There are three things that I look for in a properly reissued vintage dive watch; brand credibility, design accuracy and modern functionality. Considering those three traits, the Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph has them in spades. Let’s start with brand credibility, shall we? Aquastar is a storied brand that can trace its roots back to 1962 when entrepreneurial diver and sailor Frédéric Robert founded the Swiss watch company. At its inception, Aquastar was a brand that specialized in making oceanic tools which included the likes of sub-aqueous compasses, depth gauges, thermometers and of course, professional grade dive watches. The word never really got out about Aquastar, and it was only those within the diving community that knew about the brand since their watches were solely limited to professional dive shops at the time. Aquastar went on to secure multiple patents and innovated the way that midcentury dive watches were made. Aquastar changed hands a couple of times between 1974 and 2018. First being acquired by the Eren Group where the brand saw their first commercial success across Europe and then followed by avid sailor and 3rd generation watchmaker Marc Seneit. It was in 2020 when Aquastar was acquired by the Synchron Group and Rick Marei, which marked the re-introduction of Aquastar dive watches to the masses.
There’s no better person to revive a dive watch brand than Rick Marei. He’s got the midas touch when it comes to reviving brands, ensuring that the watches are true to their original design and continuing their brand story. Just take a look at his impact on the Doxa brand with the re-release of the Doxa Sub 300. Equipped with old toolings, spare parts and blueprints passed onto Marei in the acquisition from Seneit, there’s no reason why his success wouldn’t continue with Aquastar.
To date, we’ve got three Aquastar watches from the Marei era. First, the Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph that nailed the design from the original, which boasted a 41mm case, much larger than its 37mm predecessor. Their following release was with the Aquastar Deepstar II, where the brand returned to their smaller case design, but really displayed the foresight of Marei and company to create a watch that the brand would’ve made if they continued their trajectory in the 60’s and 70’s. That brings us to the latest release from Aquastar; the Deepstar 39mm Chronograph. The Aquastar Deepstar 39mm Chronograph has all the modern features one would want in a vintage reissue diver including the contemporary case size and updated movement. Let’s take a closer look at the Aquastar Deepstar 39mm Chronograph.