When TAG Heuer introduced the Heuer Ref. 844, the watch world stood up and took notice. It was the brands’ first diver’s watch that strengthened TAG Heuer’s position in the world of serious diver’s watches. Ever since, the brand has been dedicated to creating quality timepieces that stand up to the most demanding challenges of professional diving, sailing and other under-water expeditions. Paying tribute to the brands’ expertise in this area is the Aquaracer Range – a collection of watches that set the universal standard for safety, reliability and build without compromising on style or design. For Watches & Wonders 2021, TAG Heuer is introducing a completely remodelled version of its aquatic inspired Aquaracer – Aquaracer Professional 300 Calibre 5 Automatic.
The new Aquaracer Professional 300 Calibre 5 Automatic comprises seven references: WBP201B.BA0632 (43mm polished and finely brushed stainless steel case, blue sunray-brushed dial, blue ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel), WBP201A.BA0632 (43mm polished and finely brushed stainless steel case, black sunray-brushed dial, black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel), WBP208B.BF0631(43mm sand-blasted Grade 2 titanium case, green sunray-brushed dial, green ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel, Grade 2 titanium three-row bracelet), WBP201C.BA0632 (43mm polished and finely brushed stainless steel case, silver sunray-brushed dial, black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel), WBP231D.BA0626 (36mm polished and finely brushed stainless steel case, black lacquered dial, black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel), WBP231C.BA0626 (36mm polished and finely brushed stainless steel case, silver lacquered dial, black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel), and WBP231B.BA0618 (36mm polished and finely brushed stainless steel case, blue lacquered dial, blue ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel).
The designers at TAG Heuer have clearly paid more attention to the demand for versatility in diver’s watches and the fact that they’re not only tools anymore, which is why they’ve evolved the Aquaracer’s overall form to be thinner and lighter. This sleeker version adapts equally well when placed under cuffs or when worn casually. In addition to the case, the bezel and metal bracelet too have been slimmed down, without of course compromising the watch’s core performance features, such as water-resistance to 300 metres (30 bar), while also improving durability. In comparison, to the previous Aquaracer’s, you’ll also find that the crown protector is smoother, rounded and cups the crown a lot more. The lugs are now shorter, while the case edge has been chamfered and polished to give more harmony to the watch’s visual impact and add refinement. As a result, on the wrist, the watch now has a more sophisticated profile, and is lighter and more ergonomic.
On the case back, you’ll find the famous scaphander diving suit motif that first appeared on the Aquaracer case back in 2004. There are a few tweaks though. Reflecting the facets that become the new design’s fil rouge, TAG Heuer has made the diving helmet more angular and added a 12-faceted faceplate. Behind it sits a repeating hexagonal motif. The case back will now also always be square to the case so that the scaphander sits upright.
The 12-sided unidirectional rotating bezel now has a scratch-resistant ceramic insert and fluting on each of the 12 facets, so the bezel would be easy to grip and turn, no matter which facet the wearer is holding. The light plays beautifully with the bezel. The internal tooth profile has also been re-engineered so that the rotating mechanism becomes smoother, quieter and easier to set. The result is a highly ergonomic device that delivers tangible improvements to the watch’s functionality. TAG Heuer has upgraded the sapphire crystal, integrating a magnifier over the date at 6 o’clock into the underside of the crystal so that the surface is smooth to the touch. This simple but effective forward step also makes the date easier to read from wider angles. The bezel’s silhouette was then used to inform further elements of the Aquaracer Professional 300’s design, so that it now has eight octagonal hour markers and a 12-sided crown. This elegant uniformity gives the new watch’s design language its consistency.
Coming to the dial, TAG Heuer has played safe here going with colours you’d normally see in diver’s watches today – black, blue, silver and green. The hour hand is more sword shaped (reminiscent of the last of the TAG Heuer 2000 Series, introduced in 2004) while the minutes hand is narrower – all to create a clearer distinction between the two hands in low-light conditions. These are all in conjunction with the modern and refined aesthetic theme. For enhanced legibility, the designers at TAG Heuer chose to coat the hour hand and hour markers with green Super-LumiNova®, and the minutes hand with blue Super-LumiNova®.
All seven references have been given stylish engraved dials. The 43 mm models carry over one of the signature design cues from the outgoing Aquaracer, namely the dial’s engraved horizontal lines, only now these have been set further apart, contributing to the watch’s more considered look. The dials on the smaller 36 mm models are engraved with a wave pattern, which was introduced in 2019. They are brought to life when the watch is exposed to sunlight. That’s when you really notice how stunning the craftsmanship is. The blue 36 mm model also has eight diamond hour markers and polished central bracelet links.
In addition to the seven references, there’s also an 844 piece limited edition that picks up on the story of the fabled Ref. 844 divers’ watch, introduced in 1978 – TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Ref. WBP208C.FT6201. It features a 43mm high-tech Grade 5 titanium case and a flat black dial that 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 Lume here is more on the vintage side. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Ref. WBP208C.FT6201 comes with a black perforated rubber strap based on an original design created to allow water to swiftly pass between the watch and the wearer’s wrist. In keeping with the watch’s repeating-facet design code, those perforations are octagonal. On the other hand, the stainless steel and titanium versions are worn on a new integrated metal bracelet, equipped with a highly sophisticated fine adjustment system that can extend or reduce the bracelet length by up to 1.5 cm.
All eight references are powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre 5, an ultra-reliable Swiss-made, automatic mechanical movement that drives hour, minute and seconds hands and date.