Hands-On – Momotaro x Oris Divers 65 Special Edition

At 40mm, this watch is going to fit just about everyone.

The Skinny

  • 40mm – perfect for so many wrists
  • $2200.00 US – given the fit and finish, a perfectly reasonable price
  • Auto-Winding Mechanical ORIS Cal. 733 based on Selita SW-201 – totally solid, easily serviced
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This Watch Is One of The Very Best Special Edition Diver 65s

Of the many Oris Divers 65 collaborative special editions, there are common elements: no date, unique dial colors, 40mm size, and sometimes bronze accents. These watches include the Revolution Magazine edition in orange, the RedBar version in red (duh), the Timeless Luxury version in a muted green, the Topper Jewelers edition with funky numeral dial, a Movember edition, and the slightly more customized Hodinkee version, which uses a hand-wound movement inside a thinner case. The latest Divers 65 special edition is in collaboration with Japanese boutique raw jeans maker Momotaro, and this is the one for yours truly. I’m not sending it back.

I’ve had most of the others on my wrist, too, so let’s start with an overview and assessment of these special editions as a way to set the stage for our assessment (read: overbearing adoration) of the Momotaro x Oris Divers 65.

The Topper Jewelers version uses the original funky numeral dial, excludes the date, and looks fantastic without it. It also includes an orange pip on the bezel and matching seconds-hand tip, a subtle modification that makes this model pop just enough. I’ve had this one on my wrist once for about 30-seconds, and I felt that it was cooler than the standard model with the date.

The Topper x Oris Divers 65 (image from Topper Jewelers).

The Movemeber version moves me because I survived testicular cancer at a very young age. Movember is all about raising awareness of men’s health, with a focus on the cancers that like to go after us dudes. Saving lives aside, this watch is gorgeous, with subtle changes to achieve its look. The gilt accents on the hands and marker surrounds are just enough to warm it up, and overall it’s an understated and instantly meaningful watch. Kudos to this effort on many fronts.

The Movember version of the Divers 65.

The Hodinkee version imitates a ghosted-out Rolex sub, with a pale gray bezel and faded gray dial with aged lume. This watch is badass in every regard. And while Oris didn’t bend over backward adding patina and such, they simply nailed the colorway of faded out Rolexes. The thinness is really slick, too (and anyone who bitches about hand-winding a threaded crown…I mean, c’mon man, really?). Good luck finding one, though; they sold out in 20 seconds.

The Hodinkee x Oris Divers 65 is handwound, thinner, and imitates a ghosted Rolex Sub.

The RedBar version is stunning. Thank goodness they didn’t go with “RedBar” red, but instead with a deep brick red fading to black. It’s just really pretty, not at all obnoxious like some red dial’d watches. The bronze bezel warms it up along with the aged lume. A big design success, but also impossible to find.

The RedBar x Oris Divers 65.

The Revolution special edition looks great in photos, but buyers beware that the actual color is much more pale and matte than the images suggest. It’s a classic case of photo weirdness, and we can probably blame digital photography itself for this inaccuracy. I bought one based on the images, opened the box, showed it to Shelley, took a couple pics, and immediately boxed it back up and sent it back to Singapore. Mine was a totally subjective take, of course, and I’m sure this watch is going to blow a lot of folks’ hair back. I don’t have much hair, so I am exempt, it seems, from this lucky group. But it is odd that of all these special editions the Revolution model remains available. (For the record, the folks at The Rake were both gracious and expedient in enabling my return.)

The Revolution x Oris Divers 65 looks much darker and richer in photos than in person. This is my pic.

We’ve not had the Timeless model in hand, so we can send you over to Worn & Wound for a nice hand’s-on review from my colleague Ed Jelly, whose images I totally trust. In fact, Jelly’s photos should be used as a kind of color-matching standard, as they’re always spot on. Notable here, however, is the use of bright white lume within specially designed markers, as that’s going to distinguish this watch from the Momotaro green version in a big way.

