You can definitely count me as a Jaws fan, the 1975 blockbuster that launched the skyrocketing careers of both Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss. Playing Matt Hooper in the movie, Dreyfuss wore a watch very similar to the reissued Alsta Nautoscaph Superautomatic the brand is again offering. Modern touches and a slight size increase contemporize things a bit, but it’s a faithful throwback to one of the most famous films and characters in cinema. Succumbing to the quartz crisis in the late 1970s, Alsta disappeared for about 40 years, but is back with a vengeance and now selling affordable, intriguing dive watches full of nostalgia. But today, it should be safer to wear it!
Matt Hooper was both wealthy and a dedicated oceanographer, passing on a Submariner or Fifty Fathoms for a robust Alsta dive watch. I’m not sure what Quint was wearing, but he probably should’ve gotten the bigger boat. Anyway, what we have here is a 316L stainless steel cushion case at 38mm in diameter (43mm lug to lug). It sports a satin finish, solid steel caseback and contemporary sapphire crystal. The knurled crown is polished steel and screws down, contributing to an impressive 300-metre depth rating. The external, unidirectional rotating bezel is black with a detailed minute track and silver background spanning the first 15 minutes. This piece is dive-ready and comes fitted with a 20mm black tropic vulcanized rubber strap. I’m not entirely sure what the dimensions of Hooper’s original watch were, but I’m guessing around 36mm.
The dial is black with large coffin-shaped indices filled with C3 Super-LumiNova, along with large Arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9. A date window sits at 3 o’clock and the company wrestled with the idea of including a magnifying lens, which was present on Hooper’s original model. They opted to exclude it in the name of durability. Tapered, sword-style hands are also filled with C3 Super-LumiNova and overall legibility is excellent, as expected for a serious diver.
Powering the watch is the always reliable Seiko NH35A automatic. It has 24 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 41-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. The Japanese NH35A is a robust, easily serviced movement offering an inexpensive alternative to Swiss counterparts. The watch also has many durability advantages, including shock-resistance to ISO 1413 standard, anti-magnetic to a field strength of 4,800 A/m (ISO 764 compliant) and again, a healthy 300-metre depth rating.
There’s a bit of confusion about the Jaws watch as Alsta claimed to release Hooper’s Jaws watch in 2014 with the Nautoscaph II. Now we have the “original Jaws watch” with this Alsta Nautoscaph Superautomatic 1970 Re-Edition. From the screenshots of the movie we showed, it looks like the new model is far more accurate. Whatever the case, this new piece is a stylish, serious diver with cool vintage appeal and a nice background. It’s limited to 1,975 pieces, the date of the movie’s release, and retails for GBP 795. More information can be found at alstawatch.com.