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Why We Love It
When it comes to vintage dive watches, we love the heavy hitters just as much as the next guy.
The Rolex Submariner, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, and the Omega Seamaster 300 all have special places in our hearts—and collections. But for every well-known name in the dive watch world, there’s one that makes us stop and say, “Now this is why we got into collecting watches in the first place.”
This Aqualung diver is the perfect example. In the 1950s and 1960s, tons of brands got into the dive watch game, using contract cases and movements. However, this watch was made for Aqualung, the company founded by Jacques Cousteau, the father of SCUBA himself. The 37mm stainless steel contract case has well defined lugs and its dial dark radium lume. A black rotatable bezel surrounds the dial and gives the piece a proper diving appeal. Furthermore, this chronograph variation makes an already rare watch all the more special
Some dive watches are recognizable from across a room - and thats the reason some people buy them. But then there are others that require an elevated taste. This is one of those special pieces.
If you know - you really know.
The year was 1943. World War II raged across Europe. But in the icy waters of the Marne River, all was calm as Lieutenant Jacques Cousteau of the Marine Nationale plunged beneath the surface. On his back was a unique apparatus, two tanks of compressed air attached to a hose which was connected to a mask on Cousteau’s face. This was the Aqualung, and by the next decade it would usher in a new era of diving. The age of SCUBA had begun.
The Aqualung logo would become a familiar sight among amateur and professional diving cirlces, popularized by Cousteau’s company U.S. Divers. Although most commonly seen on SCUBA gear, it could also be seen on watches. Among these, DOXA Sub 300Ts with the distinctive logo are by far the most prevalent, known as “Black Lung” by collectors, but Aqualung also sold watches under its own brand name.
Employing contract “skin diver” cases and robust A. Schild or Felsa movements, these watches are every bit the no-nonsense tool watches as the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (another watch favored by Cousteau). Also, the association with Cousteau gives them an added appeal. Uncommon and undeniably attractive, they offer the collector a rarely-seen alternative to the Fifty Fathoms and Submariner, with no less of a diving pedigree.
Stainless steel case is approximately 37mm (excluding the crown). Landeron calibre 248 manually-winding chronograph movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Luminous glossy black dial is in fantastic condition showing rich patination throughout the indices and handset. Unsigned crown.
Includes olive green Nato strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options