For many years, Oris has been campaigning to protect and conserve the world’s oceans as part of a mission to bring change for the better. But we continue to see signs that there is so much work still to do.
Together with our customers and retail and media partners, we want to bring meaningful change to the state of the world’s water. In that vein, we are proud to introduce the Oris Aquis Date Relief into our collection of high performance Aquis diver’s watches, and a new partnership with the expedition swimmer and water ambassador Ernst Bromeis.
Ernst took the Oris Aquis Date Relief to Lake Baikal with photographer Maurice Haas for a preparation swim ahead of his 2019 project ‘The Blue Miracle’, which will see him swim across a number of lakes, including Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, to raise awareness of the world’s water.
The Oris Aquis Date Relief is inspired by the colour and feeling of water. The grey dial recalls the colour of a stormy sea, while the watch’s signature diving scale numerals in relief are a reminder of the texture of water, as well as its elemental role in all life.
The watch shares its architecture and performance values with the Oris Aquis Date. It has a 43.50 mm (1.713 inches) stainless steel case with a uni-directional rotating diver’s bezel and is water-resistant to 30 bar (300 metres). It comes on a choice of straps or a metal bracelet, and its sapphire crystal sits over a dial decorated with applied hour markers, which, like the hour and minutes hands, are filled with luminescent Super-LumiNova®.
Its Swiss Made automatic mechanical movement provides it with a central second’s hand – in urgent red – and a date, seen through a window at 6 o’clock. Oris and Ernst are going their own way through this project to educate thousands of people about the need to conserve the world’s water – before it’s too late.
The shape of water
Water sustains all life. Oris works with non-profit organizations to bring change and is increasing its efforts to educate the world about the challenges facing our water.
Just how bad is the situation facing the world’s rivers, seas and oceans? And how much does it matter to the world’s population?
Some of the statistics are stark. According to the World Health Organization, 3.4 million people die every year as a result of preventable water-related diseases, most of them children. The Pacific Institute, a global water think tank, reports that in developing countries, an estimated 90 per cent of sewage and 70 per cent of industrial waste is discharged into waterways without any treatment at all.
And news reports detail stories of dead sea creatures found with stomachs full of plastic. While much is being done to improve the quality of the world’s waters, there are fears that the scale of the problem is only just becoming apparent. We must act now – before it’s too late. Oris continues to work with non-profit organizations on projects that bring real change. In the last few years, we’ve worked with the Coral Restoration Foundation to replant coral; with Pelagios Kakunjá to protect endangered shark species; and with conservationists looking to secure UNESCO World Heritage Site status and protection for Clipperton Island, the world’s most remote atoll, which sits on a critical migration route for a number of threatened species.
Oris has also introduced a watch strap made from a material called r-Radyarn®, which is produced from post-consumer recycled polymer in a process that requires significantly less energy and water than conventional manufacturing methods. But there is much more we want to do, can do and will do.
One of the benefits of Oris’s independence is being able to respond quickly to customers’ needs. But it also means we can go our own way and make high-impact choices that deliver change that makes a measurable difference. The Oris Aquis Date Relief and our mission to Lake Baikal with expedition swimmer Ernst Bromeis is the next step in a journey towards a future where the world is full of clean water.
The Blue Miracle
Expedition swimmer and Oris ambassador Ernst Bromeis plans to swim 800 km across Lake Baikal as part of his new global water awareness campaign.
Ernst, tell us what you do and why. I’m an expedition swimmer. I’ve swum the greatest lakes in Switzerland and the length of the Rhine, more than 1,200 km. I’m also a water ambassador, meaning I try to bring the fundamental importance of water to people. My new global water campaign is searching for new water ambassadors to increase reach and awareness. It’s time to act!
What is ‘The Blue Miracle’? It’s a project I founded, inspired by the planet viewed from space, which looks like a blue marble and for me a blue miracle. Every life on our blue planet is based on water.
What’s behind the Lake Baikal swim? In 2019, I’ll start my global water campaign, which should reach the whole world. Lake Baikal is the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake. Locals call it ‘the holy sea’ or ‘the source of the world’.
