Oris is on a mission to bring change for the better, particularly to the world’s oceans.
The independent Swiss watch company has been supporting and championing ocean conservation programmes for years, most recently through The Oceans Project, which raises awareness and funds for pioneering agencies with game-changing visions.
The latest expression of Oris’s mission is the Blue Whale Limited Edition, the third and final piece in the Oris Ocean Trilogy, a trio of watches based on the Oris Aquis diver’s watch. The new watch is limited to 200 pieces and will only be available as part of a set delivered in a unique presentation case made of recycled PET plastic bottles (right).
The first two pieces in the trilogy were announced at Baselworld this year. The Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III and the Clean Ocean Limited Edition have been made in partnership with the Reef Restoration Foundation andPacific Garbage Screening respectively (see page 8).
While those watches focused on restoring coral reefs and cleaning the world’s waters, the Blue Whale Limited Edition turns to the plight of whales, and in particular to protecting the world’s largest animal.
Even after decades of campaigning and greater protection, six out of 13 great whale species are classified as endangered.
Over 1,000 whales are killed every year for commercial purposes, despite a moratorium on commercial whaling and a ban on international trade of whale products.
It’s thought that there are now as few as 10,000 blue whales left in our oceans. These magnificent creatures sit at the top of the food chain, eat four tonnes of krill a day, and can measure up to 30 metres (100 feet) in length and weigh up to 200 tonnes, equivalent to 33 elephants. Their hearts pump 5,300 litres of blood around their bodies and their songs have been recorded at 188 decibels, more than 40 decibels louder than a jet engine.
If we can’t protect the blue whale, what hope is there for the health of our planet?
With this focus, Oris is proud to announce that the Blue Whale Limited Edition is produced in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the leading charity devoted to the protection of whales and dolphins.
‘We’ve been very intentional about our mission to bring change for the better,’ says Oris co-chief executive Rolf Studer. ‘The environmental challenges the world faces are real, and we believe that both individuals and corporate entities have a responsibility to overcome them. The Blue Whale Limited Edition is a very special watch, produced in unusually small quantities for Oris, and the perfect symbol of the dangers facing the blue whale. We’re extremely proud to be working with Whale and Dolphin Conservation and look forward to seeing the change our partnership will bring.’
Turning trash into treasure
The story behind the Oris Ocean Trilogy box
The process begins with used plastic bottles. Only chemically inert recycled plastic waste is selected
Plastic bottles are shredded into small pieces
Pieces are arranged by hand and then pressed into a panel. Each panel is unique
The panels are cut to size and assembled into the Oris Ocean Trilogy presentation box’s outer shell.
The giant of the deep
The mighty blue whale is the world’s largest animal, but its future is under threat. Oris announces a partnership with the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation aimed at protecting these majestic creatures
The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet. But after centuries of poor treatment, the species is currently listed as endangered.
Oris’s new partner, the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), has been funding vital research and conservation projects for 30 years. It calculates there were once around 350,000 blue whales in our oceans, but pre-industrial hunting decimated the population, and it’s thought there are now only between 10,000 and 25,000 left.
While blue whales are no longer threatened by commercial whaling, other threats such as fishing nets, environmental changes that lead to habitat loss, and the noise created by anthropogenic activities are all threats to their survival. WDC is working to conserve the blue whale by creating healthy seas and preventing deaths in nets.
WDC is involved in projects all over the world looking to combat these threats. The charity works with local authorities and tour operators off the coast of Sri Lanka where whales are at risk of vessel strikes. It also contributes to a research project on blue whales by the International Whaling Commission in the Antarctic Peninsula. WDC scientists are part of a team there collecting vital information through visual surveys – photo IDs, videotracking – and passive acoustic monitoring.
The Oris Blue Whale Limited Edition supports WDC’s work. Based on the Oris Aquis diver’s watch, it has a 45.50 mm stainless steel case water-resistant to 50 bar (500 metres), an aqua blue ceramic bezel and a graduated aqua blue dial. Inside it is an automatic Swiss Made chronograph movement, powering the first ever Aquis 3, 6 and 9 chronograph dial layout. The case back carries an embossed blue whale and the limited edition number. Only 200 pieces will be made, and the watch is only available as part of the Oris Ocean Trilogy set, which comes in a special presentation box made of recycled PET plastic.
