With more than a few releases under their belt since the brand’s formal re-launch in 2020, Aquastar has had our attention for a while now. They currently offer a mix of faithful re-editions as well as new models inspired by previous designs. But so far, dive watch nerds have been curious about another Aquastar diver lurking deep within the shadows of dive watch history. It was about as quirky, and weird, and cutting edge as you could get back when it was released. It’s the Aquastar Benthos and today, we’re getting an updated, limited edition.
In some ways, we can look at the new Aquastar Benthos H1 as a modern reinterpretation of the original diver. Above, you can see a vintage Benthos model released with a modified A. Schild movement. It was also apparently the first dive watch capable of a 500m depth rating without the use of a monobloc case design. From my understanding, these are relatively tough to work on and are often found in poor condition. But damn they are cool. Aquastar refers to their approach behind the Benthos H1 as offering a more “streamlined and economical time-only format.”
We saw this kind of approach with the Deepstar II, which they called “a sequel” and I have no problem with it. I love that we still get the 2 o’clock crown and the original Benthos dimensions. Although, I wonder why the watch wasn’t slimmed down from the 16mm-ish thickness considering we’re getting a time-only diver. I guess a Benthos needs to be big? Either way, I’m sure this won’t stop the fans that have been waiting for some kind of Benthos reissue. By the way, if you want to get even more background on the Benthos watches, Dr. Peter McClean Millar is the guy.
Aquastar Benthos Heritage One Specs
- Case Diameter: 42mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 47mm
- Case Thickness: 16mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 500m
- Movement: ETA 2824-2 Elabore grade
- Crystal: Sapphire w/AR triple-coated
- Strap: ISOfrane rubber
- Price: Pre-Order Price – $1,090 (or $1,390 full retail)
- Limited Edition: 500 pieces
Personally I’m happy to see the Benthos back in Aquastar’s lineup, even if it isn’t an “exact” reissue. The pre-order price is decent and honestly, it’s still cool without the chrono function. Aquastar calling this “Heritage Chapter 1” also makes me think we’ll probably get a modern chronograph version in the next “chapter.” But we’ll just have to wait and see.
Learn more about the new Aquastar Benthos Heritage One at the brand’s official site.
Co-Founder & Senior Editor
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.