How far have you swum on Baikal? During my research I swam short distances. It was more about looking for a relationship with the ‘holy sea’. And I found it! I also met the locals, including Sascha, a fisherman. He said: ‘You can’t swim this lake. It’s too dangerous. Too stormy. Too cold.’ But it’s ok. Water temperatures in the summer will be about 12 degrees. Things like what he said keep me motivated to find my own way.
What impact have your swims had so far? I don’t have an objective statistic. This is about touching people – that’s the basic principle behind getting change started.
Are your swims ever dangerous? There is always danger in the open water and I’m often afraid. I could drown every time. Swimming the Rhine I came across strong currents, rocks, huge ships and factories lining the shore. I felt small and vulnerable. I was once saved by a boat when I swam too close to some hydraulic power turbines.
What threats to water have you witnessed? During my Lake Baikal research I saw a lot of bottles, plastic and other trash. The threats you can’t see are maybe the bigger tragedy – all the pesticides, hormones, micro plastics and medicines in the water. Each year the Rhine is contaminated with 30 tons of micro plastic.
How do we solve the plastics problem? The more news, the better – we need way more information about this topic. We have to take responsibility for our way of life, our lifestyle. Create bottle free zones with your freshwater from the tap. Don’t take a shower or a bath every day. This way you can save water and energy – and your money.
Why did you choose to work with Oris? Oris is an authentic and freedom-loving brand. Oris and I have similar attitudes and values. We are both going our own way, inspired by beauty and simplicity, and by the basics of life.
How did the Oris Aquis Date Relief perform? During my research in Siberia, the Oris Aquis Relief worked well. I’m convinced that it will also do a great job during the Baikal Expedition swim. I trust in Oris’s work and art.
The Other Side Of The Lens
Legendary photographer Maurice Haas covered Ernst Bromeis’s Lake Baikal preparation swim. Here, he explains why he got involved.
Maurice, tell us a bit about yourself. I’m a child of the 1970s and I grew up in the beautiful Swiss mountain town of Chur.
How did you get into photography? I often used to take pictures of friends when we were snowboarding in the winter and skateboarding on the streets in summer. After I graduated from school, I started an apprenticeship with a local architecture firm, but at the same time I started developing film and doing my own black and white prints. And I just got hooked. After I finished my apprenticeship and a spell in the army, I got a job as Hannes Schmid’s assistant and travelled the world with him. It was tough, but I loved it, and in 2001 I stepped out on my own and became a full-time photographer.
When you’re behind the camera, what are you looking to capture? I try to capture moments that are bare and honest. I always try to be quiet, yet ready. It’s about what happens in between – that’s where the moment is. I try and transport a feeling. I’m always trying.
How did you meet Ernst and why did you sign up to his Baikal Expedition project? I first met and shot Ernst about six years ago and we had an immediate connection. I’ve always been in awe of him and what he stands for. When he asked me to go to Baikal with him, I didn’t hesitate for a second. His message is so important. It was an honor to be a part of it.
What was the preparation swim shoot like? It was great – but challenging! In the space of three days, it went from being summer to winter. In Siberia, there are no spare parts, no rental for forgotten equipment, so we had to be properly prepared and pack wisely.
Why is it so important to think about the state of the world’s water?
It doesn’t matter who you are, water affects us all. Every human being needs water. And nature is soul – it’s everything we have to protect us. Right now, I’m very concerned about the water situation on our planet. There is so much plastic in the water. It’s a real problem.
Why did you choose to work with Oris? Even though we’d had very little contact, we clicked right from the beginning. I like the claim – #GoYourOwnWay. That says a lot about my life and what I do with a camera. I also liked Oris’s mission to raise awareness about water. That’s so important right now. And by happy coincidence, I have family who come from Hölstein, too.
Your thoughts on the Oris Aquis Date Relief? It’s a simple watch, but it’s beautiful, and extremely tough. It was a great partner on the shoot, and of course, I love that it’s supporting Ernst and his honest commitment. And when you’re somewhere like Lake Baikal, which is really unforgiving, you need that kind of partner.