Not long ago back in December of last year, we brought you news of the latest dive watch revival from Aquastar. Personally, it’s a brand that I enjoy following and when I think of the leadership behind the products, I get excited knowing that great care is taken with each release. When the Heritage One Limited Edition was announced, I think many of us suspected it wouldn’t be the last modern Benthos model we saw from the brand. After all, we have to get a chronograph—how could Aquastar not release that? Well, today the brand is launching the new Aquastar Benthos 500 Founder’s Edition Chronograph, their flagship heritage model (limited to 300 pieces), with a very special and exclusive chronograph movement.

The original Aquastar Benthos 500 chronograph was an absolute beast and somewhat of a technical watchmaking marvel at the time. One of its most distinct features was its central-mounted chronograph, which also offered flyback functionality. This was achieved by modifying A. Schild movements, and it was all controlled by a single pusher (a mono-pusher chronograph). Aquastar mentioned that one of the greatest obstacles in reissuing the Benthos 500 chronograph was the lack of availability of central-mounted chronograph movements that they could use. That’s why, today, Aquastar has partnered with LaJoux-Perret to develop a new centrally-mounted mono-pusher chronograph movement that is exclusive to the Benthos 500 Founder’s Edition Chronograph. As always, I’ll recommend this resource from Dr. Peter McClean Millar to help you learn more about the Benthos as well as this awesome video by watchistry on YouTube.

The new Aquastar Benthos 500 Founder’s Edition Chronograph looks like it’s as much of a chonker as the original version, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s just something so 70s about this big 42mm case, and I suspect it’ll wear like some kind of mutant Seiko Turtle. Unlike the original, however, water resistance is now 200m, thickness is 15.4mm, and the lugs have been reshaped to allow for better weight distribution. That’s appreciated, seeing as how this looks like it could be a very top-heavy watch. And the chronograph pusher? It has been moved to the 2 o’clock position (the original watch had the pusher at 4 o’clock) to allow for greater comfort while operating the chronograph.

Everything else on the Aquastar Benthos 500 Founder’s Edition Chronograph looks so close to the original. There have been some changes to the dial text, but everything else seems spot on. The dial seems to have a deep semi-gloss finish with applied markers and Super-LumiNova. It makes for the perfect backdrop for the big orange GMT-like hand that acts as your 60-minute chronograph counter. The ceramic bezel insert looks glossy as well, and it’s paired with what looks to be a very grippy rotating ring.

An early vintage Aquastar Benthos 500 with a chronograph function

Aquastar Benthos 500 Founder’s Edition Chronograph Specifications

Case Size42mm (diameter) x 15.4mm (thickness) x 47mm (lug-to-lug)
Water Resistance200m
MovementCaliber 1MPS Mono-pusher 60-minute center-mounted Chronograph, Top Grade, Aquastar exclusive, produced in collaboration with La Joux-Perret
Case Material316L stainless steel
CrystalFlat sapphire
StrapGenuine ISOfrane rubber strap
Lug Width22mm
Price$2,790 (launch period pre-order price) or $3,790 (standard price)

Like so much of what I see from brands like Aquastar and Synchron, this is incredibly tempting. At the pre-order price, I think it’s a fair proposition and I don’t think these will last very long. I’m just excited to see this chronograph model back in the mix and I can appreciate the work Aquastar did with La Joux-Perret to get the movement right. You can pre-order and learn more about this new chronograph at Aquastar’s official site.


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