This is a plain old ‘new watch’ from a well known family. It might be stating the obvious, but this TAG Heuer Aquaracer doesn’t have a tourbillon or a modular case construction. Nor is it a smart watch, or a reissue of a ’70s watchmaking icon. No bells, no whistles, just an absolute winner of a watch.
On paper it’s a 43mm titanium-cased diver with a matt black finish thanks to the titanium carbide treatment and a matching black ceramic bezel, powered by a Sellita movement, and rated to 300m. The dial has distinctive horizontal stripes, reminiscent of the ‘garage door’ look popularised by Patek’s Nautilus. All the highlights, from applied numerals and hands to chunky nylon strap are ‘sand’ in colour, and the luminous material is generous. The bright orange second hand and triangle on the bezel are the only breaks from this utilitarian colour scheme.
So that’s the by-the-numbers rundown. What this fails to capture is just how awesome this watch is on the wrist. It’s a well-designed, purposeful piece that looks killer. The black and tan colour scheme gives the Aquaracer a military vibe, but without the sense of earnestness you’d get from a comparable watch by the likes of Sinn or Luminox. And if the playful potential of the model were ever in doubt, TAG Heuer also does versions with bright blue or red highlights.
TAG Heuer has made no bones about the need to attract a younger market, and offer quality options at more accessible price points. This watch more than delivers on both fronts. If I owned it, I would not take it off my wrist all summer long.