t’s not easy being green” is a phrase coined by Kermit the Frog, that has become oddly relevant in the watch industry today after Oris in March launched their ProPilot X Kermit Edition in collaboration with Disney.
Being green, however, is proving to be not that hard for the Hölstein manufacturer. In August, Oris launched not one but two environmentally-conscious Aquis watches. First, the Oris X Bracenet Aquis Date in collaboration with a German social enterprise that makes accessories from upcycled fishing nets. Furthermore, Oris launched the Oris Dat Watt Edition II with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, a governing body dedicated to protecting the largest tidal flats system in the world, shared by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.
A saltwater tidal delta, the Wadden Sea consists of sand flats, mostly uncovered at low tide, intersected by deep channels. It connects with the North Sea through inlets between the West Frisian Islands, and doesn’t look like anything else in northern Europe. What makes this place so special for many is its endless horizons, changing colours on an hourly basis from green to blue to gray. The vast salt marshes and sand flats - the word wad is Frisian and Dutch for “mud flat” (Low German and German: Watt, Danish: Vade) are rightly famous for their rich flora and fauna, especially birds.
The two new releases align with Oris’ plan to reduce the brand’s carbon emissions by 10 percent a year between 2022-2025 (read its latest sustainability report here). The result is two Aquis Date watches with distinct personalities albeit both are equipped with striking blue-green dials. The Dat Watt II, a limited edition with a closed caseback as opposed to the Bracenet, is furnished with a geographical image of the Wadden Sea.
Europa Star: Oris’ first Dat Watt edition from 2021 sold out almost immediately. Were you surprised?
Rolf Studer: We were pleased how well the first Dat Watt limited edition was received. First of all, it’s a beautiful watch with the interesting pointer moon complication; together with the support for the good cause of the conservation of the trilateral world heritage site it made for an interesting package.
Why make a second edition of the Dat Watt watch now?
To continue to help this unique habitat we just renewed the partnership with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, the organization conserving and protecting the Wadden Sea. And this is of course a wonderful reason to bring change for the better with a second limited edition. With this renewal we support not only the Wadden Sea Secretariat’s work to protect the Wadden Sea, but as well their efforts in educating children. The second edition is a strong symbol for the incredible richness of nature that you can discover at the Wadden Sea. The salt marshes, the heart of the vital ecosystem with about 2.300 species of flora and fauna and a natural storage of CO2, were the inspiration for the dial.
There is already a wait list for this edition. Why do the Dat Watt watches appeal to consumers?
They are beautiful watches and they stand for a purpose – two things today’s watch customer is looking for.
How did you make the blue-to-green gradient dial?
The gradient dial is a vital element of our Dat Watt watches. It symbolizes this very special habitat, it is beautiful, unexpected, and meaningful. How we make it remains our secret! At this point, you might be able to understand that I prefer to talk about the inspiration only. We were aiming to bring with the gradient of the dial colours the symbol of nature alive. To discover this beauty on your wrist brings pure joy. To experience it live at the Wadden Sea must be even better.
Why an off-centre small seconds display?
The off-centre small second is a signature Oris complication that we have been using in our dive watches for a long time.
Oris’ Multicolored Aquis with PET dials are not limited editions. Why make this one limited?
With every partnership we evaluate the relevance for creating a limited edition. As the Wadden Sea is such a unique and important location, it was awarded in 2009 with the World Heritage Site status. This number marks the limitation of this edition.
How does this release help the Wadden Sea?
Oris is supporting the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat to increase the efforts to protecting and conserving the Wadden Sea. It’s our goal to bring change for the better together with our partners and our community.
Europa Star was invited by Oris and the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat to the launch of the Dat Watt 2 watch in Fanø, The Wadden Sea, in August 2023.