There is something rather bemusing about seeing a portly person, devouring copious amounts of highly calorific food and washing it down with a “diet” soft-drink. It seems that they are under the misapprehension that consuming a two litre bottle of low-calorie carbonated liquid will render the nutritional sins of their gluttony, void.
Recently chatting to a rotund acquaintance who embraces the above obesity-inducing lifestyle, they proffered a reason for their chosen low calorie refreshment. “It’s all about the flavour”, they explained. Their argument being that the taste of the “diet” beverage was preferable to the non-diet alternative.
It made me ponder my liking for diver’s watches. I don’t need a watch that conveys the time several hundred metres below the ocean’s surface. However, my attraction to these watches is because I like their flavour, or rather, their styling. I seldom need to go scuba diving but I do appreciate the robust characteristics of a diver’s watch. I suppose it is a similar argument for military watches, I like the masculine lines but I don’t intend to take up arms soon.
Recently, I had the good fortune to have a few days temporary ownership of a JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial. The ‘hands-on” experience proved highly enjoyable.
JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial – Brand History
JeanRichard is part of the Sowind Group, a Swiss based company located in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The holding company also includes the prestigious maison, Girard-Perregaux. JeanRichard has been subject to a thorough overhaul in recent times and the resultant product range is fresh. I must admit I did not mind the former models, but the new range of models is particularly impressive, especially considering the accessible pricing.
The naming of the new range makes reference to the land, sea and air, with families named Terrascope, Aquascope and Aeroscope respectively. In addition, the company offers a more upscale line of models, the 1681. This nomen references the year Daniel Jeanrichard was born, a man who the brand cites as “a major driving force behind the watchmaking industry”.
JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial – The Dial
A blue dial provides a fitting visual metaphor for an aquatically-themed watch. The stylish hue does not come at the expense of functionality. This watch offers a highly legible presentation of time. The inventory of functions is restricted to hours, minutes, central seconds and date. It is the restricted number of functions which actually enhances the visual appeal of this watch, avoiding the risk of overburdening the dial with too much detail.
Luminescent applied indexes and hands ensure legibility in nocturnal light. It is the absence of Arabic or Roman numerals which helps reinforce the sense of clarity.
A minute rail is depicted on the inner flange framing the dial. Each five minute integer, is marked with Arabic numerals. Short white strokes indicate the minutes, with small white marks denoting each 15 second point in between. This particular aspect is impressive as the brand has ensured the markings match the motion of the second hand by considering the frequency of the movement i.e. the second hand interfaces with each 1/4 second mark.
Sadly, not all brands give this adequate consideration. A 4Hz movement, should not really have four integers between second markings but three, otherwise the hand will seldom point at the corresponding value. However, it is remarkable how often this mistake is made.
JeanRichard has cleverly ensured that, despite affordable pricing, attention to detail is not overlooked.
JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial – The Case
My press-loan watch was supplied on a bracelet, however, an equally attractive version presented on a rubber strap is also available. The bracelet is exquisitely refined in its creation. Whilst the triple-row link construction is predominantly satin-brushed, the bevelled edges of the links are highly polished.
JeanRichard has employed a modular case construction to several of its models allowing the company to offer a vast array of model variants whilst still ensuring economies of scale are achieved. This is important because it allows the brand to deliver a good quality timepiece at an extremely attractive price point, £2700.
The lateral inserts affixed to the sides of the Aquascope replace the usual caseband and lugs. In adopting this approach JeanRichard is able to share components with sister models such as the Terrascope and Aeroscope.
The blue anodised-aluminium bezel has a metallic lustre that looks resplendent in bright light. It is unidirectional, reaffirming the diver’s watch credentials of the Aquascope. Furthermore, traditionalists will appreciate the solid caseback, albeit I would have preferred an exhibition caseback.
Should you feel an overwhelming desire to explore the ocean bed, the maximum water resistance of 300 metres will meet the requirements of the majority of sub-aquatic explorers.
JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial – The Movement
The Movement JR60 is self-winding, has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and contains 26 jewels. The power reserve is stated as being a minimum of 38 hours.
The movement is not in-house, the brand has chosen to reserve those movements for the aforementioned top-of-the-range model line, the 1681. However, the Movement JR60 is a quality Swiss movement and delivers the typical dependability we have grown to expect from the famous landlocked country.
JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial – Conclusion
The JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial is an honest watch. It displays time with easy to interpret communication and avoids the superfluous and confusing. Yet, in spite of its no-nonsense approach to imparting time, the Aquascope Blue Dial does not abandon style. It is handsome and the blue colour is exceptionally attractive.
The watch is comfortable to wear despite being large. It measures 44mm and has a height of 13.05mm. Indeed, it is the scale of the watch, together with its robust mien that appeals to my tastes. Despite having no desire to venture into the sea, particularly off the coast of my native Lancashire, I like the flavour of this timepiece. Perhaps I now understand why some people choose to accompany a piece of cake with a large glass of diet cola.
JeanRichard Aquascope Blue Dial – Technical Specification
- Stainless steel,
- Diameter 44mm – height 13.05mm,
- Water resistant to 30 bar (300 metres),
- Sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; date.
- Caliber: JR60,
- Self-winding movement,
- Frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz),
- 26 jewels,
- Power reserve minimum 38 hours.
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with butterfly buckle.