Introducing: The Oris Aquis Clipperton Limited Edition (Live Pics & Pricing)

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By most accounts, Clipperton Island is the most remote coral atoll in the world. Located in the Pacific Ocean, west of South America, the nearest landmass is over 900 kilometers away. To many, it is an unimportant ring of guano-covered rock in the middle of nowhere. But to scientists, it’s a bellwether of human impact on ocean levels and aquatic life, and a case study for the effects of pollution and overfishing. Over its history, Clipperton has been the temporary home to various small human populations, a French military outpost, a Cousteau expedition, and a lot of birds and colorful crabs. And its a catchment for a lot of plastic garbage.

The new limited edition diver on the wrist.

This past spring, an expedition known as Big Migrations 2, led by two Quebecois marine biologists, set out from the southern tip of Mexico, motoring by boat, to visit Clipperton. The team had the ambitious agenda of carrying out a number of scientific studies, both on land, and in the waters surrounding the island. The expedition had the primary goal of documenting the migration patterns of pelagic species in order to support the establishment of a protected marine area to protect these species from overfishing. My colleague (and fellow HODINKEE contributor) James Stacey was lucky enough to tag along for the 16-day expedition at the invitation of Oris Watch Company. During their time there, they cataloged the trash on the island, removed long-line filament from the surrounding reefs, tagged sharks, and dodged aggressive moray eels. Oris was a primary sponsor of the expedition, and this week, at a 2018 preview event in Beaver Creek, Colorado, the brand introduced a limited edition watch celebrating Clipperton Island and commemorating the expedition.

The Clipperton Limited Edition is based on the popular Aquis family of Oris dive watches. It has a 43.5mm stainless steel case rated to 30 bar of water pressure (roughly 300 meters) with a rotating ceramic timing ring bezel. The watch has the familiar Oris cues: prominent crown guards, bright, SuperLuminova-swathed hands and markers, and narrow lugs that take either a proprietary rubber strap or a steel bracelet with foldover pushbutton clasp. The self-winding movement inside comes courtesy of Sellita, decorated by Oris, and called the caliber 733.

The back of the watch features a special commemorative engraving.

This is a robust Aquis diver through and through.

Two features separate the Clipperton Limited Edition from the standard Aquis diver: the dial and the caseback. Up front, the dial has a gradient blue color treatment that catches light to emulate the waters around Clipperton, which drop off around the atoll to 60 meters just offshore. And while I’ve seen gradient blue dials before, this one does seem to bear the most striking resemblance to the way sunlight plays on deep water when you move the watch around. Turning the watch over reveals the engraved caseback with a likeness of Clipperton Island, the latitude/longitude coordinates, and some commemorative text. 

The blue dial emulates the way sunlight plays off deep water.

The Oris Clipperton Limited Edition comes packaged in a box made of 30% algae, a sustainable, natural material that has a nice oceanic tie-in with this special diver’s watch. In speaking with Oris CEO Rolf Studer in Colorado, I learned that Oris is starting to look at the impact of packaging materials for its products and considering other options. This one is just the beginning.

There will be 2,000 Clipperton Limited Editions produced. The watch is priced at $2,000 fitted with the rubber strap and $2,200 on the steel bracelet. The watch will be available starting in February. As for visiting Clipperton Island, it is off-limits except by special permission from the French government, so you might have to be content with the watch.

For more, visit Oris online.

Photos by James Stacey

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