Aquastar Returns to Their Origins with New Model 60

In 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh made their record dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench within the Trieste bathyscaphe, a feat not equaled until 2012 by James Cameron in the Deepsea Challenger. The story of the Trieste is the stuff of legends, the watch brand we generally associate with the trek is of course, Rolex, who’s experimental Deep Sea Special survived the crushing 10,916 meters of depth strapped to the exterior of the vessel (something they did again with the Deepsea Challenger). Enthusiasts are likely also aware of the Lognines stopwatches aboard the Trieste (as well as Piccard’s own 13ZN Chronograph), but there is another watch tied to this story, and this is the JeanRichard Aquastar 60 worn by Don Walsh. A watch that’s being honored in the release of a new Model 60 by Aquastar this week. 

The Aquastar 60 was designed by the brand’s founder, Frédéric Robert in 1958, and represents the earliest design DNA of the storied brand. The new Model 60 captures the spirit of the original in many of the right ways, while carving a new path all its own in the process. The watch falls very much into throwback territory which, these days, has a very blurry boundary between modernity, it seems. Whatever the case, the Model 60 is a simple, sharp diver that embodies many of the base design codes of the genre in the best ways possible.


The newest Model 60 gets a lovely skin-diver-esque 37mm steel case with square lug design that places all emphasis on the business end of the watch, the bezel and dial. The bezel itself is a steel unit that’s indexed to 20 minutes, and gets ceramic bearings for a feel that is likely far superior to the friction ring design pioneered by the original. The proportions of the details placed on the bezel feel very intentional, providing space around each component not often seen. It works aesthetically just as much as it does practically. 

The dial itself is a familiar sight, with round hour plots rendered in high density ‘old-radium’ style lume, though they don’t lean too heavily into the pre-aged realm. It’s a healthy balance achieved here that keeps it above a perhaps fading trend. A squared off hour hand and pencil minute hand track the time in a perfectly efficient manner that looks nice and lends to the overall legibility. A date window appears at 3 o’clock with a disc that has not been color matched to the dial, which makes sense as it seems to be pulling second duty as the 3 o’clock hour marker (there is no lume plot to its right, btw). 

Inside, Aquastar is using the La Joux-Perret G100 automatic movement in top grade that’s been adjusted in 4 positions and offers 62 hours of reserve. The watch is offered on a nylon fabric strap and includes a genuine rubber Tropic strap. The first 100 orders will also receive a strap mounted compass, to fully embrace the explorer lifestyle with this one. 

The Aquastar Model 60 is priced at $1,290, though pre-orders will be priced at $990. Orders are expected to begin shipping next month. Aquastar.

Related Posts
Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.