If you haven't already noticed, we have a lot of affection for the horological "little guys" here at analog/shift. Even when those "little guys" are really just rebranded watches from some of the biggest names in the business. Actually, especially when they are, as evidenced by this gorgeous Auricoste Spirotechnique Professional Diver from the 1990s.
Built under license from TAG Heuer (whose own version of the timepiece sold in the 1980s are incredibly collectable in their own right), Auricoste marketed these divers as their top tier 1000 meter Professional grade diving watches after TAG Heuer discontinued their self-branded model around 1993. Auricoste originally picked up the licensing for fulfillment of military contracts with the French Marine Nationale, while later manufacturing and selling others (including this particular example) for commercial sale.
What is particularly delightful about these divers is their connection to the French diving firm La Spirotechnique, which was founded by Jacques Cousteau in 1947 as a holding company patent for the original Aqua-Lung. The firm went on to develop and supply professional and military grade diving equipment around the world, and is still known today by divers worldwide as the industry standard for gear of all types. Licensing by the firm wasn't done lightly, and the iconic text and diver logo on the dial prove its chops as a successor to some of the earliest and most important diving watches ever developed.
Unlike so many of the modern boutique brands that build chunky steel divers with excessive specifications for contemporary desk divers, these Heuer-designed timepieces were engineered for professional and military use. Utilizing robust components and a simple, no-nonsense case, bezel and dial design, this tool watch has a certain rugged beauty to it that beats many of its more complicated contemporaries. Although not particularly expensive, these Auricoste models seem to be rarely released from private collections, and the examples that do show signs of many years worth of hard use. This particular example is crisp and clean, and ready to find a home with someone who loves the history and development of the diving watch as much as we do!
For more information on the Heuer/Auricoste Spirotechnique Professional Diver, check out this comprehensive guide on Calibre11, HERE.
Stainless Steel case is approximately 41mm (excluding crown). Automatic movement cal. 2824
Overall condition: Case is in great condition over all, showing only light signs of wear - no excessive markings or damage. Original dial is in excellent condition with no scratching or signs of water damage. Light even patination across the luminescent elements on the hour markers and hands. Crisp printing. Original unsigned crown.
Includes two 20mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.