The Timeless Jewelers x Oris Divers 65

The Momotaro x Oris Special Edition

The Momotaro Jeans Divers 65 is fascinating because it’s a collab with a Japanese brand who makes incredible denim products. I’ve never worn a pair of Momotaro denim, but I’ve handled them, and they’re incredible garments. This collaboration lends Oris an urban, international hipness, and it puts these watches right where they belong: with some of the best hand-crafted jeans in the world. It’s an effortless and near-perfect pairing. Just as rugged denim inspired by 20th Century craftsmanship has become high-end fashion, so have dive watches of all kinds, and Oris deserves to be right there contributing to today’s deeply nostalgic hipness.

The Momotaro x Oris Special Edition

The Momotaro Jeans Divers 65 is fascinating because it’s a collab with a Japanese brand who makes incredible denim products. I’ve never worn a pair of Momotaro denim, but I’ve handled them, and they’re incredible garments. This collaboration lends Oris an urban, international hipness, and it puts these watches right where they belong: with some of the best hand-crafted jeans in the world. It’s an effortless and near-perfect pairing. Just as rugged denim inspired by 20th Century craftsmanship has become high-end fashion, so have dive watches of all kinds, and Oris deserves to be right there contributing to today’s deeply nostalgic hipness.

Just as rugged denim inspired by 20th Century craftsmanship has become high-end fashion, so have dive watches of all kinds, and Oris deserves to be right there contributing to today’s deeply nostalgic hipness.

Other than rehashing the Divers 65 40mm watch specs, we’re really only talking about the dial and the strap here. Now, the strap is going to sing for fans of Momotaro, as it is made from their denim and includes the two white block stripes that distinguish a number of their jeans’ back pockets. For those who don’t dig that strap, I’d say put it in the box and rock as many straps as you’d like. In fact, the two-tone bronze + steel bracelet looks fantastic on the RedBar version, and I can only imagine the same would be true of the Momotaro version. You can get this bracelet for about $200, which is downright cheap as far as excellent bracelets go.

Now this denim. Wow! The pouch that this watch comes in is like a mini pair of Momotaro jeans, and that’s no small thing. The pouch is so nice that I just held and stroked it before taking the watch out. This denim made a hell of a first impression. Also, thank you Oris for minimizing your packaging in an effort to help the planet survive. No one needs a fancy box and Mother Earth certainly would prefer we don’t make them anymore. 

…thank you Oris for minimizing your packaging in an effort to help the planet survive. No one needs a fancy box and Mother Earth certainly would prefer we don’t make them anymore. 

Open that pouch, and inside is the sexiest Divers 65 yet. It’s green dial is best described as a kind of mint fade – not exactly a fume dial, but kind of toward the edges where it fades to a medium gray. To get a sense of this color, think of a silvery underside of a green leaf. The silveryness of this color can’t be captured all that well by the camera for whatever reason, but expect a little bit of “haze” over the color, and know that it’s gorgeous. The other color that comes to mind is Bianchi Bicycles famous Celeste Green, a color so cool that I rode Bianchi bikes while racing in Italy simply for the color.

It would be impossible to overstate the beauty and amazing craftsmanship of this strap. I don’t normally love the stock straps on any watch, and I figured I’d not want a denim strap, but this is a huge exception. I’m ready to buy a couple of these straps just to have as backups, as I plan to wear the hell out of this thing. And I’m curious to see how it fades and changes with wear. 

This watch makes me feel…special? I don’t have a better word. I feel special because I feel like an insider of a club that’s so cool, so exclusive, and so international, that wearing the watch is a kind of arrival into hipness for me. I’m not only a huge take-my-money fan of the Oris Divers 65 now, but I’m a fan of Momotaro jeans. I will buy a pair simply based on my short experience with this watch’s pouch and strap. Levis, you shouldn’t have sold your looms to the Japanese because the Japanese now make the best American jeans in the world. Alas…

The silveryness of this color can’t be captured all that well by the camera for whatever reason, but expect a little bit of “haze” over the color, and know that it’s gorgeous.

If you even have the slightest inclination toward this special edition, then I say jump now to a point of sale and get one before they’re all gone. It’s going to be one of those watches that people talk about for years, much like the RedBar and Hodinkee editions, which seem to have also captured the collective imagination of watch fanatics. If you want to feel special, this watch just might be your ticket.