The blue whale lives in deep ocean and is rarely seen close to shore. It’s the world’s largest, loudest, longest and heaviest animal
A fine appetite
A blue whale can eat 40 million krill every day
A blue whale calf drinks over 500 litres of milk each day
Heart of the matter
The major blood vessel of a blue whale’s heart is so big that a human could crawl through it
A blue whale can weigh up to 200 tonnes, as much as 33 elephants
Scientists have recorded blue whale song at 188 decibels, much louder than a jet engine
Watching out for whales
Fabian Ritter, a marine biologist at Oris’s new partner Whale and Dolphin Conservation explains why we have to conserve the blue whale
Tell us about Whale and Dolphin Conservation and how you’re involved
Whale and Dolphin Conservation, or WDC, is the leading charity dedicated to the protection of whales and dolphins. It was founded in 1987 in England and has offices in Germany, Scotland, the USA, Australia and Argentina. We work globally through campaigns, lobbying, advising governments, conservation projects, field research, rescue, education and much more. I’m a marine biologist with 25 years’ experience in cetacean research, and I’m the WDC’s German office lead on marine conservation.
Why do we need to protect blue whales?
Blue whales are iconic animals and a symbol of the plight of our planet. You could say that saving blue whales for the long-term would give us hope. Ecologically, blue whales play an important role in the ecosystem, increasing the resilience of the seas. We’re only just beginning to realise how important these large animals are in regulating the equilibrium in the oceans’ ecosystems.
What’s so exceptional about blue whales?
Blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived on this planet. They are long-lived mammals and breathe air, just like us. They are the size of a small airplane, their hearts are as big as a car, and their tongues weigh as much as an elephant. Newborns are seven metres long and increase their weight by 3.5 kg – every hour! Seeing a blue whale is awe-inspiring, and makes us realise there are other (bigger) beings than ourselves.
Where are they found?
You’ll find blue whales in the oceans of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. They’re rarely seen close to shore, as they prefer deep waters. The only places you can find them year-round are Sri Lanka and Antarctica.
What is the blue whale population?
Although there may once have been over 350,000 blue whales in our oceans, pre-industrial hunting decimated their populations and now there are only between 10,000 and 25,000 individuals left. It’s clear they’re still very vulnerable, and in some parts of the world threatened by extinction.
What do we know about their behaviour?
Blue whales have large brains, and are well equipped to orientate in the oceans, find prey and other whales over vast areas, and can remember what happened where in their life. Cetaceans in general are known to be behaviourally flexible, intelligent and conscious animals. They are sentient beings with emotions, thoughts and talents. In some ways, blue whales might be more similar to us than we think…
What are their biggest threats?
Pollution is a big one – toxic chemicals, plastic, litter and oil spills, but also noise pollution, as whales rely on sound to navigate and communicate. Many fishing nets catch everything in their path, even blue whales. Blue whales are relatively slow swimmers and therefore vulnerable to vessel strikes that cause injury and death. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, whale-watching boats get too close and interfere with their natural behaviours, so irresponsible whale watching can also be a threat. And though blue whales are not currently hunted, whalers are constantly pushing for reprieve and pose a risk, trying to wrangle so-called sustainable hunting. Pirate whaling is also a threat.
What is WDC doing to protect them?
Broadly, we educate, advocate and participate in large-scale scientific programmes. What’s key is informing political and business-level decision makers. Our message to everyone is that saving whales helps save the planet – saving whales means saving ourselves!
What can we as individuals do?
Avoiding plastics, buying long-life and ecological products, saving water and using environmentally friendly transportation are as important as reducing fish and meat consumptions – to significantly lower your personal carbon footprint and to avoid by-catch in fishing. And it’s always helpful
to support organisations such as WDC!
How does the Oris partnership work?
It helps us to raise public awareness about this majestic species. With Oris’s generous donation, we will be able to continue our blue whale research and conservation work.
What impressed you about the Oris Ocean Trilogy?
