Tool watches are pretty straightforward, timepieces designed for a specific task other than timekeeping, the most common of which is diving. After all, watches aren’t really meant to be crushed by 300m of water. There are a lot of them nowadays, but you could argue that pretty much all serious divers – and tool watches in general – can trace their genesis to Aquastar, a brand that’s coming back in a big way.
The relaunch of the iconic Aquastar name comes with one flagship timepiece: the Deepstar. Vintage versions are around and have a cult following for being one of the most unique diving watches ever built, thanks to the bezel that makes a return in the 2020 edition.
The bezel is used to measure decompression times across dives, something that is only otherwise possible via a specialised computer. I’m not about to go into too much detail about how it works – if you dive, you already know, if you don’t, it doesn’t matter – but needless to say it’s a technical marvel that, apparently, matches up to French navy diving tables.
There’s more to love in the Deepstar beside that bezel though; available with black, grey or blue dials, the charming, overtly 60s case is a flawless stand-in for the archival models – as are the chunky retro hour markers at 12, 6 and 9. The hand at 9 o’clock, in case you were wondering, is a running indicator, a quick reference to know that you’re not screwed mid-dive.
Inside is a custom La Joux-Perre calibre equipped with a column wheel chronograph and a solid, 55-hour power reserve and a skeletonised rotor, everything you want in a tool chrono.
Supplied with both a matching Tropic rubber strap and a dressier leather number, the Deepstar 2020 is as instantly-recognisable as the original and makes for a fantastic launchpad for the new Aquastar Era.
Price & Specs:
Model: Aquastar Deepstar 2020 Re-Edition
Case/Dial: 40.5mm diameter x 14.8mm height, 316L stainless steel, sunray-brushed grey or blue or matte black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Swiss made calibre, mono-compax column wheel mechanical chronograph movement, automatic, 28 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 55h
Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, operation indicator at 9 o’clock, 30 minute stop watch sub counter at 3 o’clock, chronograph
Strap: Tropic rubber with signed Aquastar buckle with additional Horween shell cordovan leather strap, steel BOR bracelet expected for January 2021
Price/availability: £3,390 (pre-order price: £2,590)