Aquastar is a Swiss watch brand specialized in the production of diving watches.
Aquastar was founded in 1962 in Geneva by Mr. Frédéric Robert, an entrepreneurial diver & sailor who sought to develop watches and specialized instruments exclusively for oceanic activities, ranging from sailing and sport diving to professional scientific excursions and underwater exploration.
Mr. Robert took over the brand JeanRichard© from his father and soon changed the name JeanRichard© to Aquastar to reflect the idea behind his venture, that is to create measuring instruments for professional divers and aquatic activities.
Aquastar was the first Swiss watch company dedicated exclusively to producing professional-grade watches and aquatic tools for a single market segment. This unique mission produced a catalog of wrist instruments that ranged from dive watches to compasses, depth gauges, and thermometers, attracting the attention of elite divers like Jacques Mayol, who would later wear an Aquastar Benthos 500 for his record-breaking 101 meter free-dive in1976.
Within ten years of its foundation Aquastar had been awarded several patents and based on every patent a new Aquastar family member was born. For example, the inner rotating bezel in the model 63, the multiple dive decompression bezel in the Deepstar, the Benthos and the Regate and the new crown sealing system that was incorporated in every Aquastar and finally the regatta counter watches.
Being envisaged as strictly professional instruments, Aquastar watches were only available through professional diving equipment outlets, in the USA, through SCUBAPRO, in France through Spirotechnique, in Spain, through Nemrod, and were rarely offered on a large scale to watch retail distributors.
While Aquastar timepieces set milestones in the development of the dive and regatta watches, the lack of mainstream distribution channels could have been the reason why the brand has stayed as the industry’s best kept secret among the day’s professional divers. Also, the emergence of the new quartz technology made it even more difficult for Aquastar and Frédéric Robert to continue innovating and developing new watches. As a consequence, Frédéric Robert took a consulting position at a large Swiss watch brand and orchestrated the development of 2 legendary timepieces.
In 1974 Frédéric Robert retired and in 1975 Aquastar was acquired by the Eren Group, also established in Geneva. The Eren group implemented a new strategy and created mainstream dive and sports watches like the Aquastar SEATIME, which were then made available to the general public through retail outlets until 1982. The Eren group managed to achieve commercial success with Aquastar, especially in Spain Italy and Portugal with local distribution partners.
In 1982, Mr. Marc Seinet, an avid sailor and 3rd generation watchmaker wanted to acquire a watch brand with its facilities, staff and resources in order to start a new era of watch marketing in collaboration with Hollywood stars. Mr. Seinet acquired Aquastar and probably created the first ever Swiss watch carrying the name of a star. It was the Alain Delon wrist watch.
In 1983 Mr. Seinet also realized that the traditional mechanical Swiss watches that were passed down through generations no longer appealed to the young population that had become used to the convenience, accuracy but also the disposability of the quartz watch. He saw that the need for a new type of fashion watch was imminent and a change was needed from the traditional Swiss watch to a new type of affordable timepiece made of plastic and housing robust quartz movements. Aquastar created a new affordable type of watch, which marked a new era of commercial success for the brand.
After achieving the necessary commercial success with a rather unconventional timepiece, Mr. Seinet decided to focus on his passion, which is sailing and continued the tradition of Frédéric Robert and created multiple generations of mechanical, quartz and LED regatta watches between 1983 until 2018.
Rick Marei the mastermind behind the resurrection of several Swiss brands, which included facilitating the return of the Doxa© SUB© approached Aquastar and suggested a new online sales business mode in 1999. This approach didn’t result in a business collaboration yet. In 2018 Mr. Seinet and Rick Marei met once again. Meanwhile Mr. Marei has succeeded to resurrect the legendary ISOfrane strap, Tropic and the watch brand Aquadive. Marei was also the first man to help put a watch collection of a Swiss brand online back in 1999, an unprecedented method of marketing Swiss watches at that time.
In 2019, Seinet and Marei met an agreement to reboot the brand and start a new chapter in the Aquastar history, unfortunately Mr. Seinet got involved in designing an E-learning concept and was not able to put resources into the new Aquastar. The Synchron group then acquired the company from Mr. Seinet with all its old stock, toolings, spare parts, the brand, and all blueprints and documentations and agreed to serve existing Aquastar customers in the future and relaunch the brand in 2020.
In 2020, with an eye to the tremendous history of the brand, Aquastar introduced its first re-launch collection, the Deepstar Re-Edition, an automatic diving chronograph inspired by the iconic Deepstar watch of 1962.