Watches and Wonders 2021: TAG Heuer update their iconic dive watch with a fresh new look...
The next generation of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer is here, and the brand has made a number of improvements to the collection.
Firstly, the distinctive 12-sided bezel has been given a ceramic insert, and the fluting has been changed to make the bezel easier to grip. The internal mechanism has also been reworked to provide a smoother, quieter action.
The cyclops over the date window is now attached to the underside of the sapphire glass, so as to not disrupt the flat surface. Meanwhile, the date window itself has moved from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock.
The hour markers are now octagonal to echo the polygonal shape of the bezel, and the sword handset has been tweaked to make the minute hand noticeably slimmer than the hour hand, thereby improving overall legibility. For extra clarity, the designers chose green Super-LumiNova for the hour hand and hour markers, and blue Super-LumiNova for the minutes hand.
The case itself has been overhauled too. It’s now thinner, lighter, and has shorter lugs. The finishing is now both polished and brushed, to give the Aquaracer a more refined look.
Many of us will also be pleased to see that TAG Heuer have upgraded the clasp with a quick adjustment system that can extend the bracelet up to 15mm.
The Aquaracer will be available in both 43mm and 36mm, with a green titanium option for those who want something a bit lighter.
All eight references in the new Aquaracer Professional 300 collection are powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre 5. This is actually TAG’s name for either the ETA2824-2, or its clone the Sellita SW200. Both of which are reliable automatic Swiss movements.
- Case width: 43mm or 36mm
- Movement: TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Automatic
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date.
- Power reserve: 38 Hours
- Case: Stainless steel (with one 43mm titanium model)
- Water-resistance: 300m
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with quick-adjustment system.
- Price: £2,500 for the steel model, or £3,500 for the titanium.
- Availability: June 2021
I feel like the Aquaracer is one of those watches that always flies under my radar. However, this new iteration looks to have raised things up a notch. The overall design appears much more premium to my eye, with the mix of brushed and polished finishes helping to achieve this. Whilst I don’t think the design will be for everyone, there’s no denying that it looks distinctive, which is something that I feel is very important in the crowded dive watch market.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844
TAG Heuer is also introducing a highly collectible limited-edition version of the Aquaracer Professional 300 to both complement the core collection and salute the design’s extensive heritage. It’s called the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844, and, as the name suggests, it picks up on the story of the iconic Ref. 844 divers’ watch, introduced in 1978.
The design is very similar to that of the standard Aquaracer, but with a few nods to the Ref. 844. In creating the watch, TAG Heuer’s designers mixed a high-tech Grade 5 titanium case with a number of visual elements from the vintage piece. The flat black dial carries the Ref. 844’s red 24-hour scale, which was originally intended as a quick conversion chart for on-the-field professionals reporting the time against the 24-hour clock.
The watch also has vintage lume and a black perforated rubber strap based on an original design. In keeping with the watch’s repeating-facet design code, the perforations on the strap are octagonal.
Only 844 examples of the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 will be made.
Case width: 43mm
Movement: TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date.
Power reserve: 38 Hours
Case: Grade 5 titanium case
Dial: Black opaline dial with red numerals
Strap: Perforated black rubber strap
Availability: September 2021
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