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Watch or Accessory Review Jean Richard Aquascope

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November 16, 2013 02:27AM
Having decided to downsize my collection I managed to accumulate an ‘adequate’ war chest through watch sales, so I began a quest for a watch that embodied my new found principles of ‘wearability, and quality over quantity’. After searching far and wide for just the right watch I came across the Jean Richard Aquascope by accident and fell in love with its looks. I decided that I would wear it often enough to justify the purchase, thanks to its style and also the size – big enough to look good on my large wrist, but not so large or heavy as to be annoying or uncomfortable. I found a reputable online dealer with stock at a great price, asked a lot of questions then took a deep breath and said let's do it.

The Aquascope came complete with some of the fanciest packaging and accessories I've encountered. The travel case and wallet may not be real leather (a minor letdown at this price point), but they're a neat and thoughtful addition.

Prior to my purchase I tried to find out details of the automatic movement, which was reported by various sources as being the in-house JR1000 or the JR60, a modified Sellita SW300 (details of what, if any, modifications are made to the movement by Jean Richard seem impossible to find). Upon inspection my Aquascope was found to have neither of those movements, instead being powered by a nicely decorated ETA 2892-A2, featuring pearlage and a signed brushed rotor. There is a 'GP' stamp which presumably indicates the Jean Richard/Girard Perregaux partnership and a commonality of movements - not a bad thing at all. The 28,800 BPH movement gets the job done just fine. As an aside the rotor action is completely silent; in contrast to many of my autos, some of which have surprisingly loud rotors. Whether it’s a product of movement quality or good sound-proofing of the case, I like the lack of rotor noise.

The Aquascope falls into the ‘little-big’ watch category and wears large without being oversized. The stainless steel case is 45.5mm wide, which may sound substantial to many, but its height is a mere 40mm, and a Twiggy-esque thinness of 11.8mm ensures that it hugs the wrist unobtrusively while appearing substantial enough on mine. The resulting shape looks like an elongated cushion, and is wonderfully symmetrical thanks to the opposing crowns. The upper-facing surfaces are highly polished and the case exhibits a jewel-like quality, but it's a fingerprint magnet and requires an occasional wipe with a soft cloth to remain shiny.

The sides of the case are brushed, in a vertical pattern, for contrast. Lugs are 22mm and actually look a little large for such a svelte case. The caseback is surprisingly devoid of any decoration or engraving, and merely lists the manufacturer, model, reference and serial numbers. I expected something fancier, but at the end of the day you don’t spend much time looking at the caseback so it doesn’t matter that much…

Water resistance is a useful 30ATM, or 300m/900ft, aided by the grippy signed crowns on both sides of the case, which engage easily and screw down smoothly. Having said that, occasionally the winding/setting crown on the right has 'hung up' when engaging the thread – a slightly disappointing and unexpected engineering faux pas on such an expensive watch although to be fair it has only happened once.

The blue dial and bezel insert add subtle colour and are so much nicer than the black traditionally used for these items. The dial is radially brushed which creates an attractive pattern as light plays over it. The stick markers are applied, coated with Superluminova and bordered in chrome. The dial is simple, attractive and very easy to read. The sword minute and arrow hour hands are large and long enough to be readable at a glance and, like the markers, have been treated with Superluminova for very effective night time visibility. The seconds hand is exceptionally long and is easy to find and track thanks to a red arrow tip and lume.

The crystal is a slightly domed sapphire with an anti-reflective coating applied to the inside. The date window is typically small and useless to me without my reading glasses, but this is a common complaint not confined to this watch.

The bezel function is doubly unusual: firstly it is bi-directional, and secondly it is equipped with a locking device via the crown on the left. It cannot be rotated until the locking crown is unscrewed, but once released it is surprisingly easy to grip thanks to the sharp teeth and the fact that the bezel protrudes slightly over the case at top and bottom. The 120 click bezel action is ‘just right’, being easy to turn in either direction and clicking authoritatively into position before being locked. There is a luminous pip at 12 o’clock but I would have preferred it if the bezel markers were also lumed, particularly at this price point.

The Aquascope was delivered on a sculptured blue silicone strap with a signed deployant clasp. Despite not being a fan of sweat-producing rubber watch straps, I have to say that this is without doubt the best and most comfortable rubber strap I have ever encountered. I think the combination of thickness and softness is a winner here, but whatever the reason if you like rubber you will love this strap. I like it so much that I plan to wear it in the cooler months, and it's almost unheard of for me to choose to wear rubber. The buckle is neatly engineered, smooth in operation and has looks to match the watch - lovely. I have swapped the rubber for shark mesh for now and the combination looks natural to me, as well as enhancing warm weather wearability. I have also purchased a blue leather band which takes the JR deployant clasp as another alternative to the rubber.

I rate the comfort and wearability of the Aquascope exceptionally highly. This watch is light, compact and has a very low centre of gravity so it does not flop or move around once on the wrist. It also has that jewel-like quality which draws your eye to it constantly.

Was it worth it? In the sense that it was a 'revenue neutral' purchase, having been funded through watch sales - definitely! Having said that, this is the most expensive watch I’ve ever bought, but value is such a relative thing that I have to make a subjective call here: for myself, yes it was worth dropping a large wad of cash on the Aquascope. The wearability, versatility and design integrity are coupled with the sheer pleasure of strapping it on and admiring the finish and evident quality. I know that I will wear the heck out of this watch, and that it will never languish in the watch case for extended periods - and for me that is the true indicator of value for money.

From Australia - the land of Crocodile Dundee, Vegemite and the clockwise Coriolis effect.

Everything is relative and everything's a compromise.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2013 02:30AM by JY.

Watch or Accessory Review Jean Richard Aquascope Jpeg Attachments

JY658November 16, 2013 02:27AM

Nice find! really cool looking watch. (n/t)

carlopmwf76November 17, 2013 06:57PM

That's a beauty, and I like the mesh on it! Drooling (n/t)

itschris40November 16, 2013 03:54PM

Great review JY Thumbs Up clapping (n/t)

Reto40November 16, 2013 01:12PM

Awesomeness! Thanks for the review. (n/t)

Dave P49November 16, 2013 07:26AM

Cheers!Thumbs up! Great review , great watch!Smile (n/t)

IF37November 16, 2013 07:19AM

Nice review and watch. Thumbs up! (n/t)

Anonymous User44November 16, 2013 05:55AM

clapping Excellent review! I think that's a really great looking watch, with cool features. Enjoy it! smile (n/t)

Zeb29November 16, 2013 02:57AM

Same here, congratulations (n/t)

solex38November 16, 2013 05:39AM

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