On Spec: Aquastar Deepstar

The Aquastar Deepstar is not a household name like Rolex or Omega; however, among watch enthusiasts this re-issue has generated genuine buzz. Among dive watch enthusiasts, it might be one of the most anticipated watch events of 2020 and early 2021. The whisper of it conjures images of Cousteau, Marianna’s Trench, and the Trieste Bathyscape—in other words, the Aquastar invokes the Golden Age of maverick ocean exploration when divers pushed the limits of technology and sanity in plumbing the depths.

                Disclaimer: I bought one on sight.

Aquastar Deepstar Synchron Group Rick Marei Dive Chrono Jacques Cousteau
The Original 1960s Aquastar Deepstar

                While I await its delivery, I thought we might take an “on spec” glance at this quirky diving chronograph with heritage chops.

            The latest iteration of Aquastar is a near-identical recreation of the 60s icon. It maintains the skin-diver case, measuring 40.5mm in diameter but bumps the water resistance from 100m in the original to a more robust 200m today. Its dial remains largely unchanged with a clean, asymmetrical sub-dial and a small seconds indicator to balance it out. Its bezel is also faithfully recreated to maintain the unique multiple dive table calculator, based off of French Navy charts of the day.

Aquastar Deepstar Synchron Group Rick Marei Tropic Straps Dive Watch Chronograph
The New Aquastar Deepstar in Blue Ray

                The biggest change in this modern version of the Deepstar is its movement. The original Valjoux 23 has been upgraded to a Swiss Mono-Compax designed by La Joux-Perret, while preserving the column wheel pushers of the vintage brand.

                There are 3 colourways available in the new release: a sunburst black, a faded grey, and an all-new “blue ray.” Each reference comes with matching Tropic straps.      

The Aquastar Deepstar in Sunburst Black on a Tropic Strap

SPECS

Case

  • 316L Stainless Steel
  • 40.5mm in Diameter
  • 50mm Lug to Lug
  • 14.8mm Thickness
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Bi-directional bezel with decompression table calculator
  • 20ATM (200 meters water resistance)

Crystal and Dial

  • Domed Sapphire Triple-Coated with AR
  • Black Sunburst, Grey, or Blue Dial Variants design
  • Applied Stainless Steel Markers
  • High Density Filling Old Light Radium Super-luminova

Movement

  • Mono-Compax Column Wheel Chronograph by La Joux-Perret
  • 28 Jewels
  • 55 Hour Power Reserve

Strap

  • Set of Two: 1 Genuine Tropic with Signed Aquastar Buckle, 1 Seatbelt NATO Strap
Aquastar Deepstar on Optional ISOfrane

Of Interest

If you are a dive watch fan, you will probably recognize the name, Rick Marei. Marei is partially responsible for the revival of Doxa as a dive industry giant, but he has also had a hand in other industry successes such as Aquadive watches, Tropic straps, and ISOfrane. He, along with the Synchron group (who acquired the Deepstar patents and plans), is the driving force behind the new Aquastar Deepstar brand. In an effort to create—or perhaps capitalize—on a new cult following, Marei has limited each of the three Deepstar references to only 300 pieces.

                Pre-order pricing starts at $2790USD.  This deal window closes on December 31st, at the end of the week. Afterward the watches will retail at $3590USD.

Quibbles

The abovementioned price of the Aquastar Deepstar might be a stumbling block for some. Many consider this the industry’s toughest watch bracket, populated by other noteworthy dive brands such as Tudor, Omega, and Panerai. And at a cut below in pricing, you have equally worthy offerings from Oris, Longines, and Seiko.  It will be interesting to see how the Deepstar competes.

Aquastar Deepstar Synchron Group Rick Marei Tropic Straps Dive Watch Chronograph
Diving History

Final Thoughts

Well, as I mentioned from the outset, I bought the Deepstar at the end of November and I am expecting delivery early in the new year. You can expect a full-length, hands-on review in our “Off the Cuff” section then. However, as it stands,  I find the Deepstar to be an exciting offer—a contemporary dive chronograph with a customized movement and historical chops, oozing with vintage aesthetics and retro cool vibes.


On Spec articles refer to upcoming projects and rely upon available information on Kickstarter, the brand website, and promotional materials provided by the watchmaker. An On Spec article does not preclude a future full-length review in our Off The Cuff section. If you would like your project to feature in On Spec, please contact us here.

Published by calibre321

I am a writer, an educator, a craftsman, and a watch enthusiast. Follow me on Instagram @calibre321, or read my watch reviews at calibre321.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: