For many years now, we’ve seen dip watches with wave patterns on the dial. Brands such as Omega and Ulysse Nardin have been doing this for a while. Using cases like those as precedent, Jeanrichard chose to replicate some rather famous waves on the dials of 2 Aquascope versions, it succeeds as being made to celebrate 150 years of Swiss-Japanese diplomacy. Frankly, I think the connection to the 1864 “Treaty of Friendship and Commerce” between Japan and Switzerland is a bit off-point and unnecessary. Swiss watch manufacturers love to celebrate actual and made up vacations, so we put up with it if intriguing watches come as a result.Japan is an important marketplace for timepieces therefore Jeanrichard designed a dial which replicates the look of the very famous work by Katsushika Hokusai called “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” Often known simply as Hokusai’s Great Wave, it’s a masterful piece of art that nearly everyone has noticed before, and was made circa 1830 from Japan as a woodblock carving. While posters and prints abound, it’s theorized that the about 5,000 prints came from the first woodblock carvings.The Great Wave Off Kanagawa is a significant function of art to me, for the absurd reason that I had a big poster of it hanging over my bed for approximately a decade starting when I began college. It is odd how it was always a relaxing bit of artwork even though it depicted ships in imminent danger. While the complete work is not duplicated on the dial of the Aquascope watches, the most important theme of this is, with a pattern of repeating Hokusai-style waves.
You have to hand it to JEANRICHARD. When most brands introduce a variant of existing models, there’s not much to tell the models apart other than a suffix on the model reference number. With their three newest watches, they’ve come up with a name for the, well, sub-collection: Nocturnal Adventures.
This new group of watches features two variants of their Terrascope, and one of the 1681. What makes these watches different from their predecessors is the fact that they are predominantly black – black dials, black cases, black straps. This is also, of course, where the first part of the name from the group comes from; the second part just being that JEANRICHARD intends their watches to be ready for sport adventures.
We’ll start with the Terrascope models, as these are likely the most familiar style from JR for many. These share the same 44mm case and overall styling that we’ve come to know and love from the Terrascope line. Where they branch off is with their finishing.
The first one (ref. 60500-11-609-FK6A) features a DLC coating on the case, along with alternating satin and sandblasted finishes underlying the DLC define the levels, and just give the general level of attention that’s great to see in any watch with alternating surface treatments. This is paired with a matte black dial; on top of those you’ve got the applied indices with cutouts for the luminous paint, ensuring readability when it truly gets dark (the lume-filled hands look like what we’ve seen before).
This watch is paired to a black rubber strap, meaning it’s ready for some action. If you’d prefer something a bit more refined, then you might be interested in the bi-color variant of the Terrascope (ref. 60500-56-602-BB60) that was introduced in the collection. Rather than the DLC black treatment, the steel case is left in it’s natural color, with pink gold showing up on the outer edge of the case, as well as on the handset and indices that are spinning away over the matte black dial. To further push this particular model into a dressier mode, it’s been paired to a black alligator strap.
Both of these models are nice looking pieces in their own right (as is the Terrascope line in general, as befits the flagship model for a brand). For me, however, the star of the group is the 1681 with DLC case (60320-11-652-HB6A). The first thing that grabs me about this piece is the use of the “vintagish” beige lume applied to the leaf hands. I also appreciate that the same color was used on the date wheel, making for a cohesive look.
The case of the 1681 has a softer look to it (as compared to the Terrascope and Aquanaut lines), and the bead-blasted finish keeps the case from getting to be too shiny. This is a great look against the dial, keeping things in theme. The numerals and indices on that dial are also darkened, so you really only see the hands.
In brighter circumstances, I think you’ll catch a lot more, as those numerals and indices are quite raised, giving a nice dimensional aspect to the dial you might not otherwise have. This third and final model in the group is paired to a calfskin strap that also has a sort of matte finish itself, completing the overall look of the piece.
Often when it comes to black watches, it’s a struggle to keep things readable. All three of these models keep things just as readable as their non-DLC counterparts – they’re just offering up the watches in color palettes we’ve not seen yet from the brand.
For the DLC Terrascope, you’ll need to place $3,800 on the barrel; it’s bi-color cousin commands a higher premium, coming in at $7,900. My favorite of the group, the 1681, comes in between the two, commanding a price of $6,900 (all will be available in February 2013). All told, it’s a nice collection, and one that I’m guessing should prove as popular as the previous models have been. jeanrichard.com