Aquastar Benthos 500 “SA” Vintage Divers Watch
An Aquastar Benthos 500 was the “ultra-cool” watch of choice for Professional Divers in the early days of Scuba Diving. Its use as a diving tool may have been surpassed by more modern technology, but modern technology will never be as “ultra-cool” as an Aquastar Benthos 500.
Aquastar was established in 1962, by Frédéric Robert, a diver, sailor, watchmaker and mathematician, who also represented Switzerland in yachting at the 1948 Summer Olympics. In short, a remarkable gentleman and genius, of the sort that you don’t run into every day.
The Aquastar Benthos 500 was Aquastar’s flagship model in their range. It was the first watch in the world to be pressure tested beyond 500m, hence the “500” in its name. Let’s face it, 500m is cooler than 300m,
Another interesting fact that emphasises this watch’s diving credentials, is that an Aquastar watch was the first and only watch to be worn on the deepest dive ever made in history, It was worn by Don Walsh. He and Jacques Piccard were aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste when it made a record maximum descent into the Challenger Deep on January 23, 1960, the deepest point of the world’s oceans. Praise indeed and “ultra-cool” too.
Aquastar’s became particularly famous amongst the diving fraternity when Jacques Cousteau and his team wore Aquastar diving watches during their filmed dives during the ’60s. Their choice of a watch would need to be the best and we are sure they were influenced by Aquastar’s performance, beyond the real world.
It had a very short production lifespan of just 10 years, between ‘62 and ‘72 and these watches were only sold through certified Diving Shops, making them all rare! Two colours were offered, a Black dial & bezel version and this, the much rarer, Blue version!
This Benthos 500 we have here is in great condition and hasn’t seen much “front-line duty” during its lifetime. The dark Blue “SA” printed dial is a classic divers dial, legible and heavy on the lume for enhanced readability in uncharted waters. It is a balanced dial with heavily printed minute markers every five minutes, making it easier for divers to read “at-a-glance”. The broad baton hour and minute hands add to the legibility of the watch, as does the bold white second hand.
The one thing that does stand out, is the fourth bold red hand, shaped like an arrow. You would normally associate this type of hand with a “GMT” function. Not in this case, instead, this is a minute or “Dive-Time” counter, started with the pusher at four o’clock. A diver would use a combination of the bezel ring and the minute counter to time their dives. How cool is that!
Beating at its heart is an Adolph Schild AS 2162, 28800 A/h, a 17-Jewel movement, modified to support the central “Dive Time” minute counter. It is keeping great time, with good power reserve.
Presented on a new “Marine Nationale” style elasticated Navy with Red stripe strap, with its dominant blue bezel and beautiful dial, hands, and case. What’s not to like, it is ultra-cool!
We work hard to ensure you are pleased with your purchase, both before and after the sale. Contact us to request any additional information.
Dispatch: We aim to dispatch items within 1-2 days of receipt of payment.
The delivery method can vary depending on the value of the watch. All watches are sent fully insured usually using UPS.
All watches sold without an original box will still be dispatched with a ChronoDuo presentation box.
Warranty: All timepieces purchased from us come with a guarantee of authenticity and our 12-month time-keeping warranty. Please note that accidental damage or damage to the item resulting from third-party repairs, improper handling, or liquid damage will void our warranty. We do not guarantee any of our watches to be waterproof.