Aquastar Model 60 Re-Edition
A tribute to the brand’s inaugural dive watch from 1957
Aquastar model 60 re-edition
2023 marks the opening of the latest chapter in the last great story in dive watches, as venerable Swiss dive instrument maker Aquastar returns with a new Model 60 — a fully modernized tribute to the brand’s inaugural 1957 dive watch of the same name, which introduced a crucial safety measure for dive watches of that era: a friction ring in the rotating bezel to prevent accidental rotations. Devised and originally patented by Aquastar, this simple, but critical feature would later become a standard feature echoed by legions of dive watches in the years that followed.
The 2023 Model 60 continues Aquastar’s earliest traditions of capability, adventure and exploration, which began in earnest on January 23rd in 1960 when US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, wearing an original Model 60, and co-pilot Jacques Piccard, made a pioneering journey to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste to a record-breaking depth of 10,916 meters (35,814 feet). Walsh’s Model 60 is recognized as Aquastar’s inaugural tool watch, and would set an early precedent for the then-nascent maker, as Aquastar’s innovative and ultra-reliable watches would quickly earn a reputation as the foremost timekeeping choice for mariners, professional divers, and ocean conservationists alike.
MODEL 60, KEEPING WITH THE TRADITIONS
Thoughtfully sized in a 37mm stainless steel case the Model 60 is a somewhat unique reference in the deep Aquastar archive, as it follows a more traditional dive watch execution, using bold hour markers and lume-filled paddle hands, a 60 minute rotating bezel, and a center-mounted seconds hand, eschewing the bold asymmetrical dial elements that would characterize later Aquastar watches, like the iconic Deepstar Chronograph. In keeping with Aquastar’s modern traditions, the new Model 60 maintains a robust 200 meters of water resistance, and is powered by a top-grade, 100% Swiss Made La Joux-Perret G100 automatic movement with 68 hours of power reserve, a solid Tungsten ball bearing rotor and the sophisticatedly engineered KIF shock protection system. The Aquastar model 60 comes on a choice of straps and bracelets. A seatbelt NATO, a genuine or a beads of rice stainless steel bracelet.
Aquastar Model 60 re-edition
keeping the traditions
“WITH EVERY AQUASTAR RELEASE, WE TRY TO LOOK AT THE PRODUCT CYCLES INTRODUCED BY THE BRAND’S ORIGINAL FOUNDER, FREDERIC ROBERT, AND LOOK AHEAD TO WHAT HE MIGHT STILL BE PRODUCING, HAD THE BRAND NEVER BEEN PAUSED DURING THE QUARTZ CRISIS,” SAYS RICK MAREI, AQUASTAR’S MODERN HELMSMAN. “WE ARE PROUD TO BE BOTH HISTORIANS AND CUSTODIANS OF THIS RICH BRAND, USING THE NEW MODEL 60 TO PAY TRIBUTE TO AQUASTAR’S INFLUENCE AND INNOVATIONS IN THE WORLD OF UNDERSEA EXPLORATION,” HE CONTINUES.
Diver, Innovator, Disruptor
Aquastar was founded in 1962 in the city of Geneva in Switzerland by Mr. Frédéric Robert. Mr. Robert, a diver, a sailor, a pilot, a watchmaker, a mathematician. He also represented Switzerland at the 1948 yachting world championship.
With extensive experience on the high seas, Robert set out to start a watch company that focused on developing watches, watch parts, and specialized instruments exclusively for underwater activities, ranging from sport diving to professional scientific excursions and underwater exploration, with the ultimate goal of making all diving exploits safer. It was November 1962 when Robert renamed his father’s company JeanRichard™ company to “Aquastar,” and it was here, where an entirely new underwater legacy was born.
Aquastar marked the first time in the Swiss watchmaking world where a company was dedicated to producing professional-grade watches and timing instruments in a single market segment. And with a catalog that quickly grew into dive watches and other aquatic tools like dive compasses, depth gauges, and thermometers – all of which could be fit onto watch straps, Aquastar’s mission soon became quite a unique one at the time for a Swiss horology Maison.
It was during this time that Mr. F. Robert distributed his range of diving instruments under the new name “Aquastar” almost exclusively through specialized stores instead of regular retailers. Given the socioeconomic environment of the times, this non-traditional sales tactic seemed risky at first, but it reflected Robert’s innovative approach to problem solving – a trait that would reflect in his many patented designs, as well as the backbone that would define the brand’s disruptive legacy many years later.
In the picture below you see one of the first timepieces created by F. Robert in 1958, a water-resistant watch with a stop watch function, the “AQUASTART”
Mr. FRÉDÉRIC ROBERT, the founder of AQUASTAR
Vintage Aquastart by “Jean Richard” from 1962