Jensen heritage for the next generation

AQUASTAR BENTHOS 500 PRO-DIVER £2750

Item description: To those in the know, the name Aquastar is synonymous with diving watches, a brand made famous by the French diver, Jacques Cousteau. Within the Aquastar brand, the professional diver Aquastar Benthos 500 (1962 – 1972), along with the Aquastar Deep Star,  are the most sought after by collectors. The Aquastar Benthos 500 was the first diver watch capable of decending to 500 meters. The watch with typical large stainless steel case with upper crown, and lower reset button. The dial in black, and with the Aquastar brand name and logo. Applied battons with tritium luminous coating. Metal & luminous hands, white sweep seconds, and additional orange fourth hand with large arrow. This is the minute counter started with the pusher at four o’clock (the diver used the combination of the bezel ring and this minute counter to time the dives). Typical thick mineral glass. Rotational black  0-60 bezel. Screw on case-back with relief Aquastar name and logo. Additionally stamped with the serial number. To the inside, a fine Aquastar automatic movement (modified A.Schild). The watch completed with a new old stock Tropic style strap with a stainless steel buckle.

 

Case size: 47mm x 42mm

 

Condition report: Overall excellent condition, with very light use only. Excellent case, unpolished and with just light scratches showing. Beautiful original dial with light aging to the luminous hour battons. Close to perfect bakelite bezel ring, with luminous arrow at the 12.00 position intact. The all important thick mineral glass free from any major scratches.  Case-back clean, free from any major scratches, and with serial numbers clear. Movement particularly clean, and recently serviced (no warranty implied). The timepiece may have been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked by a qualified watchmaker. Tropic style strap in as new condition. Summary: one of the best condition Aquastar Seatime watches on the market.

 

Background to Aquastar: Daniel Jeanrichard (1665-1741) remains a legendary figure in Swiss watchmaking, now considered the “founder of the watchmaking industry in the canton of Neuchâtel” in the late 17th century. Jeanrichard was born in the hamlet of Les Bressels, between the villages of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle in the Swiss Jura. In 1681 Jeanrichard made his first watch (the first known watch made in the region) , and not long after established his own watchmaking workshop. The JEANRICHARD Museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds houses several of his most outstanding watches, including the so-called ‘Daniel’ watch made in 1710, a technical and aesthetic masterpiece with a calendar aperture.

 

By 1958 the Jeanrichard brand had been acquired by Frédéric Robert, an experienced scuba diver with a passion for creating watches for divers. Initial watches were branded ‘Jeanrichard Aquastar’, however, by 1962, he dropped the name Jean Richard, and simply named the company Aquastar. Although specialising in diver’s watches, the company expanded their range to include regatta watches for sailing, along with ranges for general water sports such as swimming and sailing. Aquastar were the first company to design and use a so-called lollipop seconds hand, and also invented the bidiagonal bezel, patenting a system where the bezel functioned inside the case, and operated from the winding crown.

 

An Aquastar was the first and only watch to be worn at the deepest dive ever made in history – the DeepSea Challenge, where divers descended to the Mariana Trench . The watch was worn by diver Don Walsh. However, Aquastars became particularly famous amongst the diving fraternity, when Jacques Cousteau and his team wore Aquastar diving watches, such as the Aquastar Deepstar, and the Aquastar Benthos 500, during their many filmed dives in the 1960s. Today, Aquastar watches are gaining recognition as important vintage diving watches, and values are rising.

 

Special notes: n/a

 

Provenance: n/a

 

Ordering: shop@jensenmuseum.org or telephone: +1694-781354