Hands-On with The Circula AquaSport II

Hands-On with The Circula AquaSport II

Richard Brown





Back in March, my colleague George reviewed a fascinating field watch which took the accepted design parameters of the genre and thoroughly modernised it – the watch was the Circula ProTrail.

Circula is a relatively unknown German brand originating from the heart of the Black Forest. They set out to produce extremely high-quality, affordable products with a natural design flare. The company is now in the safe hands of the founder's grandson Cornelius Huber who has a real vision for the brand, started by his grandfather in 1955.

Therefore it was with some excitement that we had hands-on with the latest creation from Circula, the AquaSport II. After experiencing the unique design features of the ProTrail, we had certain expectations from the AquaSport, and we weren't disappointed.

Circula AquaSport IICircula AquaSport II - Credit WatchGecko

Let's be clear, this watch is not what you would call an archetypal dive watch, yet it has all the technical characteristics you would expect. As the name implies, we see this model more as a watch you would wear when involved in the faster and more adrenaline-filled side of waterborne activities.

The first thing you notice when you handle the AquaSport is the bold colours. And if these colours seem a little bold to you, don't worry, there are reduced impact variants which are more subtle, more classic dive watch, including one with a meteorite dial. However, we had the bright blue full-on water sport edition with all its glorious colour pantones.

Our first reaction was gosh, this is bold, and maybe a little brave, however during the week that I had this watch on trial, I was at the seafront watching windsurfers and jet ski owners and it struck me that all of three personal equipment and machines were decorated with bold bright oranges, greens and blues. These are a part of water sports culture. Looking down at the watch on my wrist, it suddenly struck me that Circula had nailed it and for a watch that may initially seem garish, it seemed appropriate for the intended use.

Circula AquaSport IICircula AquaSport II - Credit WatchGecko

Circula claim that the watch was designed and developed with over 600 suggestions from the global watch community. To most of us, the prospect of trying to marshall 600 tips would be utterly terrifying; however, I think Circula has done a fine job of trying to incorporate what people wanted from a sporty waterborne watch without making it look like a watch designed by a committee.

Before looking at the technical characteristics, let's explore the design in more detail.

The crystal covering the dial has a noticeable dome that works well and reminds you of dive watchers of the 50s. This leads across beautifully to a sapphire crystal ring that also covers the bezel so you get the impression that the watch is a little bigger than its 40mm diameter.

The AquaSport dial has excellent legibility, although it would have been nice to see the minute hands in a different colour. The indices are incredibly bold and chunky and stand proud from the dial, which gives the watch an attractive 3D look. Beautiful symmetry is maintained with the date at 6:00, and there are very few words on the dial - thank you.

Circula AquaSport IICircula AquaSport II - Credit WatchGecko

Each indice baton sticks out over an engraved ocean ring of luminescence, making them look like springboards into a pool. The wave pattern, of course, makes one think of the Omega Seamaster; it's impossible to have waves on your dial without people thinking of a Seamaster. The bezel and crown are nicely serrated to give a good grip and the watch benefits from an extremely generous amount of Super Luminova BGW 9 on the hands, indices and the aforementioned "ocean "of lume around the minute track.

The rear of the case shows a stylised diver logo and is screwed down to ensure 200 meter water resistance. Hidden from view is the ever-reliable and always welcome Sellita SW-200-1 automatic movement. The watch is relatively low, especially given the domed sapphire crystal, so it has a 12.6mm height and the lug to lug of 46mm. The surface of the case is engaging because we have hand-brushed finishing which both traps and reflects light depending on which angle you hold the watch at. One area that Circula has really improved from the ProTrail is the AquaSport strap, a rubber vintage rubber style that is high quality and in a thoughtful colour to complement the watch, making it an excellent package.

