Timeline Watch

Aquastar Deepstar

The first US combat troops arrive in Vietnam. By the end of the year, 190,000 American soldiers are in Vietnam

1965 Aquastar Deepstar Diver Chronograph with manual winding cal. Valjoux 23.

Among the vast world of vintage timepieces, there is no doubt that vintage dive watches hold a special place in the hearts of many collectors, ourselves included. With their simple and clean designs and their reliable and robust movements, the tool watches of the 1960s and 1970s were built to accompany the adventurer across the globe and to keep time at its great heights as well as its dark depths.

For every Rolex Submariner, Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, or Omega Seamaster, there were scores of other lesser-known names that nevertheless merit consideration from the vintage watch enthusiast.

Aquastar is one of the many watch companies that proliferated just before the Quartz Crisis. Founded in 1962 by veteran SCUBA diver Frdric Robert, Aquastaras the name suggeststook the needs of aquatic sportsmen as its guiding principles. Drawing on a patent filed in 1958 by Aquastars parent company, JeanRichard, Aquastar introduced the brands first dive watch: the JeanRichard Aquastar 60.

Watches produced by JeanRichard under the Aquastar line were retailed under many brand names, from JeanRichard to Duward, which was primarily used in Spain; however, the line became so successful that it became the brand name by which the watches are best-known.

The company would go on to produce a varied line of purpose-built aquatic timepieces (including the first regatta timer), but theres another watch that attracts the attention of vintage chronograph collectors, not least of all for its connection to Jacques Cousteau.

That would be this watch, the Aquastar Deepstar chronograph.

With its rotating bezel and stainless steel case rated to 100 meters, the Deepstar combined these dive watch features with a chronograph, making it the first of its kind. That added functionality soon attracted the attention of professional diversincluding Cousteau. Although Cousteau was a proponent of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Rolex Submarinerand later became a vendor of the DOXA Sub300t through his company, U.S. DiversCousteau and his crew were by no means married to any particular watch.

However, Cousteaus relationship with the Aquastar Deepstar was certainly quite long-lived. It started in 1965 and lasted for nearly ten years. Cousteau and many of his crew on the Calypso could be seen sporting Aquastars in his landmark television series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.


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