Eska Watches X Jean Rousseau

Eska Watches X Jean Rousseau

Bringing harmony to the rebirth of the legendary Amphibian

Christophe Chevreton and Sinicha Knezevic have embarked on an ambitious dream: to revive Eska & Co’s famous Amphibian 600.

At Jean Rousseau, we love ambitious dreamers, especially when they pay tribute to fine watchmaking tradition. The brand-new Amphibian 250 from Eska Watches is on pre-sale on Kickstarter until February 24, with an exceptional model featuring a Jean Rousseau Compass strap.

“Extremely rare”, “Impossible to find”, as any collector will tell you: only four models of Eska’s Amphibian 600 are known to exist in the world today. Eska & Co, founded in Grenchen (Switzerland) in 1918, is named after the German pronunciation of the initials of its founder, Silvain Kocher. In the late 1950s, the company launched the Amphibian 600, a 600-foot water-resistant diving watch with a large countdown bezel and elongated lugs, reminiscent of Blancpain’s famous Fifty Fathoms.

When Eska & Co closed in the ’80s, the lovely Amphibian became a collector’s item, unreachable even on old advertisements. So much so that specialists are asking: did it exist only as a prototype? Rather than chasing this white elephant of diving watches, Christophe Chevreton and Sinicha Knezevic decided to recreate it.

A collector’s dream

“Every collector dreams of making his own watch,” notes Christophe Chevreton. “Instead of inventing something from scratch, Sinicha and I chose to revive an old brand with a rich history and start with a first model inspired from the legendary Amphibian. We didn’t realize until later that Sinicha’s initials are also S.K.!”

Christophe and Sinicha registered a new brand, Eska Watches, and managed to get their hands on one of the four Amphibian 600 to study it closely. “A lot of doors closed on us, before a Hong Kong design office found our project exciting and helped us design and manufacture it, and have it assembled in France,” says Christophe.

How to modernize a legend

This is how the Amphibian 250 was born. Its presentation on Kickstarter allows us to play the seven differences game: it is water-resistant at a 250-meters depth – and even tested at 300, compared to the 600 feet of the original model. The case was modernized, at 40 mm instead of 38, with a smoother linear brushing. A sapphire insert with Super-Luminova luminescent material brings out the sandwich dial, while the dial typography remains unchanged. In short, this new high-tech diving watch retains all of its original charm.

When Christophe and Sinicha launched pre-sales on Kickstarter, the first 300 copies were sold out within 24 hours. Copies with classic bracelets… and another one that takes exclusivity a notch higher, as it features a Compass strap by Jean Rousseau.

A Compass strap for a harmonious design

The Compass is an iconic Jean Rousseau model, cut from Cordura, a highly resistant technical fabric combining nylon and natural fibers. “This material is emblematic of nautical activities and perfectly suited to a diving watch,” says Anaïs Bordier, brand manager at Jean Rousseau. From this great classic, Jean Rousseau’s designers created a special series for the Amphibian 250, with a thickness perfectly adapted to the watch’s curvature and stitching in tones matching the dial numerals.

“We’re always ready to support projects that, like us, play on the balance between solid tradition and great technical creativity,” Anaïs says. And there’s something I particularly like about this collaboration: we’ve been able to create a real visual harmony between the strap and the watch, with the stitching directly echoing the colors of the dial. More than anything, we love designing bracelets that create a perfect harmony between the watch and the wearer.”

This exceptional model is on pre-sale at a special price on Kickstarter until February 24, and then on the Eska Watches website.

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