Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake at 1,642 meters which holds 20 per cent of the world's fresh water reserves, is the inspiration behind Swiss brand Oris’s latest limited edition dive watch. Sales of this watch will help generate funds to support Point No. 1, a conservation project run by the Scientific Research Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University. This project is believed to be the longest-running and most detailed environmental water monitoring project in scientific history.
Situated in Siberia, Lake Baikal is believed to be 25 million years old and is home to thousands of species of endemic plants and animals. But over the years, this lake has been under threat from industrial pollution, agricultural run-off and other environmental problems, including nearby mining activities and potential oil and gas exploration.
Oris has used the Aquis diver’s range to help raise awareness about different water-related issues. Past models include the Clipperton, the Source of Life and Staghorn Coral Restoration editions as well as the “Oris Ocean Trilogy”. The Aquis range has been a mainstay of the brand's high-performance diving watches range. It is available in a whole host of choices – dial colors, case sizes, depth-rating, and complications.
The Lake Baikal edition is based on the Aquis Date. It uses a 43.5 mm stainless steel case with the characteristic stubby lugs, screwed-in crown and crown guard. It is fitted with a unidirectional bezel with a polished ceramic blue insert and a double-domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on the inside. The case is water-resistant to 300 meters.
The gradient blue dial is meant to mimic the frozen surface of Lake Baikal. The lighter blue at the center is meant to look like the lake when it’s frozen. The hands that indicate the time and the applied hour markers are filled with SuperLuminova and a date window is placed at 6 o’clock.
The watch is powered by Caliber 733, which based on the Sellita SW 200. The movement has hacking seconds function and instantaneous date and date corrector. The escapement beats at 4 Hz (28,800 vph) and the movement has a power reserve of 38 hours. The movement is not visible because the watch is fitted with a stainless steel caseback. But this is no ordinary caseback, it features an insert that recreates the icy texture of the lake surface in addition the special engravings and limited edition number.
A steel three-link bracelet with alternating polished and brushed surfaces is used to fasten the watch to the wrist. This diver is limited edition of 1,999 pieces – a reference to the year Russia passed the Baikal Law and is available in stores now for €2,150.