Circula AquaSport IICircula AquaSport II - Credit WatchGecko

I think the Aqua sport will be divisive as a dive watch because to many people, it won't be "dive enough" it is very far removed from the world of the Rolex Submariners. Bit I do not think that is the market Circula are aiming for. Sitting on the beach mentioned above, watching people have fun on their jet skis, Laser yachts and paddle boards, it struck me that this was the type of market that Circula should be pitching it at; people who wear the vibrant colours associated with water sport.

Luckily we have a very keen paddle boarder in the office, Sara, whom you all know, so I passed the circular Aqua sport across her bows to see what she thought. She ultimately agreed this is the type of watch she would look to wear during her sporting activities. The colour palette resonated with her because most of her equipment is in these bold colours. This leaves us with the only conclusion that Circula has once again nailed it and produced something that will be hugely appealing to a particular demographic of water sports enthusiasts and may also resonate with other people who want to dive watch that is just a bit more colourful and imaginative.

Circula AquaSport IICircula AquaSport II - Credit WatchGecko

WatchGecko Strap Suggestions!

We have acknowledged that the strap supplied with the Circula is fine quality, but you know we can't resist trying different straps on a watch. So here are three fabulous suggestions which we think complement the ethos behind the new AquaSport.

WatchGecko Ridge British Military Watch StrapWatchGecko Ridge British Military Watch Strap - Turquoise Blue - £24

Matching the bold colors of the Circula was not easy but thankfully, we have such an extensive selection of nylon straps there was bound to be one which was perfect. The WatchGecko Ridge design offers a chance to give your watch a classic vintage look. This premium strap has a subtle ribbed texture to the nylon, similar to old-fashioned military webbing. Just like military webbing, the 1.2mm thick nylon is incredibly tough and hardwearing. You’ll not have to worry about keeping your watch secure while exploring.

WatchGecko Vintage Tropical Style FKM Rubber Watch StrapWatchGecko Vintage Tropical Style FKM Rubber Watch Strap – Orange -  £48

When you have orange in a watch it is a great opportunity to have an orange strap – and the Circula has plenty of orange. This strap is actually very similar to the one that comes with the watch but the fundamentally different colour really changes the appearance.

Inspired by the golden age of diving watches in the 1960s, the WatchGecko Vintage Tropical Style Strap seamlessly blends functionality and sophistication. The design pays homage to tropic straps from a bygone era with a generous tapered tail, classic style keepers, and a period accurate textured pattern. Yet it is in every way a thoroughly modern strap with hi-tec FKM rubber and quick-release spring bars. The smaller perforated vents are carefully designed to allow airflow through to your skin, water to drain and for significantly greater user comfort in hot climates.

ZULUDIVER Maverick (MK II) Sailcloth Waterproof Watch StrapZULUDIVER Maverick (MK II) Sailcloth Waterproof Watch Strap - Black / Blue - £48

If you want to go for a more subtle look on your AquaSport, then it's hard to beat the ZULUDIVER Maverick. This Sailcloth gem has been one of our best sellers for years and its easy to see why.

It is made from premium PVC rubber and outperforms cheaper alternative sailcloth materials. The buckle has been upgraded to our popular Sub-Aquatic, which is made from saltwater-resistant 316L stainless steel, professional dual finishing, solid machined tongue and drilled holes for easy fitting or removal.

Circula AquaSport II Specs:

  • Brand: Circula
  • Model: AquaSport II
  • Price: Euro 642.00
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Movement: Selitta SW200-1
  • Crystal: Sapphire crystal
  • Dial: Multi-dimensional wave pattern
  • Size: 41mm diameter, 46mm lug-to-lug, 13.4mm thick, 20mm lug
  • When the reviewer would personally wear it: Hurtling across an azure ocean on my Sea Doo! And then at a trendy bar later for a Mojito. 
  • A friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone who loves the culture of water sports. Someone who wants a dive watch that's just a bit different.
  • Best characteristics of the watch: Contemporary feel. 
  • The worst characteristics of the watch: By no means your classic dive watch and this will put a lot of buyers off. Could be divisive. 

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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