater nurseries, the Coral Reef Foundation grow new pieces of coral from fragments and then outplant them back to the reef once they’ve grown to maturity. In the next three years, the foundation hopes to restore a 91,850m2 area of Carysfort Reef, the size of approximately 17 American football fields.
The Oris Aquis Carysfort Reef
You may be wondering why the term “Carysfort Reef” sounds familiar. This is not the brand’s first time partnering with the foundation, not even the first time for 2020. It was in January of this year that Oris introduced a Carysfort Reef limited edition based on the 2019 Aquis GMT. This particular model was a but more unique for the brand as it was set in a solid 18k gold case (check it out here). Limited to just fifty pieces worldwide, three of those were auctioned off with all funds going to the Coral Reef Foundation. In his previously mentioned interview with us, Mr. Geronimo told us a steel model of this watch would be coming….and here it is, the third watch that Oris has produced for the Coral Restoration Foundation!
Oris Carysfort Reef Aquis GMT
- stainless steel
- ceramic bi directional rotating bezel in blue and black (day/night) with GMT scale
- screw down crown
- gradient blue dial
- domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating inside
- specialty engraved caseback
- water resistance of 30 bar (300m)
- stainless steel bracelet with security folding clasp that is expandable -or-
- orange rubber strap with security folding clasp that is expandable
- Oris 798
- automatic calibre
- 42 hour power reserve
- Center hands for hours, minutes, seconds and 24 hours
- date and 24 hour corrector
- 2,000 pieces
- presented in a special box made using sustainable algae
Price / Availability:
- CHF 2,850 (bracelet)
CHF 2,650 (on strap)
- June 2020
Our Initial Thoughts
Let’s be honest, y’all know by now that we are huge fans of Oris and their passion for the environment and saving the world’s oceans. When the gold Carysfort Reef Aquis came out earlier this year, we were mesmerized. This steel version is definitely not disappointing in the least. Oris has taken everything that we loved about the previous version and duplicated it in stainless steel. Firstly, that bezel! Two toned GMT bezels aren’t new to the scene by any means, but the blue and black are incredibly subtle. Instead of using a bright shade of blue as so many brands do, Oris has partnered the black with a dark teal color. An untrained eye in dim lighting wouldn’t even notice it, but the idea that you can take it into brighter light and see the subtle change in color gives the watch a but of mystery, like it has a secret that only you know.
Known for their use of gradient dials, Oris does not disappoint here. The center of the dial has a stunningly vibrant metallic blue color that gets darker as it gets closer to the bezel, matching perfectly. In always paying attention to the little details, Oris has integrated the day/night indications on the bezel to the GMT scale on the dial as well. With half of the scale having white text, the other half has orange text and the scale also has a gorgeous gradient effect. Everything about this piece reminds you of the ocean in some way. Looking at the sunburst blue dial, you cant help but imagine yourself out on the water. The way that the light reflects off of the surface, those shades of blue never ending and going on forever. After all, that’s what this watch is about, our oceans, and Oris did a phenomenal job in capturing that. If the dial wasn’t obvious enough, flipping the watch over and seeing that gorgeous engraved caseback will surely remind you that this watch serves a bigger purpose.
At 43.5mm, the Carysfort Reef GMT isn’t one of the little guys. While we haven’t seen this particular piece in person (yet), Katlen has tried the GMT Aquis before and yes, it’s large. But one of the key characteristics of the Aquis line comes with their short lugs, so while it might feel a bit wide, it still sits well on even a smaller wrist. Combined with the comfort of a rubber strap or stainless bracelet with adjusting clasp and you’re ready to tackle anything in any condition (including hot and humid Tennessee summers).
Fans of the brand have a unique appreciation for what Oris does- quality Swiss made timepieces at reasonable prices. This Carysfort Reef limited edition does just that and so much more. As a society, we have become much more aware of how our actions affect the environment in recent years and of all watch brands, Oris has been at the forefront of making a difference, even down to the box that is biodegradable and eliminates excess waste.
While we may not be tracking business offices in other parts of the world with the GMT complication, we could definitely see ourselves setting that bright orange hand to our favorite vacation destinations while daydreaming of hot days spent in the sand and on the water while getting lost staring at that ocean blue dial.
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