OceanicTime Archives


ALSTA Nautoscaph II [you're going to need a bigger boat]

I was barely walking back then but the 1975 movie classic, Jaws is one of my all-time favorites – it still gives me the shivers to this day when I think about that giant shark.

A few years back a question was asked – what was the watch worn by Richard Dreyfuss’ character, Matt Hooper in the movie?

There was a lot of debate but finally thanks to an article written by a couple vintage dive watch geeks the diver’s watch worn by fictional ichthyologist, Hooper was REVEALED as the Alsta Nautoscaph.

Like many independent Swiss watchmakers of its era that were producing mechanical wristwatches, Alsta was hit hard by the quartz watch crisis of the late 70s and eventually as many others did faded out of existence.

The brand lay dormant for decades but the Alsta Watch Co. is finally back with a revival of arguably its most famous model, the Nautoscaph now known as the Nautoscaph II.

Great attention to detail has been paid on the recreation of the Alsta Nautoscaph. Details like the specially-manufactured super-domed crystal for instance.

There were a number of configurations of the original Nautoscaph, including some different bezel and dial details, such as stick or coffin-shaped markers, and numerals at 3, 6, 9, 12 - all in various combinations.

Alsta’s new owners tried several different dial configurations before ultimately settling on the clean retro-modern-styled design seen on the Nautoscaph II, today.

Like the original, the Nautoscaph II is powered by a quality automatic movement. Every one of its components has either been manufactured in Switzerland or Germany, except however for its NH35A automatic movement which is manufactured by Seiko of Japan.

The movement snob in me says it’s a shame they didn’t go Swiss ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200 for few more dollars; however the NH35A has proven its worth as a reliable and trusty little workhorse – it’s just not Swiss, though is it?

Divers features of the Alsta Nautoscaph II include: a unidirectional divers bezel and a screw-down crown with a triple-lock mechanism and crosshatch engraving, a feature often seen on the crowns of super-compressor dive watches of the 60s and 70s.

It has been manufactured and tested to withstand pressure from depths of 999ft which is 300m or 29atm. The original Nautoscaph had 999ft on its dial which is a touch that the new Alsta team loved and therefore retained for today’s model.

The Nautoscaph II has also been manufactured and tested to be anti-magnetic resistant up to 4,800 A/m in accordance with ISO 764 compliance and shock-resistant to ISO 1413 standards.

The Nautoscaph II’s case is cast from 316L grade Stainless Steel. Grade 316L is the standard molybdenum bearing grade which means it has high corrosion resistant properties and particularly high resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. It is also anti-magnetic.

The Alsta Nautoscaph II’s domed glass is a hardened mineral crystal not Sapphire unfortunately. Alsta wanted the Nautoscaph II to follow its predecessor and have a lovely domed crystal therefore they specially designed and manufactured a super-domed crystal. They did though, decide to remove the cyclops. ;)

The Nautoscaph II comes on a Milanese mesh bracelet AKA Shark Mesh (what else!) – aesthetically it works, it works full stop BUT, it’s a pity that Alsta didn’t go full hog and recreate the solid steel bracelet complete with portholes like the one that Hooper wore in the movie. I would imagine that the cost of producing the bracelet would have made the watch too expensive – sigh :(

BUT – it is also available with an ISOfrane, premium quality diver’s strap – can’t argue with that!

The watch is available direct from Alsta priced 665GBP / approx. 875USD.

So what you think, folks? It’s a great looking watch but I can’t help thinking that some of us might pass up on what could be a great little dive watch with a real bit of nostalgia attached because of its Japanese movement and that mineral crystal. Are these deal breakers?



  1. It's nice, but given components over-priced by about $400.

    1. I agree it looks nice, but way overpriced! Japanese movement kills it for me!

  2. Sorry to say but the mesh bracelet is exactly as my Scagen watch of 100bucks with a cheap clasp.Only my bracelet is also titanium for 100 bucks.
    Unfortunately this watch is way overpriçed in my oppinion.