Yeah, you can get pretty decent automatic dive watches for a few hundred bucks any day of the week. Look for Swiss in-house movements, however, and you'll be starting at over a grand. That's why the very few brands that can offer a solid, distinctive diver with their own movement at the lower end of that spectrum are noteworthy, and Oris is one of the leaders. Combining its popular Aquis dive watch with its new automatic movement, the Calibre 400, made for an attractive proposition, but now with a reduced size at 41.5mm, this watch just might be perfect.
It only shrank around 2mm from 43.5mm, but any watch enthusiast knows that can make a big difference. Short lugs make even the full-sized Aquis wear reasonably well on slimmer wrists, and shaving off a little diameter will help the Aquis be a lot more versatile for many more people. (As a fully modern tool watch, you probably don't want this wearing too small the way vintage and vintage-inspired divers do anyway.)
Speaking of vintage-inspired divers, with its new movement and size, the Aquis Calibre 400 looks aimed to compete with the Tudor Black Bay. As Tudor is Rolex's sister brand, that's tough competition, but at a couple hundred dollars less, the Aquis's offers a whopping five days of power reserve and something fully modern in design for those who might be getting some retro fatigue. (If you're looking for an even smaller watch, however, do check out the 39mm Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight.)
Still water resistant to 300m and built like a tank just like others in the Aquis line, the new 41.5mm Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 comes on steel bracelet for $3,500 — and this is the recommended way to go, since the integrated design makes aftermarket strap-swapping tough. On a rubber strap (which requires trimming and which we've found less comfortable), it'll run you $3,300.