Available Now: The Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition
Whenever Fratello works with a brand partner on a limited edition, it’s always something with a story of how and why it came to be. Fratello is a business at the end of the day, but we don’t treat watch collaborations as purely commercial enterprises. All of us on the Fratello team are watch lovers and watch enthusiasts like you, the Fratelli. That enthusiast-first ideology helped create the Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition, available today in the Fratello Shop.
The Deepstar II is a modern cult classic and a continuation of the vintage Aquastar Deepstar design. The brand’s resurrection and the Deepstar II model come courtesy of industry veteran Rick Marei, who helped bring Doxa, Aquadive, Tropic, ISOfrane, and Synchron back to life. Aquastar is one of those “if you know, you know” brands. The vast majority of the Fratelli will no doubt be familiar, but outside of watch-collecting circles, Aquastar is not quite a household name. But that’s OK; sometimes, we like to keep things a little less mainstream.
Always for the Fratelli
That said, the Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition is something for all the Fratelli. The watch offers something slightly different from the core Aquastar Deepstar II but also fits perfectly within the collection, making it a natural extension of the line. Underneath the ice-blue dial is the Deepstar II blueprint we’ve come to know and love. Mike mentioned in his article last week that the Deepstar II was a three-hand interpretation of the Deepstar Chronograph. It’s not a watch that existed in the brand’s back catalog; instead, it was Rick Marei’s exploration of what the Deepstar could be. I think you’ll agree that it works particularly well in this three-hand variation!
The classic Deepstar II blueprint we all know and love
The Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition sticks with the success of Aquastar’s 2021 Deepstar II release. The 36.75mm stainless steel case features a compact 46mm lug-to-lug and 13mm thickness. The dimensions equate to a very wearable size at a time when the trend is toward smaller watches. Thanks to this, the Deepstar II is a genuinely unisex watch in terms of size. A signed screw-down crown and domed sapphire crystal with an antireflective coating complete the external casing. Finally, this watch is safe for most aquatic activities, providing water resistance to 200 meters.
The Deepstar II has a bidirectional external bezel with a “no-decompression” scale. This scale helps divers to calculate their maximum depth time during a dive so as not to require one or more decompression stops on their ascent to the surface. For those who are unaware, these stops allow the body to safely and slowly expel dissolved gases (primarily nitrogen) from the blood. Without decompression stops, these gases would expand, turning into bubbles and causing decompression sickness and, possibly, even death.
What did we change on Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II?
We chose a beautiful ice-blue sunburst dial for the Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition. Aquastar typically uses darker colors for its dials, and we believed this color would be a refreshing addition to the collection. The excellent ice-blue color should stand the test of time because it works so well with the overall design and becomes oddly versatile for such a light shade. Finally, a red hand on the small seconds sub-dial adds a flash of contrast.
Light blue may be incredibly popular today, but we didn’t choose the tone simply to adhere to current trends. We believed it was “missing” from the Deepstar II stable and a natural choice. Not all brands are quite so accommodating to suggestions like this, despite the relative simplicity of it. Thankfully, Rick, being the forward thinker he is, agreed to test it out. Fun fact: during the initial prototyping phase, Aquastar made three dial colors for us, but the ice blue was by far the best-looking and standout one of the bunch. As such, it was a no-brainer to forge ahead with this gorgeous, glacial hue.
Another distinct difference of the Fratello limited edition is the white Super-LumiNova instead of the “old radium” lume used on prior models. This helps lend a more modern feel and should also satisfy those who desire a fresh look, thus completing the cool ice-blue dial. You won’t find any “fauxtina” here!
Date, be gone!
The robust and reliable Sellita SW290-1 movement powers the Deepstar II. While this caliber usually has a date stop for the crown, Aquastar has removed it to eliminate the dreaded “phantom date position.” It’s surprising how many brands fail to make this change on movements where the date is not required. It may not seem like much, but for consumers (including me), it makes a big difference in the smoothness of operation and shows attention to detail.
Two options in the box
When I talk about versatility, it’s something we like to extend to the whole experience rather than just the dial color. For that reason, the Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition comes with both a bracelet and a strap option. The sporty beads-of-rice bracelet keeps things classy and will undoubtedly be the first choice for most owners. However, the matching ice-blue NATO strap provides a lovely look too. Highlighting and emphasizing the dial’s rich color, it also offers a very different wearing experience that is equally as home in the water or on the street. The choice is yours!
Available now: the Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition
The Fratello × Aquastar Deepstar II Limited Edition is limited to 50 pieces in total, and 25 pieces are available from the Fratello Shop right now! The other 25 pieces will be available directly from the official Aquastar website. To make things even better, we are offering all customers the traditional Aquastar introductory price of €1,549 (excluding VAT) for the first week of availability. You had better be quick, though, as this will increase to €1,915 (excluding VAT) from Wednesday, February 22nd. We’re very excited by this release and can’t wait to hear the feedback from the lucky people who can grab one!