James Bond is a cold-hearted misogynist who murders people to protect a police state, a monarchy masquerading as a democracy. Matt Hooper is a kind-hearted oceanographer who all but sacrificed his life to protect a small seaside community within a constitutional republic. In his many cinematic outings, James Bond wears OMEGA. In his one star turn, Matt Hooper wears Alsta. A year ago, the watchmaker launched a “re-issue” of the Jaws watch. chrono24.com has two for sale at $1100. Worth it?
Wearing a watch to emulate a fictional character is a bit juvenile. And? Which of us isn’t in touch with their inner child? Who doesn’t get a kick out of wearing a “grown up” watch? If that watch gives you a bit of an armchair adventure fantasy thrill, where’s the harm in that? I mean, how many people who wear a diver’s watch dive?
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s belatedly celebrate the return of Matt Hooper’s Alsta Nautoscaph Superautomatic, the watch worn in Steven Spielberg’s seminal horror flick Jaws (as above). Because you asked for it!
We are asked weekly by the community of Alsta enthusiasts when we are going to re-release the original Jaws Watch. These things take time and we had to execute the watch that we knew enthusiasts wanted…using modern technology.
The ellipses in Alsta’s copy raises a thorny question: did enthusiasts ask for modern technology? While I’m sure horologic-minded Jaws fans appreciate a modern movement – one they can’t see anyway – I’m not so sure they’ll be happy with changes to the exterior. They were warned!
We don’t simply produce carbon copies of old watches – we bring up to date using modern materials and technology and the Nautoscaph Superautomatic was no exception.
Modern material and technology, sure. BUT the new Nautoscaph Superautomatic is larger than the old one. While 38mm is still a small watch by today’s standards – a Panerai can be seen from low earth orbit – collectors seeking verisimilitude will not be well pleased. Substituting a domed sapphire crystal for a domed mineral crystal isn’t going to get their panties in a wad, but hang on, where’s the cyclops (a.k.a., date wart)!
We agonized long and hard over whether or not to have a magnifying window or “cyclops” above the date. Our dilemma was this; like many dive watch enthusiasts, we prefer no magnifying window on our divers however Matt Hooper did have a magnifier on his watch!
Which way do we go? Do we opt for robustness and reducing the risk of damage to the crystal or do we stay true to Hooper? We went for toughness and opted for no magnifier.
Wrong answer! And what of the bezel color? Mr. Hooper’s Jaws watch had a yellow band for the critical 15 minute section. The new Jaws watch’s dive bezel is monochromatic.
The text at the top of the new Nautoscaph Superautomatic doesn’t include the words “17 jewels” under the logo. The Seiko NH35A within has 24 jewels. Why not put that?
The most blasphemous betrayal of the original timepiece: the end link on the Nautoscaph Superautomatic’s new bracelet lacks the wacky incongruous curve of Mr. Hooper’s Speidel-sourced steel.
Yeah, I’m a bracelet freak. And a huge Jaws fan. In that I’m hardly alone. But I’m not part of the elite group of watch collectors who own the original Jaws watch. Who must be extremely relieved that the reborn Alsta isn’t identical to their expensive acquisition.
Alsta limited production of the Nautoscaph Superautomatic to 1975 watches (the year the movie came out). Despite being panned – yes panned! – by fratello.com they sold out at $1086.
As stated at the top of this post, a hundred bucks more will buy you a new one. So if you want to own a piece of modified cinematic history, dive in! Meanwhile, I’m trying to find out why no one wore a dive watch in Sharknado.