We very much like the idea of a high-quality box made out of recycled plastic. Remembering that blue whales can live for 80 to 90 years, it’s even more important to avoid cheap plastic products that might end up in the ocean. WDC is proud to work with Oris on the protection of blue whales.
“Our message is that saving whales helps save the planet – saving whales means saving ourselves”
The mission continues
Oris’s Oceans Project to bring change for the better aims to clean, protect and restore our oceans through a series of limited edition watches
The Oris Ocean Trilogy is made up of three limited edition watches, each created to shine a light on a pioneering organisation and the vital work it’s doing to either clean, protect or restore the world’s oceans and the source of all life – water.
The newly launched Blue Whale Limited Edition follows two watches already released: the Oris Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III and the Clean Ocean Limited Edition. All three are based on the high-performance Oris Aquis diver’s watch.
The Oris Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III is the third watch made in support of work to conserve the world’s largest reef system.
The Great Barrier Reef has been badly affected by two coral bleaching events in recent years, caused by hot summers that warm the ocean waters to levels that mean corals expel the algae inside them that provides them with food and colour. Unless water temperatures cool, the coral will die.
Through the Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III, Oris supports the Reef Restoration Foundation, a non-profit running coral planting programmes using coral that has survived the bleaching events.
The Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition marks a partnership with Pacific Garbage Screening, which is working on a concept to capture plastic waste in rivers and estuaries before it reaches the ocean and turn it into energy using a spectacular floating platform.
The Oris Ocean Trilogy supports a trio of projects vital to the health of our oceans. It’s limited to 200 pieces and is presented in a special box made using recycled PET plastic.
Top, from left: the blue whale is a symbol of the power and beauty of the oceans; the Reef Restoration Foundation; the recycled plastic medallion in the case back of the Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition. Bottom: Pacific Garbage Screening’s floating platform will prevent plastic entering the ocean and turn it into energy
Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition
The watch supporting Pacific Garbage Screening is a 39.50 mm time and date version of the stainless steel Aquis, and limited to 2,000 pieces. It has a gradient aqua blue dial, a uni-directional rotating bezel, water resistance to 30 bar (300 metres) and a medallion made of recycled PET plastic set into the case back (above left).
Oris Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III
The third Oris watch named after the Great Barrier Reef supports the Reef Restoration Foundation. It has a 43.50 mm stainless steel case, a gradient aqua blue dial, a uni-directional rotating bezel, water resistance to 30 bar (300 metres) and a circular date window with a coral yellow indicator. It’s limited to 2,000 pieces.
Oris Blue Whale Limited Edition
The Oris Blue Whale Limited Edition is the first Aquis chronograph with a 3, 6 and 9 dial layout. The new watch completes the Oris Ocean Trilogy, part of Oris’s ongoing Oceans Project.
Case: Multi-piece stainless steel case, uni-directional rotating bezel with aqua blue ceramic insert
Size: 45.50 mm (1.791 inches)
Dial: Aqua blue
Luminous Material: Hands and indices printed with Super-LumiNova®
Top Glass: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
Case Back: Stainless steel, screwed, embossed with blue whale
Operating Devices: Stainless steel screw-in security crown and pushers
Bracelet: Multi-piece stainless steel bracelet with stainless steel security folding clasp with extension
Water Resistance: 50 bar (500 m)
Number: Oris 771
Functions: Centre hands for hours, minutes and chronograph 1/4 seconds, three subsidiary dials for continuous seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters, date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
Power-Reserve: 48 hours
Oris Ocean Trilogy
Limited edition of 200 pieces, each presented alongside the Oris Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III and the Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition in a box with an outer shell made of recycled PET plastic bottles.
Brushed and polished stainless steel metal bracelet with stainless steel security folding clasp with extension.
Aqua blue ceramic uni-directional rotating bezel.
Automatic Swiss Made chronograph movement with 48-hour power reserve
Limited to 200 pieces.
Aqua blue gradient dial with 3, 6 and 9 layout, a first in the Aquis line.
The Oris Blue Whale Limited Edition is only available as part of the ‘Oris Ocean Trilogy’.
45.50 mm stainless steel case.