This is the first watch from Oris that has a cloisonné enamel dial and it shows the Dragon King’s underwater palace. Unlike the usual watches from Oris where it always serves a purpose and tries to stay as close as it can to the design, this watch does not feature any hour markers and even the unidirectional bezel features no numbers but single batons in five-minute intervals. It can be argued that this Sun Wukong Artist Edition Aquis’s only purpose is to showcase that beautiful dial and I cannot complain.
I have never heard of the term cloisonné before and learning about it makes it easier to understand why the watch is limited to such few pieces and the justification for the price. The cloisonné process involves using silver wire to outline over a white gold base and then glass powder in different shades fill the spaces and enters the kiln at 800o Celsius. Since enamel has a very high fail rate, this particular dial is made by a single artist and it takes three days to create each dial. Which explains why the watch is only limited to 72 pieces worldwide. The 72 also has a different meaning as this reflects the number of shapes Sun Wukong can appear in. The dial is based on the Dragon King’s underwater palace in the animated film The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven (1961).
The watch comes in a case size of 41.5mm and the entire case is made out of stainless-steel and features domed sapphire crystal and features a water resistance of 300m. The watch is powered by the Oris 400 automatic movement that has an impressive power reserve of 120 hours or 5 days. The case back features a Monkey King engraving and the individual number out of 72. The unidirectional bezel has a matte metallic insert and only features single batons at five-minute intervals except for the 12 o’clock position that has a double baton featured. This is one of the most muted bezels that Oris features which serves its purpose as to make sure that all eyes are on the dial. The dial as mentioned is white-gold plated with cloisonné enamel decoration done by hand, and the hour, minute and second hands feature SuperLuminova BG W9.
I am definitely biased when it comes to this watch as it is definitely a favourite of mine from Oris, but I know a lot of people will not be happy about the price and even the look, though I do hope in the future more dial designs using the same technique comes out in the future. The watch is only limited to 72 pieces worldwide and comes priced at €23,500.