If you are looking for a diver's watch that is elegant but understated at the same time, rich in history and with great craftsmanship but you can't spend more than $3,500 USD, then look no further, this JEANRICHARD Aquascope ref. 60400-11B401-11A in stainless steel is the best value for your money.
JEANRICHARD—sister company to Girard-Perregaux— takes its name from a legendary name in watchmaking, Daniel Jeanrichard. This genius pioneered the development of the watchmaking industry in the Neuchâtel mountains in the late 17th century. Daniel Jeanrichard was born in the hamlet of Les Bressels, midway between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle. In 1681, he created his first watch, then set up his watchmaking workshop. Daniel Jeanrichard was also a major driving force behind the watchmaking industry. He was ahead of his time, demonstrating a talent for innovation. In addition to the production of watches, the region’s watchmakers are indebted to him for the invention of machines and tools, and for establishing the basis for learning the art of watchmaking itself.
This massive cushion-shaped diver's watch weighing —approximately 260 grams— more than an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver on bracelet or a robust Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean XL is fitted with a very solid vertically satin-brushed finished stainless steel case with blue PVD coating around the corners —these PVD coating makes the case appear like there's a case within another case. The case measures 44m in diameter and its satin-brushed finish is only comparable to the grain on the finish of Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks or Royal Oak Offshores. We promise we are not exaggerating.
The blue dial on this watch is also perfectly finished with a vertical satin-brushed finish to match the superb craftsmanship of the case. The dial is reminiscent of timepieces from the 70s with that same hue that varies depending on lighting conditions and the angle at which you look at it. The dial features applied rhodium-coated indexes and rhodium-coated hands both with luminescent material that glows strong and long lasting. The seconds hand features a red arrowhead tip, the minute hand is sword shaped and the hour hand is arrow shaped. The dial features a date aperture between the 4 and 5 o'clock markers with a black calendar disc. The anti-reflective coating on the crystal allows the wearer to appreciate the dial without unnecessary glares or reflections.
The bezel made of stainless steel is properly graduated with markers and minutes in dark blue that depending on the light can look slightly lighter in color. The unidirectional bezel rotates very smoothly and it is fitted with teeth that are easy to grip even when using gloves. The construction of the bezel is very solid and its design is very well balanced with a 12 o'clock marker with luminescent material. The screw-down crown was designed to perfectly match the teeth on the bezel and just like the solid case back, it is nicely engraved with JEANRICHARD's logo. This watch is waterproof rated to a depth of 300 meters or 30 Atmospheres.
The beating heart inside this watch is the JEANRICHARD automatic calibre JR60 with 26 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 38 hours when fully wound, while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. This diver's watch is fitted with a sturdy and very well crafted elegant bracelet with double-folding clasp. Unfortunately the only two downsides of this watch come from the bracelet as it does not include a diver's extension —almost unthinkable; however but we've also seen that on the Tudor Heritage Black Bay— and it is not fitted with screws for easy removal of links —surprising considering that the watch is extremely well crafted.
Regardless of the bracelet downsides, we really feel that this watch gives you great value for your money and unparalleled wrist presence. This watch wears considerably larger than 44mm —perhaps more like a 46mm watch— and the bracelet makes this watch wear very comfortably. This timepiece looks great with a casual attire or while wearing a suite. This is definitely one of the nicest diving watches in the market and so well crafted that you can almost forget you are wearing a sports watch. The Aquascope is also available on rubber strap and with grey, white or black dial.
Sticker Price $3,500 USD. For more info on JEANRICHARD click here.