Hands-On: Fractional Evolutions: The 2022 Aquastar Deepstar 39mm Chronograph

By James Stacey

One of my favorite things about small watch brands – so-called “microbrands” – is their ability to engage with the most enthusiastic element of their customer base to iterate upon their format and give people what they want. Color, spec, style, mount, and, of course, size, are all part of that feedback loop. The newly announced Aquastar Deepstar 39mm Chronograph serves as a welcome case in point.

the 39mm deepstar on a table

For those who might be out of this niche loop, Aquastar is a legacy dive watch brand from the 1960s known for its kooky designs, outright innovation, and Cousteau provenance. The brand was relaunched in 2020 and their first release was an updated version of their classic dive chronograph, the Deepstar. The 2020 version was 40.5mm wide with an automatic movement that sold out almost immediately and did a good job of porting the original design into a modern offering. That said, as good as that watch was (and is, you should read Jason’s story for the full context), many folks expressed interest in a somewhat smaller version of the same format.

And they listened. Last year, Aquastar launched the Deepstar II, a time-only take on the Deepstar formula that came in at 37mm, it too was something rather special on wrist. Now, rounding out the Deepstar trio, we have the latest “mid-size” evolution of the Deepstar, which attempts to find a middle ground between the 2020 and 2021 models by downsizing the original recipe to 39mm.

all three aquastar deepstars

As you’re all keenly aware, sizing is the sum of more than just one dimension, and the Deepstar 39mm Chronograph measures 16.5mm thick and 48.5mm lug-to-lug. If we compare the 39mm version against the 40.5mm version from 2020, the thickness is the same (inclusive of the domed sapphire crystal) but the lug-to-lug has dropped by 1.5mm, balancing nicely with the decreased case width.

The Deepstar 39mm Chronograph is offered with a blue, black, or grey dial, and production is limited to just 100 units of each color per year. Each piece is individually numbered and comes on a color-coordinated tropic rubber strap (the steel “beads of rice” bracelet seen in some of the photos is an optional add-on that will be available in the …read more      

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