Oris just released their latest limited edition version of their popular Aquis dive watch, the super cool new Whale Shark limited edition! This new watch is the the most recent member in a long series of ocean conservation limited editions, and this one was created to support the beautiful, but endangered, whale shark.
The really special feature of this new LE is its amazing new sharkskin-themed dial, which really sets it apart from earlier ocean conservation watches since those tended to use gradient dials. It’s also a good place to point out that this is a GMT watch, allowing the wearer to track multiple timezones, but the main reason I like this GMT complication is the orange accent against the blue dial.
That color scheme extends to the triangle you see on the black bezel at 12:00. I think the bezel looks great as well, thanks to the subtle change to a dark blue-green hue for the lower half. Oris always seems to nail the color on these ocean conservation models, and they tend to be the best looking of all the Aquis watches. Predictably, the size doesn’t change for the new LE, remaining at 43.5mm. In my opinion, that’s large, but not comically so, and pretty appropriate given the overall attitude of the watch.
On the back of the watch you’ll find a unique steel case back as opposed to a view of the movement, but that’s befitting the dive watch motif anyway. Inside is the Oris 798, their version of the Sellita SW 330-1. I suspect that the new Cal. 400 wasn’t used simply because no GMT version exists of it yet, and might not for some time. Movement aficionados might opt instead for the non-LE Aquis with the 400 inside, but to do so requires giving up the genuinely cool dial and GMT complication.
The new Whale Shark limited edition is a fresh new look on an existing watch rather than a radical overhaul, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It is, after all, what we at TLW do with most of our own limited editions. If you already liked the Oris Aquis, you’ll probably like this, and aesthetically speaking, it may be my favorite of the current Aquis models. I’m a sucker for textured dials and I love this color combination.
The tricky question for me is whether that alone is worth it to switch away from the new Cal. 400 model. I think the answer to that will be complicated by the fact that the new LE costs $3,200, just $300 less than the Cal. 400 Aquis. That said, if you value the GMT complication, or just love how it looks, I’d probably go with this limited edition. After all, you’ll have many chances in the coming years to buy new Cal. 400 models, but this one, a limited edition of 2,016 pieces, might be quite a bit more difficult to find down the road.