If there’s anything I’ve learned from 2020, it’s that we should take refuge in our hobbies. Pull away from the real world, even if it’s just to drool over a cool new watch. You earned it. We’ve seen a lot of releases this year but this might be one of my favorites—and much of that is due to the story behind this reboot. Today, we’re graced with not only the re-edition of what became known as the Aquastar Deepstar but also the 2020 relaunch of the Aquastar brand (with enough SEALAB, Cousteau, and dive sports history to get the nerds goin’). At the helm of this relaunch is Mr. Rick Marei, the man responsible for re-introducing the Doxa SUB to the community, close to 25 years ago.
The Aquastar Deepstar was always a funny sort of dive watch. With its skin diver-style case, it almost marries space-age design with the toolish charm of an explorer’s kit. Speaking of tools, Aquastar was also responsible for producing a range of dive instruments—from depth gauges to compasses, thermometers, and more. This reissue carries on the spirit of Aquastar’s dedicated patents and the idea of producing instruments expressly for divers. And when I say that, I mean it—you actually couldn’t really buy them outside of diving equipment outlets, which may have led to the brand falling into obscurity and changing hands over the decades.
The Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph re-edition maintains the look and vintage vibes of the original and comes with an upgraded movement. Instead of the manual Valjoux 23, this version comes with a custom La Joux-Perret automatic column-wheel movement driving the funky mono-compax display. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yeah—those pushers can be activated underwater and with 200m of water-resistance, this makes for one vintage-style dive watch that doesn’t have to be babied. Other touches (and original Aquastar patents) include a “no-decompression” scale, the inner bezel scale for elapsed time, and a charming running seconds indicator at 9 o’clock.
Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph Re-Edition Specs
- Case Diameter: 40.5mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 200m
- Movement: La Joux-Perret automatic column-wheel
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Straps: Tropic rubber and Horween leather (22mm)
- Price: Pre-Order Price – $2,790 (or $3,590 full retail)
The Aquastar Deepstar re-edition chronograph is now available with a grey, black, or blue dial option. And in terms of the price, I can get behind it, especially at pre-order. Finally, we get to see what Mr. Marei has been working on lately (after his departure from Doxa), and it’s even better than I thought it could be. I’ll leave you with this quote from the press release.
“But I’ve found my life’s calling with Aquastar, which I genuinely believe to be one of the most important stories of the watch world—a legacy that we hope to use to re-ignite the curiosity and sense of adventure of dive watch fans worldwide.” -Rick Marei
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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.