Circula Watches is staging a very admirable comeback in the hands of Cornelius Huber, grandson of the brand’s founder. What started in 1955 is now back on track with very appealing vintage-inspired dive watch collections. We’ve seen the AquaSport, the SuperSport, and now it’s the new Circula AquaSport II’s turn. This second-gen AquaSport comes with several updates and funky 1970s colour combinations.
The Circula AquaSport II is an updated version of the original AquaSport, which was inspired by a vintage Circula dive watch from the 1970s. The signature barrel-shaped case is taken directly from the era of funk when these watches were all the rage. Even today, many brands look back at this period of watchmaking for inspiration. Circula does the same, but with credibility as it once actually manufactured such watches.
Changes between the first generation and the second generation of the Circula AquaSport are subtle at first, but looking close reveals interesting updates and details. Of course, carrying on the theme of a specific watch into a second-gen model makes sense; otherwise, it would be best to present it as entirely new.
Size-wise the AquaSport II has grown slightly in diameter but retains the same height. The new 40mm diameter allows for a slightly larger dial opening of 31.5mm, which improves legibility. The margins are slim, but every little bit helps. The finishing of the case is mainly brushed with polished bevels. The relatively slim screw-down crown grips well and has an orange ring for a bit of contrast, with a luminous logo on top. The closed caseback has a relief image of a diver taking the plunge and a little fish welcoming him (see further down for an image of the caseback).
With a height of 13.4mm, including the domed sapphire crystal, this isn’t exactly a slim watch. Nevertheless, it doesn’t feel overly huge on the wrist and thanks to the case’s profile and construction, it remains very comfortable. The 120-clicks unidirectional bezel feels very solid when rotating, with very little vertical and horizontal play. The insert comes in a funky two-tone petrol blue and turquoise, with an orange and white 60-minutes scale and orange triangle pointer.
The dial for the Circula AquaSport II matches the aquamarine blue tone of the bezel insert. The wave-like pattern and fine sunray brushing vividly enhance the dial. Depending on the light, it shifts from deep blue to aquamarine or green-blue. The outer minute track is white with a black scale. The applied hour indices extend over the middle section of the dial and create a heightened sense of depth. The indices themselves are outlined in orange and filled with a generous amount of Super-LumiNova. The large hour and minute hands are brushed and also have luminous inserts. The bright orange seconds hand has a luminous triangular tip, tying in with the colour scheme of the rest of the watch.
The mechanics of the Circula AquaSport II fall in line with the SuperSport collection. Opting for Sellita SW 200-1 is a sensible thing to do, as the movement offers great reliability and is easily serviced. Circula also offers the choice of a top-grade spec movement with a Glucydur balance wheel. The automatic movement runs at 28,800vph (4Hz) and provides 38 hours of autonomy. It indicates central hours, minutes and hacking seconds to ensure precise setting of the time.
As an alternative to this petrol-and-orange combo, Circula also offers a grey-and-orange version and a meteorite dial with a black bezel insert and minute track. The latter is limited to 99 pieces and is priced a bit higher due to the material for the dial. This also comes without a date display, whilst the other two have a date disc colour-matched to the dial at 6 o’clock.
To be honest, I really fell for the funky charm of the petrol blue version of the Circula AquaSport II. It wears very well, is as solid as can be and just looks darn cool. The combination of modern mechanics and materials, paired with that distinct retro-vibe and funky colours, simply clicked for me in a big way.
Add into that the option of proper dive specs, top-grade movement option, and the choice between a petrol blue Tropic-style rubber strap or a beads-of-rice steel bracelet, and it becomes a very competitive package. And the price? The Circula AquaSport II starts at a very reasonable EUR 599 on rubber, with acceptable premiums for the movement (EUR +100) and bracelet options (EUR +100). The limited edition Circula AquaSport II with a meteorite dial is priced at EUR 899.
For more information, please visit Circulawatches.com