By Gordon Henderson
The ocean. Given the science and the effects of global climate change, more than ever is required of us to help the environment. And it is refreshing to see a watch brand do its part to help implement that change, as well. Swiss watch brand Oris is on a mission to bring Change for the Better – a campaign they hope will inspire everyone to make at least one small change in the way he or she treats the environment. Now, they are working with a top ocean photographer to help raise awareness of the endangered whale shark. To that end, Oris releases the Whale Shark Limited Edition watch.
Designed to highlight the threats to the world’s largest fish in the ocean, the Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition was created as part of the brand’s mission to clean, restore and protect the world’s water. The piece is made in support of Oris brand ambassador and underwater photographer Gerardo del Villar who is a renowned explorer. He has focused his photography on whale sharks for more than 15 years. Oris is working with del Villar to support the production of videos of the whale shark to reach a global audience.
Referred to as the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark is not a mammal like the whale. The gentle giants can grow to be as long as a bus (40 feet) and can weigh as much as 20 tons, yet it feeds only on small fish. It’s colors under the water are mesmerizing – blue with shimmering scales. These docile creatures have even allowed swimmers to grab on for a ride. Sadly, the whale shark is an endangered species.
Unfortunately, the abuse of our ocean environment continues and pollution, especially plastic bottles in the waters, is on the rise. The detriment to water wildlife has been terrible, with 2,270 species listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act.
The Oris Change for the Better campaign was born out of the desire to make the changes necessary to save the world’s ecosystem. The importance of the ocean to the global ecosystem cannot be understated. It accounts for three quarters of the earth’s surface, 97% of its water, 99% of the living space by volume and absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide limiting the effects of greenhouse gases. Still the pollution continues. Oris hopes to draw attention to the plight of the whale shark with its newest Whale Shark Limited Edition watch.
The Oris Whale Shark Limited Edition is based on the Oris Aquis GMT diver’s watch and is limited to 2,016 pieces to mark the year that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the whale shark is endangered. The 43.5mm case is stainless steel and features a bidirectional rotating blue and black ceramic bezel with a GMT scale. It is the dial, though, that is so impressive. Oris emulates the whale shark’s skin using a special engraved pattern dial in blue. Befitting a dive watch, the hands and indices have been treated in Super-LumiNova® and the case back features an engraved whale shark with the numbered edition.
The watch features a sapphire crystal, domed on both sides and coated with an anti-reflective treatment to reduce glare. It is water resistant to 300 meters, perfect for diving, and has a stainless steel screw-in security claps. It is offered with a metal bracelet that has a security clasp with extension to go over the wetsuit. The watch is powered by the Oris 798 automatic caliber with 42 hours of power reserve. It offers center hands for hours, minutes and seconds, as well as 24 hours, date window and instantaneous date, day and 24-hour corrector – making it easy to travel to the finest dive points in the world. The piece, which hits stores this month, retails for $3,200.