The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 pushes the limits of versatile luxury as a newly refined tool watch offered by the renowned watchmaker.
Distinguished by its 12-faceted bezel, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer comes with a legacy that began in 1978 with the release of the Heuer Ref. 844 diving watch. It had a memorable dial design with a red 24-hour scale, prominent lume-filled hour markers and a rotating divers’ bezel with a crystal-clear minutes scale for safely timing dives. It set the standard for reliable diver’s watches and was adopted by professional and recreational divers all over the world.
In the four decades since its launch, TAG Heuer has continued to push the limits of diving watch design and performance with notables such as the Night Diver and the 1000 and 2000 Series models, while the Ref. 844 has become a collectors’ favourite.
In 2021, a new chapter begins in the form of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 collection. Bold yet elegant, highly functional yet versatile, it’s a robust collection with a deep touch of luxury that altogether sets a new benchmark for extreme-performance mechanical watches and ergonomic designs. Designed to go to and fro between work and play, and to soak up nature’s harshest challenges, it’s a pure symbol of TAG Heuer’s avant-garde spirit, perfect for a new generation of professional and casual divers, adventurers and urban explorers alike.
from the sea…
When designing the new collection, the team at TAG Heuer revisited the Aquaracer’s six signature features since 1983 – a unidirectional rotating bezel, a screw-down crown, water resistance to 200 metres, luminous markings, a sapphire glass and a double safety clasp.
To start, they turned to the most visually recognisable element of the Aquaracer design – its 12-sided unidirectional rotating bezel. The designers kept the basic form and evolved it, integrating a scratch-resistant ceramic insert across the collection and fluting each of the 12 facets so the bezel would be easy to grip and turn. They then went under the skin and re-engineered the bezel’s internal tooth profile so that the rotating mechanism becomes smoother, quieter and easier to set. The result is a highly ergonomic device that delivers tangible improvements to the watch’s functionality. They also upgraded the sapphire glass, integrating a magnifier over the date at 6 o’clock into the underside of the glass so that the surface is smooth to the touch. This simple but effective forward step also makes the date easier to read from wider angles.
The bezel’s silhouette was then used to inform further elements of the new Aquaracer Professional 300, so that it now has eight octagonal hour markers and a 12-sided crown. This elegant uniformity gives the new design language its consistency.
Further improvements were then made to the overall look and legibility of the watch, including a wider, more sword-shaped hour- hand (reminiscent of the last of the TAG Heuer 2000 Series, introduced in 2004) and a narrower minute-hand to create a clearer distinction between the two hands under low light. For extra clarity, the designers chose green Super-LumiNova for the hour-hand and markers, and blue Super-LumiNova for the minute-hand.
The crown protection has been rethought too, and is now softer and more rounded, cupping the crown in a style reminiscent of the Ref. 844. Combined, these small details become significant, because they deliver greater legibility, meaning a diver can refer to their watch with far greater confidence, even in extreme conditions where visibility is greatly reduced. Powered by the ultra-performance automatic Calibre 5, the Aquaracer Professional 300 is water-resistant to 300m.
…to the city & Beyond
Recognising that, as well as being a reliable instrument, the Aquaracer Professional 300 needed to be adaptable to multiple environments, the TAG Heuer team of designers gave the new collection an overall thinner and lighter form. The case, bezel and metal bracelet have all been slimmed down. The new lugs are now shorter, while the case edge has been chamfered and polished to give more harmony to the watch’s visual impact and add refinement. As a result, on the wrist, the watch now has a more sophisticated profile, and is lighter and more ergonomic.
To complete the Aquaracer Professional 300’s look and feel, the designers returned to the famous scaphander diving suit that first appeared on the Aquaracer case-back in 2004. The familiar, authoritative motif continues to underline the value of the watch to its users, who are the latest in a long line of underwater explorers who chose the Aquaracer.
Reflecting the facets that become the new design’s fil rouge, they made the diving helmet more angular and added a 12-faceted faceplate. Behind it sits a repeating hexagonal motif. The case back will now also always be square to the case so that the scaphander sits upright.
All in all, the new Aquaracer Professional 300 is a nod both to the past and the present, ready for the future.
Available in seven references and two sizes, the Aquaracer Professional 300 features four models in 43mm and three in 36mm, each equipped with a unidirectional bezel with a ceramic insert. Six of these come in stainless steel and a black, blue or silver dial, with the standout in high-tech matte Grade 2 titanium and a green dial with matching green ceramic bezel. Every indication on its minute scale is filled with blue Super-LumiNova to maximise low-light visibility.
Each reference features a new integrated metal bracelet design, equipped with a highly sophisticated fine adjustment system that can extend or reduce the bracelet length by up to 1.5cm. This enables users to resize the bracelet effortlessly over a wetsuit, or adjust the bracelet size to cater for changes in climate or temperature, without taking the watch off.
Diving back in time
In company with the Aquaracer Professional 300 is a highly collectible limited edition, a salute to the design’s wonderful heritage. Limited to 844 pieces, the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 picks up on the story of the fabled Ref. 844 introduced in 1978. In creating the watch, TAG Heuer mixed a high-tech Grade 5 titanium case with a number of visual elements from the archive piece. The flat black dial carries the Ref. 844’s red 24-hour scale, originally intended as a quick conversion chart for on-the-field professionals reporting the time against the 24-hour clock.
The watch also has vintage lume and a black perforated rubber strap based on an original design created to allow water to swiftly pass between the watch and the wearer’s wrist. In keeping with the watch’s repeating-facet design code, those perforations are octagonal. Only 844 examples of the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 will be made.