Circula Aquasport II
Circula may not be a brand you know of, but they trace their roots all the way back to 1955. This Circula Aquasport II evokes the brand’s own models from the 70s and just like the originals are still made in Germany. The Aquasport II comes in a few dial variations like most watches do, but the one I have here is the Aventurine quartz dial, limited to 99 pieces and possibly one of the craziest and most unique dials I have ever seen. With Swiss Movements and solid construction, the AquaSport II is quite an intriguing option in the Microbrand space.
40mm Stainless Steel Case
20mm Lug Width
46mm Lug to lug
Domed Sapphire Crystal
Sellita SW200-1 Movement (Standard or Elabore)
200m Water Resistant
Screw Down Crown
X1 and BGW9 SuperLuminova
Tropic Rubber or BOR Bracelet
Price as shown-$643
Now while it’s true the brand’s heritage dates back to 1955, they succumbed to the quartz crisis just like so many other brands. In 2019, Corneilus Huber decided to resurrect the brand, still making the watches in Germany, and some of the designs, like this Circula Aquasport II inspired by a vintage Circula model, with the very popular barrel-shaped case, but this watch is anything but vintage. No this is very modern, with all stainless steel construction, sapphire bezel inserts, screw-down crowns, and dials such as this Aventurine and Meteorite as well, and a few other striking options.
The 40mm barrel-shaped stainless steel case is very nicely finished, with fine satin brush finishing and high polished chamfers, a blue ring on the screw down crown, smooth edges all around with a 120 click bezel with a lumed sapphire insert and a screw down stamped case back. At 40mm by 46mm, this will be a great size for many, and on my 7 1/2 inch wrist, I find this model to be extremely comfortable and find it wears slightly larger than one would expect, which for me is a plus. The one thing missing from the case? Drilled lugs, but I will talk about that more shortly.
Now we have seen many similarly styled watches to this Circula Aquasport II over the years, but in this particular instance, this Aventurine dial really sets it apart from others. There are a few other dials and colors available, like the grey dial that comes with an orange chapter ring and a black bezel insert, but the Aventurine dial is limited to 99 pieces and is just plain beautiful. Now, apparently, Aventurine Quartz is green, and a commenter on Youtube pointed out that this is most likely Aventurine glass, not the actual mineral. Whichever it is, this black and blue and sparkly night sky-looking dial is so different and something I never thought I would see on a 200m dive watch, and one that I wasn’t exactly sure about at first, but in person, this dial is just too cool.
Other highlights are this is a no-date dial (yet it is a date movement), white surrounds on the indices to make them pop against this glittery dial, and a light blue second hand for another pop of color. The bezel is a very dark blue as well.
The case back is adorned with a lovely stamped image of a diver underwater, a nice change from the overabundance of see-through case backs, especially with microbrands. The Circula Aquasport II comes with a Sellita SW200-1 movement, but you do get a choice, a standard movement or an Elabore movement, which this example has. Many brands do not state which grade of movement they are using, and when they don’t I assume it is always standard, but at least with Circula, you are getting the option, although either way, I am glad we get a nice case back as opposed to just another window showing a rather mundane movement.
This Aquasport II is available with either a blue tropic rubber strap with quick change pins or you have the option to upgrade to a vintage style BOR bracelet, in which the tropic rubber is thrown in as well, so if you buy the bracelet you get the strap as well. Unfortunately, I was not sent the bracelet, so I can not speak about the quality, but you can check it out on the Circula website. The tropic rubber is thick but pliable, but somewhat short at 120x75mm, and on my wrist, I am just barely able to slide the tongue into the keepers.
For you lume fantastic out there, you are in luck. With BGW9 on the bezel and C3 X1 SuperLuminova on the hands and indices, this is a torch in the dark. The bezel will fade well before the dial will, as it is a thin bezel insert and you can see that not a lot of lume compound was able to be applied, but as far as the dial, this thing will glow almost all damn night. Truly great lume.
All around, this is a really great piece from Circula. The 120-click bezel action is very crisp and secure, as is the crown, though again, this has a phantom date wheel, something I have never been a fan of. Quick change pins aren’t my favorite either, but when you factor in the Elabore SW200-1 movement, the crazy and cool Aventurine dial, the large and easy-to-read indices, and just a great retro and comfortable design, this Circula AquaSport II is another great microbrand diver. With this Aventurine dial it really stands out even more, and with only 99 of them available, it will be doubtful you will ever run into someone else wearing one. This was my first time checking out a Circula watch and it is obvious that I am impressed, and looking forward to seeing the SuperSport Compressor model sometime soon.