At Baselworld 2016, TAG Heuer introduced new models in its popular dive watch collections, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer and Aquaracer Lady. The new watches — five references in all — feature larger cases and include the very first watches in the collection made entirely in ceramic.
The 2016 versions of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M for men have stainless steel cases measuring a stately 43 mm in diameter, up from the 41-mm diameter of the previous models. The studded, 12-sided unidirectional bezels are made of polished ceramic and now include engraved, silver-lacquered numerals whose contrast with the bezel aids in legibility. Like last year’s Aquaracer models, they feature a magnifying date window over the date at 3 o’clock.
Inside the men’s Aquaracer beats TAG Heuer’s automatic Caliber 5, with a 28,800-vph frequency, a rapid date-correction function, and a power reserve of 38 hours. Two versions are available, one with a black dial and bezel (Ref. WAY201A.BA0927, above); the other with a blue dial and bezel (Ref. WAY201B.BA0927, below). The watches’ dials have polished, faceted, hand-applied indices and hands, enhanced with green and blue Super-LumiNova. In classical dive watch tradition, a Super-LumiNova-coated dot marks the 12 o’clock position on the bezel. The watch, as per its name, is water-resistant to 300 meters (1,000 feet), and features a screw-down caseback engraved with a divers’ helmet. The Aquaracer comes on a three-row stainless steel bracelet with polished and satin finishing; it includes a polished steel deployant buckle with safety push-buttons and a divers’ extension.
The three new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Lady models, as stated above, comprise the very first watch collection from TAG Heuer to use ceramic for both cases and bracelets. Like the men’s models, these watches’ cases have been enlarged for 2016 — 35 mm in diameter compared to the existing 27-mm and 32-mm models — and they boast 300-meter water-resistance, rotating divers’ bezels, screwed crowns and screwed casebacks with divers’ helmet engravings, luminous markers, and nonreflective sapphire crystals. The watches contain Swiss quartz movements rather than mechanical ones, and the date window at 3 o’clock is sans magnifying lens.
Ceramic has several properties that make it an ideal material for watches: it’s extremely hard but soft to the touch; highly scratch-resistant; resistant to oxidation, meaning it will keep its original color over the years; hypoallergenic, meaning you can wear the watch longer; and lighter than steel, which enhances comfort on the wrist.
The new Aquaracer Lady watches for 2016 include an all-white version (Ref. WAY1391.BH0717, above); a black version with 5N rose-gold bezel; and another black model with a diamond-set black ceramic bezel (Refs. WAY1355.BH0716 and WAY1395.BH0716, respectively, both below). All the bezels have a Super-LumiNova dot at 12 ‘clock; the black-and-diamonds model has a total of 60 diamonds (0.27 carats). All watches come on three-row bracelets in black or white ceramic bracelets with safety-push-button-equipped butterfly clasps.
The men’s TAG Heuer Aquaracer is priced at $2,650; the Aquaracer Lady is $2,550 in both black and white ceramic versions, $3,550 for the black ceramic with rose-gold bezel.