The new models, available from July, feature upgrades to almost all the watch’s signature features. The case, unidirectional rotating bezel and metal bracelet have all been slimmed down, the whole watch is thinner and lighter. The hands have been remodelled – the hour hand is now wider, the minute hand is now slimmer – making them easier to distinguish in low-light conditions (ie: under water). The bracelet features a new integrated design, allowing it to be easily lengthened or shortened by up to 1.5com. And the sapphire crystal now integrates a magnifying glass over the date, which itself takes up a new position, moving from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock – somewhere the brand says is easier to a read from more angles. The 43mm watches all feature the brand’s latest Calibre 5 movement and are water-resistant to 300m.
Three of the new models are stainless steel and come with black, blue or steel dials. The steel models have either a black or blue ceramic insert with a yellow triangle at 12 o’clock filled with blue Super-LumiNova.
There will also be a special-edition version in matte Grade 2 titanium, with a green dial. The titanium model has a green ceramic bezel insert, and every indication on its minutes scale is filled with blue photoluminescent Super-LumiNova.
In addition to this, a limited edition Aquaracer Tribute to Ref. 844 will be available from September. This is a redesigned version of the Heuer Ref. 844 from 1978, a sought-after design with collectors thanks to its unusual dial design featuring a red 24-hour scale, large lume-filled hour markers, and a rotating diver’s bezel with its prominent minutes scale for safely timing dives.
The Aquaracer first appeared in 2004, hitting the sweet spot between a professional sports watch and something that would also look good paired with clothes that weren’t a wetsuit. Its textured dial looked a bit like waves or ships decking and its 12-sided bezel was distinctive without being showy and made it easy to grip and turn. “The essential sport watch inspired by the aquatic world,” as Tag Heuer put it.
The brand already had form with water sports, with a tradition of producing excellent diving and sailing watches. In 1895 the company (then just “Heuer”) launched the word’s first pocket watch with a waterproof case. The first waterproof wrist chronograph followed in 1939, followed by the Yachting Timer, a regatta stopwatch, in 1942.
In 2002 it released the Aquagraph, a forerunner to the Aquaracer, that was tested and used by the US Navy Seals.
Tag Heuer’s other families, particularly its square-shaped Monaco and its Carrera chronograph, often get the most attention – indeed, both were promoted wih significant anniversaries, recently.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300, £2,500; Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844; £3,600; tagheuer.com
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