Art and watchmaking are two worlds that have always been closely related. Brands often create events around painting exhibitions or music concerts. Some are even going a step further by integrating art IN the watches, such as Vacheron Constantin with its ‘Metiers d’Arts’ or Laurent Ferrier with painted dials on its Galet Secret. JeanRichard, in a lower price range, just introduced a nice example of art and watches combining, with the ‘Hokusai’ limited edition of its Aquascope.
Katsushika Hokusai is a very famous Japanese painter of the 19th century; know for ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa‘ painting. This dismantled ocean representation is the theme used in a new limited edition by JeanRichard, with a dial engraved with waves. This new timepiece was conceived to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Swiss-Japanese relations in 2014 (FP Journe also did a limited edition to celebrate the French-Chinese relations). And to comply with the subject of this painting, what better choice than a diving watch: the Aquascope.
The main particularity of this limited edition is, of course, its engraved dial; but that’s not its only distinguishing feature by any means, as the colour scheme, indexes and case are also unique. The dial shows a fine and discreet pattern that, besides being nicely executed, well befits the idea of a diving watch. The marine theme is also enhanced by the use of a bright blue tint for the luminescent material that is also glowing in blue during the night. Moreover, the watch is really efficient in low-light conditions and really can be used as a dive watch.
The hands and indexes present a specific black polished finish that contrasts very well with the matte black colour of the dial. The JeanRichard Hokusai is actually as pleasant to read in the daytime as at night. On the ‘regular’ Aquascope, the indexes are applied on the dial, but this limited edition comes with distinctive indexes that are floating upon the dial. Not easy to show in a photo, it is nevertheless a nice little extra that gives the watch an added degree of exclusivity, compared to the classical Aquascope.
The JeanRichard Aquascope is water resistant up to 300m and offers a screwed crown and a unidirectional rotating bezel, strongly notched and with 60 clicks. No doubt, it will be a very practical watch to use in deep salty waters. This limited edition comes with a black PVD case, made of stainless steel and measuring 44mm. The case has a special ‘sandwich’ construction, as it made of a central module and 2 side parts that create the lugs, the same as in every JeanRichard watch. The Terrascope we reviewed a few months ago also uses this construction. It comes here with a full matte coating, a circular graining on the bezel and a vertical brushed finish on the sides, giving a toolish aspect to the watch.
The Aquascope is equipped with a self-winding Sellita SW200, an ETA-clone that will perform its duties without any issue. It has 42 hours of power reserve, a quick date and a hacking second mechanism. It is a reliable and simple movement that sits perfectly in such a tool watch.
On the wrist, the JeanRichard Aquascope is a pleasant watch that wears smaller than expected, thanks to the very short lugs. The rubber strap with folding clasp is also of a high quality and will allow wearing of the ‘Hokusai’ in the water and in warm conditions. The only drawback comes from the weight, because of a stainless steel case. The use of a titanium case would have been more suitable and comfortable. For the rest, the JR Aquascope is a cool, fun watch that will easily earn its place on your wrist during summer.
The ‘Hokusai’ limited edition of the JeanRichard Aquascope is also available in black PVD, however with red luminescent material; and in non-coated stainless steel with a grey dial. More info on the JeanRichard website.