The Second Debut, the Aquastar Deepstar II

This article was originally published in the January/February 2022 Issue of the WatchTime print magazine. 

In 2020, Swiss dive watch specialist Aquastar was relaunched with the simultaneous return of a slightly larger version of the Deepstar chronograph from the ‘60s (see February 2021 issue). Since November 2021, the brand’s first three-hand watch is offering a much more affordable option for those who missed out on the chronograph, or didn’t want to spend $3,590 on one of the four dial options (which were all sold out rather quickly).

Interestingly, Aquastar chose to not relaunch another of its classic designs (which is bad news for all those who had hoped for a return of the Benthos), but instead opted for a declination of the Deepstar’s design. The Deepstar II, like its 40.5-mm chronograph counterpart, comes with the large silver subdial, this time at 9 o’clock (instead of 3 o’clock) for the permanent second hand (instead of the minute chronograph counter). The satin-finished case, however, measures 37 mm (around 47 mm lug to lug) and is based on the design of the first dive watches from the brand, and therefore offers a very compact alternative.

Like the Deepstar Chronograph, the Deepstar II comes with a 200-meter water resistance, but is powered by a top-grade Swiss-made automatic movement from Sellita (SW290-1 with 38-hour power reserve). As a result, the Deepstar II is priced at $1,490 during the brand’s preorder period. The stainless-steel beads-of-rice bracelet is sold separately, but a Tropic and Horween leather strap are included. The polished, bidirectional bezel is mounted with ceramic bearings and features the brand’s typical decompression engravings for calculating repeated “no decompression” dives. While the bezel pip, hour and minute hand as well as the hour indexes are covered with high-density “old radium”-style Super-LumiNova, the second hand unfortunately remains invisible at night.

The Aquastar Deepstar II is currently available in three dial options: “Steel Grey” (pictured here), “Vintage Black” and “Blue Ray,” with each being limited to “an opening series” of 300 individually numbered pieces, which sounds like there might be an option for the brand to add more pieces and colors, in case demand is bigger than supply.

Surprisingly, the 37-mm watch wears bigger on the wrist than one might assume, which is mostly because of the 47-mm lug-to-lug length. The biggest surprise, however, is that Aquastar has managed to create a completely new model that looks like it has been part of the brand’s collection for almost exactly 60 years.

Aquastar Deepstar II Specs

Manufacturer: Montres Aquastar GmbH, Leugenestrasse 6, 2504 Biel/Bienne, Switzerland 

Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds (9 o’clock) 

Movement: Sellita SW290-1, automatic winding, 28,800 vph, 31 rubies, 38-hour power reserve, diameter = 25.60 mm, height = 5.60 mm 

Case: Stainless steel, screw-in crown and caseback, domed sapphire crystal, water resistant to 200 m, bidirectional ratcheting bezel (120 clicks) with decompression time calculator 

Strap and clasp: Tropic rubber strap with signed buckle 

Dimensions: Diameter = 37 mm, height = 14.80 mm, lug width = 19 mm 

Variations: With blue or black dial (each limited to 300 pieces) 

Warranty: 1 year 

Price: $1,890

To learn more about Aquastar, click here, and to subscribe to the WatchTime print magazine, click here.    

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  1. Leonard Martinez

    It has some swag, but on an automatic I prefer a sweeping seconds hand to the small seconds register.

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