With the launch of the new, black-and-blue-toned Aquaracer GMT, Swiss sport-luxury specialist TAG Heuer expands its Aquaracer Caliber 7 GMT series, first launched in 2017, whose first model, with its red-and-blue bezel (pictured below), has been cited as a worthy and cost-effective alternative to the Rolex GMT-Master II. This newest variant continues that narrative, now opting for the famous “Batman” colorway. However, beyond the parallels in bezel colors, the similarities between the Aquaracer GMT and Rolex’s iconic model end, with the former featuring a contemporary design that identifies it as a go-to, everyday wearer.
TAG Heuer began 2020 by launching the Carrera Silver Limited Edition, a silver-faced chronograph recalling one of the brand’s most iconic designs, in order to kick-off the 160th anniversary of the original Heuer watch company in 1860. The brand at the time claimed this year would be one marked with “tributes and celebrations,” and has followed up with the release of a commemorative Formula 1 watch produced in partnership with Red Bull Racing, as well as unveiled the latest update to its Connected smartwatch series. The new Aquaracer GMT is the first non-commemorative model added to its mechanical collection this year, and likely will precede more such releases as the year continues.
The new Aquaracer GMT (Ref. WAY201T.BA0927) features a brushed and polished 43-mm steel case with sharp edges, shrunken crown guards, and a prominent screw-down crown signed with a minimalistic TAG Heuer logo. The dial of the model is surrounded by a thick, unidirectional GMT bezel in the lacquered black-and-blue colorway, while the sunray blue dial itself features an outer curved minute ring complementing its inner horizontal lined design. The dial also features applied trapezoidal markers for each hour, and a 3 o’clock date indicator enlarged via a cyclops window on the watch’s sapphire crystal. The time on the Aquaracer is indicated by two baton/sword hybrid hands for the hours and minutes, while a simple pointer is used to display the seconds and a blue triangle-tipped pointer indicate a second time zone.
The watch is strapped on a brushed and polished three-link steel bracelet that in combination with the case gives the model a somewhat integrated appearance; the bracelet is secured via a signed double-folding clasp. This type of clasp adds to the diving credentials of the Aquaracer GMT, as it channels the diving history of the larger Aquaracer collection, along with the dive-ready 300-meter water resistance, unidirectional bezel (most GMT watches opt for bi-directional bezels), solid caseback, and screw-down crown — all elements also found in this new GMT-equipped model.
Inside the new Aquaracer is the automatic Caliber 7, an in-house mechanism that stores a 46-hour power reserve and is protected via the aforementioned solid caseback, which features an engraved scuba diver motif — the standard symbol of the Aquaracer collection. The new Aquaracer GMT is set to retail for $3,050, with availability directly through TAG Heuer and via authorized retailers expected to begin later this year.
Between the model’s dual-time functionality, date window, dive-functional steel case, and 43-mm sizing, it’s apparent the watch is intended to be an everyday timepiece for the modern-focused consumer. The watch in many ways returns TAG Heuer to its forward-looking roots after an array of heritage-inspired watches unveiled in the past few years. It’s a refreshing design, even if opting toward a perhaps too-familiar colorway, and like its “Pepsi” bezel forebear will likely ensure its presence on round-up lists throughout the rest of the year as a solid, adventure-ready everyday wearer.