"Aquastar makes nothing but sea watches and instruments. You might call us 'the underwater watch company.'" That's the headline that splashed across the top third of an early Aquastar print advertisement. Also pictured is the brand's original founder Fred Robert kitted out in SCUBA gear, arms folded across his chest, looking very seriously at the camera. It's clear to see that the Aquastar brand was built on making tools for professionals. Though today the brand has a new face manning the helm, that same dedication to quality and performance carries through.

Rick Marei brought Aquastar back in a similar fashion to some of his previous projects like Doxa, Aquadive, Tropic and ISOfrane. His company, Synchron Group, bought all of the stock, tooling and rights to the Aquastar brand, and has launched a modern version of the Aquastar Deepstar — which is currently available for pre-order at a discounted price in the Gear Patrol Store. To learn more about the Deepstar, and about Marei's approach to reviving it, we caught up with him to ask him a few questions.

aquastar deepstar greenwich dive watch
Aquastar

Q: With success bringing back Tropic, ISOfrane and Doxa, what drew you to do the same with the Aquastar Deepstar?
Rick Marei: "For those who know me, my passion and work have been dive watch-centric since the late-90s.

Dive watches stand out with something particular that other watch genres don’t have — their technical refinements and features inside and outside. Let me explain. For decades, the art of watchmaking was about the number of complications built into a movement and the functions associated with those complications. In a dive watch, it’s not just the movement, but also the casing components that usually incorporate multiple technical functions. With the invention of sports and dive watches in the 1950s, designers were finally able to go beyond just creating a protective housing for a complicated movement to design functionally and aesthetically appealing cases and bezels in combination with dials and hands, creating a work of functional art on just 10cm² of metal.

Aquastar is very special, as it was the first and only Swiss watch that was born solely to serve the purpose of diving, and also the inventor of the world’s first mechanical dive computer. The Deepstar became the tool for all professional divers back in the 60s. To me, Aquastar is the progenitor of the tool dive watch. Its founder Frederic Robert was able to convince his father to rename his watch company from Jean Richard to Aquastar and focus on creating tool watches for aquatic and dive sport — that was a beginning of a new era in the Swiss watch industry."

Q: What is important to you when deciding how to bring back and update a watch?RM: "Certain watch models were influential in the evolution of the wristwatch...those pieces are the ones that have always had me thinking, 'What would have been their next move if the quartz crisis wouldn’t have hit the industry?'

When I consider a comeback of a certain model or a brand, I like to have a clear plan of where I’m heading with a complete model family within 5 to 10 years, and I pick up where the creators left off. Once I have a clear picture of the future models, that’s when I start."

aquastar deepstar greenwich dive watch
Aquastar

Q: What was the most challenging part of recreating this iconic watch?
RM: "The most challenging part with the Deepstar was how to make an almost perfect design at least as good or even better. By using modern technology in manufacturing and modern materials, I think we were able to keep the iconic design but improve the quality, accuracy, water-resistance and reliability of the Deepstar."

Q: Is this Deepstar as capable of a dive watch as the original?
RM:
"When you recreate a legend, you don’t create new technology, but use today’s technology to make the original better. So, yes, with all-new superior materials and manufacturing processes, the new Deepstar is at least as capable as the original. By using modern materials like sapphire, ceramic and Viton rubber, we have taken the Deepstar to a new level of reliability. The Deepstar is also one of the few chronographs with pushers that are operable underwater, which makes it the perfect mechanical backup for a dive computer."

aquastar vintage ad
Aquastar

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the recreated Aquastar Deepstar?
RM:
"The idea that I can pick up a journey a great man started in the 1950s. The founder of Aquastar, Frederic Robert, was the mastermind behind not only Aquastar timepieces, but also several other iconic timepieces like the Omega Flight master."

Q: What was the inspiration behind the colorways? And specifically, the Greenwich model?
RM:
"I love colors, and...I brought back the orange face DOXA SUB in 2001 and went on creating more versions with yellow, blue and turquoise dials — but those were the 2000s. Today's colors are more subtle and I felt that blue and gray are the colors of the 2020s.

In regard to green, this color has been neglected in the watch industry since the early days of watchmaking. I can hardly remember seeing any vintage watch with a green dial.

I am a 70s kid, and I was a young man in the 90s, where green was a very trendy color. Back then, green was one of the three most sold car colors, we used to wear green — and as fashion cycles back every 2 decades, it was clear to me that it was the time for green.

Aquastar Deepstar Greenwich Dive Watch
gearpatrol.com
$2,790.00