The Aquastar Deepstar II is the latest watch to get the limited edition treatment from our friends over at Fratello, and it might be the nicest looking iteration yet on the unapologetically vintage inspired diver. We first told you about the Deepstar II back in late 2021, when the watch made its debut in the afterglow of the cult favorite Deepstar Chronograph. These watches have an abundance of charm thanks to a well thought out asymmetry, excellent use of key vintage cues, and a size that is literally just about perfect for a watch of this style. As we pointed when the Deepstar II first came to our attention, dial color plays an outsize role in how the watch lands, and that holds true with the new Fratello version, which is very much the Deepstar we’ve come to know, but with nicely curated touches that give it a fresh life.
The word of the day when describing the Deepstar II is, without a doubt, “compact.” If you’re accustomed to big, bruising modern divers from Seiko, Tudor, and the like, strapping Deepstar II to your wrist will feel somewhat alien at first. The case measures 36.7mm wide and just 46mm lug to lug, but it’s 13mm thick, which makes these watches wear squat on the wrist with a presence you wouldn’t expect from the listed dimensions. Aquastar has always framed the Deepstar II as a thought experiment of sorts, imagining the type of diver the brand would have followed up the Deepstar Chronograph with back in the late 60s (unlike the chrono, this diver isn’t based on an actual vintage watch). As an answer to a hypothetical question, the Deepstar II makes a lot of sense based on the size alone.
For this Fratello limited edition, the Deepstar II has been given an ice blue dial with a sunburst effect, an intentional departure from the darker tones we’ve seen on this watch in the past. It’s a nice looking tone of blue, and matches well with both the white subsidiary seconds register at 9:00 and the bright red hand within. The other key difference between this LE and prior versions is the lack of any faux patina accents to the luminescent material. This one relatively small change has a dramatic impact on the watch as a whole, and immediately makes it feel more modern. It’s less like an imagined version of what Aquastar would have made in the 60s, and more a fully realized version of something the brand would make now.
In terms of specs, the Fratello x Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition shares the same movement as prior versions of the watch, a Sellita SW290 automatic with 38 hours of power reserve on a full wind. The diver is 200 meters water resistant, and is equipped with a sapphire crystal, screw down crown, and is mounted to beads of rice style bracelet that suits this style of watch particularly well.
I think one of the reasons the Deepstar II works so well is because it’s not trying too hard to be a “modern tool” style dive watch. This is an old-school, vintage inspired watch where aesthetics are prioritized. Notice the ample polished surfaces, for example. While the Deepstar II is certainly capable in the sense that it can handle a dive, if that’s your thing, it really exists to look nice, and to conjure a very specific idea of a particular type of watch that isn’t really made anymore.
Only 50 examples of this Deepstar II will be made, with 25 pieces available tomorrow via the Fratello Shop, and the rest sold through the Aquastar website. If purchased during the first week of availability, the price will be €1,549. After that, if any watches remain available, the price goes up to €1,915. More information can be found at Fratello right here. Aquastar