In 1961 JeanRichard SA had filed for a patent for a regatta watch with a 5 minute countdown function. This patent represents the “Birth Certificate” of the regatta yachttimer watches as we still know them today. And somewhere in the mid 1960’s Frédéric Robert (mentioned as inventor in the patent) developed the Aquastar Regate from this patent with a modified Felsa 4000N movement: the first Regatta Yachttimer wrist watch on the market!
‘The enclosed design represents, as an example, a kind of execution of a piece of horology being the subject of the invention. The figure 1 represents the watch as it appears to the user. The hand of the second 1 is located in the centre of the movement and the dial includes an opening 2 through which appears the surface upper side of an indicating organ 3, including a coloured zone 3A indicating in the graduation of the dial opening the time elapsed since the re-setting to zero of the hand of the seconds obtained by pressing the pusher 4, the crown 5 being used to rewind and to set the time of the hour and the minutes hands’.
- Reference: Z 28 A or 143.600 or 000.5?
- Caliber: Felsa 4000N movement with an Aquastar patented (1964) regatta module.
- Case size: Ø 37,4 mm / H 13,5 mm.
- Year: mid 1960’s.
How the countdown function works
The manual wound Felsa 4000N movement with regatta modification, has the crown to set the time at 2 o’clock and one pusher at 4 o’clock for start/reset. Under the dial lays the indicator disk coloured silver (as the dial) with a red section for counting the minutes. There are five round holes cut out of the dial, between 10 and 2 o’clock.
After a reset the five dots colour red and the sweep second hand return to 60 (0). By releasing the pusher the countdown timer starts and the sweep hand is set in motion counting the seconds backwards from 60 to zero. After one minute the first dot changes to silver, another four minutes to go. After 5 minutes all dots are silver and the regatta starts. The indicator disk stops but the second hand will run as long as the movement is wound enough.
- Make: Felsa.
- Caliber: 4000N.
- Type: automatic flyback chronograph with yachttimer
- Size: 11,5″ Ø 26 mm / H 5,55 mm.
- Frequency: 18.000 A/h.
- Power reserve: 44 hours.
- Jewels: 17.
- Shock protection system: incabloc.
Two different dials. First, the more common with ‘Regate’ under the 12 and ‘star’, ‘Aquastar’ and ‘Geneve’ above the 6. Second, the more rare one, with the ‘star’ under the 12 and ‘Aquastar’ and ‘Geneve’ above the 6.
The first Regate Aquastar used the same case design as several other models (Airstar, ’60, ’63, etc). The star-pattern on the caseback is unique to Aquastar, and the caliber number is always written on the caseback under the serial number.