A term often used to describe the Aquaracer is “luxury tool watch”. It’s a bit of an oxymoron to be sure, but in the case of this hallowed timepiece, a most apt description. With the original Ref. 844, TAG Heuer succeeded in marrying the reliability and durability of a tool watch with the elegant sophistication of luxury timepieces. In creating this new line, dubbed the Aquaracer Professional 300, the watch manufacture once again displays its fiercely avant-garde spirit, paying tribute to its aquatic horological legacy.
The new line-up consists of eight dive watches and while they may differ in terms of size and materials used, the design DNA in each and every piece is undoubtedly that of the cherished Aquaracer. Of the seven core models, four will be sized at 43mm and three will be more petite at 36mm, which appears to be the default-yet-unofficial unisex size. Stainless steel is the case material of choice with the exception of a single watch in Grade 2 titanium, which will be distinguished by its green dial. The rest of the stainless steel models will be available with either blue, black or silver dials.
In redesigning the veteran Aquaracer, the designers at TAG Heuer recognised the need to work with its six trademark features, upgrading them without changing the distinct identity. Notable upgrades include a scratch-resistant ceramic insert, now basically a necessity on luxury watches, a magnifier integrated under the sapphire crystal which keeps the exterior surface smooth, and the application of green and blue Super-LumiNova® on the hour and minute hands for improved clarity and legibility under low light conditions.
The profile of the Aquaracer’s case, bezel, and bracelet was also slimmed down in response to modern demands. The watch manufacture recognised that not all who buy an Aquaracer are looking to explore the ocean’s depths. Many landlubbers simply desire an elegantly versatile and robust timepiece to accompany them in a variety of different environments. The watch’s profile was thus minimised, making it an overall more ergonomic piece, while skilfully retaining its famed 300 metre water-resistance rating.
Another significant appointment is the new integrated metal bracelet with an improved fine adjustment system which allows the user to easily extend or reduce its length on the go to fit over a wetsuit or in accordance with changes in climate and temperature.
The new design of the Aquaracer Professional 300 is rounded off with a tweaked scaphander diving helmet motif on the caseback, an emblematic feature since 2004. The helmet is now more angular and features a 12-faceted faceplate which reflects the updated bezel design.
Apart from the seven core models in the new Aquaracer line, TAG Heuer is releasing a limited-edition timepiece which pays tribute to its original Ref. 844 Aquaracer. The verbose Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 retains many of its namesake’s design cues but fused with a modern high-tech Grade 5 titanium case in keeping with TAG Heuer’s innovative spirit. Classic features include the original’s red 24-hour scale, vintage lume, and an octagonally perforated black rubber strap. Production of this tribute model will be limited to just 844 pieces, making this a highly collectible timepiece for serious fans of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer.
TAG Heuer’s new line of Aquaracer Professional 300 watches embodies the manufacture’s spirit of contemporaneity and ingenuity while paying tribute to the 40-year heritage of the Ref. 844. Powered by the reliable automatic Calibre 5 movement and featuring slew of modern attributes, it cements the Aquaracer’s place as the quintessential modern luxury tool watch.
All images courtesy of TAG Heuer.