Founded in 1962, by professional diver Frederic Robert, the Aquastar brand announces its relaunch today with a faithful re-edition of the Deepstar Chronograph.
Many watch brands go back to the past to introduce something new. And there are varying degrees at which the historic design elements of a watch are carried forward to a modern wristwatch. In the case of Aquastar, their first new watch — under the leadership of the same company that brought Doxa back — is incredibly close to the original.
Introducing the 2020 Deepstar Chronograph Re-Edition, presented in a 40.5 mm diameter stainless steel case by 14 mm thick, has pump pushers, flat angular flanks, a domed sapphire crystal, screw-in caseback, screw-down crown, and a water-resistance rating to 200 meters. Interestingly, the chronograph can be operated underwater, which is not unheard of but is more of an exception than the norm, and that the brand says is “a rare hallmark of a true dive chronograph.”
“A prolific diver, sportsman, and innovator, every Aquastar watch designed and produced by Robert in the 1960s held groundbreaking patents not yet deployed in wristwatch applications. These patents included water-resistant crown designs, inner rotating bezels, and special “no decompression” calculation bezels that could be used for multiple dives – all unique functions tailored to a professional diver’s exacting needs,” according to Aquastar.
Like the original, the stainless steel case features a rotating bezel with the brand’s own “no decompression” table — engraved and filled with black lacquer — that a diver could use to time repeated dives, in addition to calculating the duration of time which could be safely spent at any given depth without needing to incur a time-consuming and potentially dangerous decompression period.
As you can see from the original 1960s Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph pictured, the dial with its distinctive oversized hour markers 12, 6, and 9 to the so-called “mono counter” 30-minutes chronograph subdial at 3 o’clock to the style of the printed chapter ring and luminous dots to the hour, minute, chronograph seconds, and double-sided small seconds hands — everything is true to the original. And that’s a good thing as this watch has a sexy retro design without being derivative of all the cloned designs that existed back then, and still to this day in the Swiss watch world.
The 2020 Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph Re-Edition watch will retail for a significant amount more than the highly faithful re-edition chronographs by Nivada Grenchen, another recently resurrected watchmaker, but part of that is justified by the use of a customized Swiss-made column-wheel actuated La Joux-Perret chronograph versus a more common Sellita movement. The chronograph has Aquastar’s signature 30-minute counter at 3 and a center chronograph seconds hand, and works in conjunction with the engraved decompression scale on the bezel — plus as mentioned above, it can be operated underwater.
Available in three dial options: blue ray, steel gray, and vintage black — each Aquastar Deepstar Re-Edition will be produced in a limited opening series of 300 individually numbered pieces. Each watch comes with a tropical rubber and Horween leather strap (22 mm interlug width). Retail is $2,790 (pre-order) and deliveries start this month.
Learn more at www.aquastar.ch.