JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request
Like Tree16Likes
  • 6 Post By kazrich
  • 2 Post By Hartmut Richter
  • 1 Post By James A
  • 2 Post By WatchFred
  • 2 Post By Seele
  • 2 Post By Hessu
  • 1 Post By Molliedooker

Thread: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Member kazrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    694

    Rolling eyes JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    I've recently acquired a late 50's JeanRichard Aquastar 60 and an Aquastar Deepstar.
    These are both iconic divers watches, but less seems to be known about them than I would have expected , especially the Deepstar.



    The deepest dive ever, was at the Mariana Trench in September 1960. The Bathyscaphe Trieste dived nearly 7 miles to the Ocean bed.
    Rolex attached a watch / device outside and it survived the trip. One of the two pilots Don Walsh went on to be an ambassador for Rolex. It then emerged that
    allegedly the watch that he actually wore on his wrist that historic day was his favourite watch - A 1958 JeanRichard Aquastar 60. True or false ? ( a rhetorical question as I don't know )
    This watch was only in production from 1958 - 1962 and decent surviving examples are getting scarce.
    JeanRichard then morphed the model name 'Aquastar' to a stand alone manufacturer brand name. Aquastar concentrated on serious diving equipment. The JeanRichard brand still exists.

    Aquastar made various dive watches and are probably best known for the wonderfully named Aquastar Deepstar.
    This models claim to fame is two fold.
    1. The Worlds first chronograph rated at a genuine 10 atmospheres ( 330 ft ).
    2. It appeared to be a favourite with Jacques Cousteau and his crew on the Calypso whilst filming ' The undersea World of Jacques Cousteau ' in the 1960's.







    The watch featured a very distinct extra large chronograph register at 3.00 o clock and was powered by either a Valjoux 23 or Valjoux 92.
    I believe that it was in production somewhere between 1963 and 1969. This is where history, myth, bravado and guesswork rule the waves.
    As with most manufactures models, dials are changed regularly over their lifetime. But how did it progress on the Deepstar ?
    Most Deepstar's feature large applied chevrons at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o clock. These seem to run with the Val 23 and have serial numbers starting with 5 ------



    My own watch uses a Val 92 and these models seem to start with serial numbers 2-------

    Both types appear to have been sold with dials in either black , deep midnight blue / purple or silver. Some, like my own also feature a little propeller at 9.0 clock which
    runs continuously with and without the chrono function being engaged.
    Logic dictates that the earliest model would have been those using the big chevrons rather than ' big lume blobs ' as the Val 23 is an earlier movement ?
    But logic also dictates that the big blob dial ( as used by the crew ) is a direct descendant of the the JeanRichard Aquastar 60 with it's big blobs ( kindly excuse the the highly technical terminology )
    The chevron design continued with other Aquastar models well into the 70's. Nobody seems to know which was first or last.
    Does anyone know if black dialed versions started midnight blue and aged into black ?
    These watches were never 'bank safe queens' and were used for a purpose and many have seen a hard life.
    I would appreciate any further information about either watch. I also have an Enicar Super Compressor habit, but those watches are very well documented. The Aquastar's seem a bit of a mystery to me.

    Hears my own Deepstar big blob with rotating propeller and fading peppermint green lume on the hands,






    Thanks
    Richard
    bobbee, busmatt, James A and 3 others like this.

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    16,974

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    Interesting stuff! I have always associated Jacques Cousteau and his films with the world's first dive watch - the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms..... Didn't know he had other dive watches later on, let alone chronograph ones.

    JeanRichard indeed still exist but, for some reason, were called "Daniel Jean Richard" in between.

    Hartmut Richter
    kazrich and busmatt like this.

  3. #3
    Member James A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,746

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    Thanks for showing us Kazrich :)

    That Aquastar with the subdial at 3 is super cool. Over the years Cousteau and crew had a long association with several brands , Lip and Rolex among others. I like you would love to find out more about the history of the early Aquastar models. Hopefully some of the Diver guys can chip in.

    Regards,

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    1,887

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Interesting stuff! I have always associated Jacques Cousteau and his films with the world's first dive watch - the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms..... Didn't know he had other dive watches later on, let alone chronograph ones.

    JeanRichard indeed still exist but, for some reason, were called "Daniel Jean Richard" in between.

    Hartmut Richter
    lots of other watches, Aquastar, Rolex, Doxa, Nivada and more.

    here's an article that shows (or tries to) all watches worn by the Cousteau crew.

    Cousteau and watches - militarywatch
    kazrich and busmatt like this.

  6. #5
    Member Seele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    6,624

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    Interesting to see the print advertisement showing the French agent being Spirotechnique. It's the same firm who sold the Calypso underwater camera designed by Cousteau. The Calypso camera - the definitive dive camera, was then branded Calypso-Nikonos, and eventually Nikonos.
    kazrich and busmatt like this.

  7. #6
    Member Hessu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    741

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    Jacques Cousteau and his team took also part to testing sessions when Omega created Ploprof.

    PloProf.com - The Omega Seamaster 600 PloProf
    kazrich and WatchFred like this.

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Queensland Aust.
    Posts
    850

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    It seems that Aquastar sold their watches from the 60's in conjunction with other brands depending on the continent to a large degree as the aquastar was not a well known brand and their partnerships allowed a wider distribution. Eg. Tissot Aquastar in Aust. Heuer in the US and Duward in Parts of Europe. I note chrono 24 has a Duward aquastar deepstar for sale. I have a tissot aquastar regate and duward aquastar 20atm and in researching found that there is a lot of info under the other brands. As you know the aquastar Benthos 500 and 1000 is the diver heavily lauded by aquastar. I cannot help on the divers much though
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by Molliedooker; November 23rd, 2015 at 07:52.
    kazrich likes this.

  9. #8
    Member kazrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    694

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    Yes, and Lorenz. The Lorenz's Deepstar looks the same as the Aquastar version but for some reason the Duward
    rotating bezel has less information than the Aquastar. The other brands always seem to use the dial with the big applied chevrons.

  10. #9
    Member kazrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    694

    Re: JeanRichard Aquastar & Aquastar Deepstar history request

    I found out a bit more about the JeanRichard Aquastar.

    1. According to my watchmaker the movement - A Schild 168 is similar in type to that used in Blancpain Fifty Fathoms of the same era.
    2. In 1958 JeanRichard made a seemingly audacious application to patent the external bi directional bezel. The patent WAS granted to the Aquastar 80 submitted.
    I thought that type of bezel was used on much earlier watches , but the Aquastar is pretty stiff and precise and has a slight very quiet click whilst turning. Maybe it had something
    to do with mechanism ?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. WTB Aquastar Deepstar
      By Trash_Gordon in forum WTB - Wanted to Buy
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: August 20th, 2015, 07:22
    2. FS: Lorenz Aquastar Deepstar
      By jsimpson02 in forum Watches - Private sellers and Sponsors
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: October 23rd, 2012, 23:48

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •