Mostly known for its prolific AquaScope family of cushion-shaped divers that offer an alternative to impressive, but heavily overpriced Panerai timekeepers, the Swiss-based manufacturer has recently added a nice “aviator” to its model range. Presented back in May during Baselworld 2013 show in titanium (ref. 60650-21G211-FK2A) and black DLC titanium (ref. 60650-21H612-21A), the JeanRichard AeroScope Automatic combines the same rugged, cushion-shaped body with a finely crafted dial of a tri-compax chronograph.
Thanks to the use of a vertical satin finish on its case, bezel, and the dial (the dial, by the way, features the most prominent finish among those, I would probably call it vertical brushing if the Swiss watchmaker didn’t insist on it being ‘satin finish’,) the watch looks organic, almost like it was machined from a single block of metal (which may very well be the case since the company has good expertise of making ‘unibody’ cases with a number of joints cut to the bare minimum in order to make the watch more watertight.
The effect is further emphasized by the choice of color for the SuperLuminova luminescent compound for the numerals, hour markers, and skeletonized hands that perfectly match the black of the Arabic numerals on its unidirectional rotating bezel.
With visible parts of the case crafted from lightweight titanium, the watch not only looks impressive thanks to the metal’s signature shade of grey but is also more lightweight making it quite comfortable even despite its impressive size of whole 46 millimeters in width. Of course, the timekeeper’s being thin for a piece with automatic winding (it measures just over 12.5 mm top to bottom) also helps a great deal.
The vertical finish on the case is best accentuated with a grey rubber strap, but the Swiss brand is also ready to offer you the same watch on a less sporty, but more elegant (and also more expensive) black Barenia calfskin strap or a rugged-looking titanium bracelet.
I couldn’t manage to find* any information regarding the Caliber JR66 automatic movement that powers the new AeroScope, but I believe that this is a fairly new caliber, which is probably based on their Sellita-based JR60 caliber.
Of course, the version with black DLC coating (pictured below) covering its bezel, as well as the upper plate of the case looks more “professional” with its high-contrast black and white color scheme, but the “base” model with its ice-cold pure titanium looks a lot more versatile and will probably fit great not only a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or a sweater but also a highly expensive tailor-made formal suit.
* UPDATE ON CALIBER JR66: Okay, the Swiss brand has finally made public information regarding this new movement. It is, in fact, a refinished version of the new Sellita SW300 automatic movement: an alternative to ETA caliber 2892. This basically means that the watch will be a great deal easier to service and cheaper to own than a similarly priced product animated by a new ‘in-house’ caliber with all those inevitable teething problems.
I still think that, at a price of $4900 USD, it is too expensive: you can find lots of ETA 7750-powered chronographs in this range.
JeanRichard AeroScope (refs. 60650-21G211-FK2A & 60650-21H612-21A) specification
Price: $4900 (MSRP, version in grey titanium) / $6200 (MSRP, version in black DLC titanium)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber JR66 (based on Sellita caliber SW300-1,) Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 43
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case, Bezel, and Crown: Titanium (ref. 60650-21G211-FK2A) / Black DLC titanium (ref. 60650-21H612-21A)
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 46.00 mm
Height: 12.67 mm
Dial: Grey, satin-finished
Numerals: Arabic, black SuperLuminova
Hour markers: Black SuperLuminova
Hands: Skeletonized, black SuperLuminova
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Grey rubber strap on a stainless steel folding buckle / Black Barenia calfskin strap with a folding buckle / Titanium bracelet with a butterfly buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Titanium, screwed-down, engraved