August 6, 2009
by Ariel Adams
Now this is a nice diving watch. I find it refreshing to see a simple and straight forward design execution such as this. What else would you expect from JeanRichard, Girard Perregaux’s baby brand? The Diverscope JR1000 watch has the sensibility of somewhere between a Rolex Submariner and a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. The design is not quite as refined as those two, but the look is really fantastic and the straight-forwardness of the design is appealing and welcome. The Diverscope is watch from the 1960’s and here is a modern rendition of the look. Me liking it, as well as the other aforementioned diving watches probably means I like retro design better than moderns design! But hey, a lot of modern diver’s watches are way to cluttered and “noisy.” Too much going on is distracting and will prevent a watch from being a favored daily wear.
There is a lot to like about this watch. I’ll start with the movement which is an in-house made (good, bur surprising) JeanRichard JR1000 automatic mechanical, with a power reserve of 48 hours. It is not the fanciest of movements, but it does the basics well I am sure, and I love diving watch with in-house movements – very appealing. This is all inside a 43mm wide (by about 14mm thick) case made out of PVD coated steel – ooh fancy. The black PVD on steel here is a good look with a matte finish, making for a very light looking watch. The crowns however are made of titanium, and also black PVD coated. Titanium is a bit prone to getting scratches, but the PVD coating should help a little bit on that regard. There are large sections on the sides of the case that act as extended crown guards. I like how these sections look applied to the case, though they are likely part of one strong case construction. You can see the exposed strap bars at the ends of these sections. Instead of having both crowns on one side, JeanRichard opted for a more symmetrical approach, so that the crown to operate the inner rotating bezel is located on the left side of the case. It looks nice and adds a more technical look to the watch. I am really getting into liking this timepiece a lot!
The functional and almost military look of the watch that is hinted at in the case become clear when you see the dial. While it does have some fashion-forward elements, the dial is a good look at what a modern diver watch should look like. I do think it needs more lume though. There is the very large 12, 6, and 9 o’clock markers and hands that are bathed with lume (hopefully SuperLumiNova), and enough on the rotating inner bezel, but I am not sure if there is enough, or any lume on the rest of the main dial hour markers. The hands are different shapes which is important in a diver’s watch. This was made popular by the Rolex Submariner, but many diving watches don’t do this.
The dial is “black opaline,” and is slightly textured with a matte finish. The black against lime, or more interesting looking black and cream colored dial are attractive and feel unique in the saturated diving watch world (I made a pun!). A true diver’s watch, the Diverscope JR1000 is water resistant to 300 meters and comes with either a vulcanized rubber strap (with PVD steel deployment) or a fabric strap with a fold over Velcro strap (luxurious I know, but it is actually meant for diving!). My overall impressions of the new Diverscope JR1000 watch line is nice. The real kicker will be the price, of which I am not exactly certain. I have a feeling it is going to be too high, say in the $8,000 – $10,000 range. This is just under the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, and much more than a Rolex Submariner, and getting closer to Rolex Deep Sea, Sea Dweller range. Perhaps my estimate are wrong, and the watch is closer to $5,000 which would make it pricey, but not priced out of the market. I’d be very happy with one of these.See JeanRichard watches on eBay here. See JeanRichard watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]jeanrichard, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]