As with fashion and design, everything old is new again. TAG Heuer takes this adage to heart as it trots out its well-loved Aquaracer line of watches to a new generation of explorers.
First launched in 1978 as the Heuer Ref. 844, the Aquaracer became an instant classic with its signature 12 faceted, rotating bezel, the red 24-hour scale on the dial and the luminescent-filled markers that made it highly sought-after by professional and recreational divers alike.
But the new line goes beyond just a simple re-release. The brand has tasked its designers to mine the watch’s 43-year old heritage to see what made it tick and pack the next-generation Aquaracer Professional 300 with several design and material enhancements not only to distinguish it but also meet the exacting expectations of their current customers.
First up is to evolve that distinct bezel by integrating a scratch-resistant ceramic insert and fluting each of the 12 facets to make it easy to grip and turn. They also re-engineered the internal tooth profile to make the rotating mechanism smoother, quieter and easier to set.
Another design philosophy is to provide greater visibility for the Aquaracer Professional 300 even in low-light conditions. That meant integrating a magnifier over the date at the 6 o’clock under the sapphire glass to keep the surface smooth while increasing the readability of the date from different angles. The hour hand is now also wider and sword-shaped and integrated with green Super LumiNova pigments; while the minute hand is narrower with blue SuperLumiNova pigments to differentiate both hands clearly in low-light conditions. Rounding up is a softer crown protection, reminiscent of the original Ref. 844.
And to complete the overall look and feel of a diver’s watch, the Aquaracer Professional 300 features the famous scaphander diving suit – a callback to its first appearance in 2004 and underlining its heritage, while providing water resistance up to 300m.
The full Aquaracer Professional 300 line comprises of 8 models, in 43mm and 36mm cases, powered by TAG Heuer’s touted Calibre 5 Automatic movement. A model of note is the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844. Available in just 844 pieces (with “ONE OF 844” engraved in the caseback), this liited edition model sees a Grade 5 titanium case mixed with the original Ref.844’s black dial and red 24-hour scale to create a fusion of vintage modernity. Continuing its tribute to the Ref. 844, the watch also features a vintage lume and the original’s black perforated rubber strap that lets water pass swiftly between the watch and wearer’s wrist.
Also not to be missed is the 36mm model with a blue lacquered dial that features an engraved wave pattern and eight diamond hour markers. It also comes with a polished, fine-brushed stainless steel case and polished central bracelet links that delivers unparalleled sophistication to the wearer without compromising the Aquaracer’s core functionality.