We need another dive watch on the market in the same way that we need more green dials, limited editions, or automotive watch collaborations. This dive watch from freshly resurrected French label Jacques Bianchi is one that actually might be worthy, though.
Introducing the Jacques Bianchi JB200, or should I say re-introducing. Based very closely on the original model from the 1980s, this modern re-edition has the looks of the past with the benefits of a modern case, movement, and dial.
Speaking of the dial, the outsized diver motif that dominates the dial, much like the Black Panther covers the majority of the Audemars Piguet Concept dial. At first look, it seemed like this was yet another bland, low-quality derivative design like we receive releases for continuously. However, on second and third glances, the look started to appeal.
As I looked at the circular brushed finished of the 42 mm x 13.3 mm stainless steel case (larger than 1980s model), with its left-hand position crown (at 9 o’clock) and prominent yet not unwieldy crown guards — the aesthetic grew on me more and more. Like a Seiko Turtle but with a French-aesthetic and a more svelte profile.
Speaking of Seiko, a Seiko caliber NH35 automatic movement powers this time-only watch. No superfluous date needed, just hours, minutes, and center seconds. The dial has white printed (luminous) indices and minute/second graduations. A duplicate minute/second ring has also been printed on the flange. A mixture of steel lance-shaped, arrow-shaped, and rectangle-tipped hands indicate the hours, minutes, and seconds, respectively. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, which is good as not every watch in this price range comes with a sapphire crystal.
This a dive watch so naturally there’s a unidirectional rotating dive bezel (with luminous graduations), a screw-in caseback, and a screw-down crown. The water resistance is rated down to 200 meters. A 20 mm tropical-style black rubber strap with perforations and a pin buckle closure is standard.
Although the quality relative to the price point is always hard to judge solely based on images. If Jacques Bianchi can deliver a solid build quality and keep the price around $1,000 — this watch could be a winner on Kickstarter and beyond (goes live June 15th at $599 presale price).
Photos by Jacques Bianchi.