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Here comes the shark - Alsta Nautoscaph Superautomatic

Movies and watches go hand and hand, I am as much a movie fan as I am a watch fan so when you combined both for me it is something I cannot resist. From the Heuer Monaco in the movie Le mans to the Hamilton Khaki on Interstellar, watches are usually placed by a marketing person to elevate the status of a brand, I keep playing in my head that scene in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig corrected her co star that he was wearing an Omega and not a Rolex, I still cringe but it was a good attempt. Omega is not the only one culpable of these types of brand placement but sometimes the right prop and in this case the right watch can really help the character to stand out, be different and as a result everything matches. When you see something on screen that you identify with suddenly begin to imagine the reason why that character likes the same thing as you: '' why is he/she drinking that? '' or '' why is he/she wearing that?'' Richard Dreyfuss who played Matt Hooper in the movie Jaws is the perfect example, a character with a wealthy background, well spoken and with a career as an oceanographer. After knowing all these facts (me being a watch enthusiast) I wanted to understand why was he wearing that particularly watch, this was the time when I came across Alsta, is it a new or an old brand? What happened to it? I started searching on the internet and I got lucky, there was an Alsta watch company, one of the many brands hit by the Quartz crisis but there a small print, Alsta was on its way to revival. All of this happened in 2016 and after some years of waiting I have one of the 1975 limited edition Nautoscaph pieces on my hand to answer the all the questions I had. Let's dive in (punt intend it)

The specifications:

In the 60's and 70's watches were a tool, there is no denying that guys like Steve McQueen and Sean Connery gave watches a more desirable status but a Rolex Submariner was just a tool watch and not a luxury piece per se, same happens with our Alsta. With a nice 38mm case and a very short lug to lug distance of 43mm it's a perfect block of steel which attaches to your wrist giving a wearable size with presence, the watch fits like a glove on my 6.25 inch wrist, to give you an idea the Nautoscaph feels like a Rolex Datejust with a rotating bezel.

The watch has some tricks up it's sleeve like 300 meter water resistance, shock resistant to ISO standard and anti-magnetic capabilities, the movement chosen for the revival was the Seiko NH35A giving the Nautoscaph reliability in almost every extreme situation. The watch has modern features like sapphire crystal and date window which is useful when you are desk diving, might not be as dangerous as Hooper day to day job but I do like to know what day of the month is. The lume on the watch is C3 Super-LumiNova which glows quite a bit when the smallest sun ray hits it, great job here and a great choice.

On the wrist:

With the dimensions above out of the way I can tell you that the watch feels great, it feels vintage but it feels robust on the wrist. The watch is very legible making it a great choice for an every day watch, the vintage lume applied makes everything softer to the eyes, that warm beige together with the words ''Superautomatic'' definitely give a node to the 70's and I mean that in a good way.

Alsta debated almost every aspect when recreating the watch to make it as true to the original, this means creating the bracelet which is as iconic as the watch itself, they have succeeded. A beautiful recreation of the stainless steel bracelet with holes on top completes the visual charm of the watch, you really want to put this piece on top of a wetsuit as soon as possible.


I can't imagine the difficulty in the design process when Alsta decided to revive the Nautoscaph, it's not easy to recreate a watch that has a so many followers but the attention to detail and choices made by the team ended up in a piece that is truly nostalgic. The Nautoscaph makes you think on those times when you paused the VCR and ended up with a blurry image just to see what was that shiny thing on Mr. Dreyfuss coming out of the water.

It is hard to imagine a movie character without some of its classic features, Indiana Jones with out a hat, the Terminator without sunglasses or Matt Hooper without the Nautoscaph, I am glad that Alsta is back and I am glad that I got to taste a modern piece with tons of vintage cues.


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