Tag Heuer Aquaracer Diving/Racing Watches Review
Tag Heuer's Aquaracer could be the brand's most inspired collection in terms of design versatility. It vies for supremacy in all departments of the company's watchmaking, except when it comes to the bracelets, where the crown unconditionally belongs to the Link collection -- though some would obviously disagree with such clear preference for the aesthetic.
This versatility endures in the engineering department, where the Aquaracer is made to combine digital and analog display on one dial, contain several types of movements, and resist water up to 500 meters -- a true professional diving watch.
While generally the collection veers towards sports design, some of the models can demonstrate casual or dressy characteristics. Depending on dial colors, metal finishing, and size, an Aquaracer timer can be appropriate in a range of settings -- again, the advantage of versatile and flexible design and planning.
It's a well known fact that water covers more than two-thirds of our planet's surface. This important statistic is symbolically reproduced in the Aquaracer -- the treatment of dial space, the choice of palette and markers, and various subtle alterations and tweaks produce a sense of floating and rocking.
Simply put, there's something sprawling and overpowering about this collection's design; the watches sprawl from the dials to the bezels and to the straps, reflecting unity that can be found only in the rhythmic movement of the waves. This is an admittedly allegoric description, but it is also quite accurate if we consider the elusiveness and depth of the ocean.
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Aesthetics Are Important
Visual rhythm also plays a role: on the most popular, iconic models it starts as a vertical linear pattern on the face, then stabilizes, still linear, on the circular bezel, and eventually spreads into a square motif on the strap. From within the watch, the visual rhythm is governed by the rhythm of time.
Aquaracer's additional important characteristics comprise the multi-angular bezel, slightly echoing Audemars Piguet Royal Oak's trademark octagonal shape, and, in some models, the use of bright yellow or orange on the faces – a straightforward but effective way to facilitate legibility.
Watches arrive in a variety of colors and sizes, suitable for men and women -- an important characteristic as a single modification can produce a dramatic change in the timepiece' character. A large blue dial can communicate something a small black one wouldn't.
Complications and Movements
Aquaracer brings together several of Tag Heuer's technological improvements and modifications to ETA and Sellita based movements, compiling such complications as the chronograph, grand date (large double aperture), day-date, and alarm, and employing both purely mechanical and quartz calibers. Most notably, some models combine analog and digital displays, assigning the former for the main timing function, and the latter for chronograph and calendar utilities.
The chrono function is not the most essential in a diving watch -- it is often prescribed not to use it when under water to prevent it from seeping in inside the mechanism -- but Tag Heuer offer it nonetheless in some variations. The Calibre S features the brand's in-house electro-mechanical movement.
Tag Heuer equipped Aquaracer with a set of standard but indispensable (for a professional diver's watch) features: uni-rotational bezel with metallic protrusions for ease of operation, double safety on the buckle to prevent accidental release, water resistance up to 300 meters, anti-glare sapphire crystal glass, and screwed, protected crown.
Aquaracer Ladies effectively tones down the extra adrenaline manifestations by abandoning almost all of the large Arabic numeral markings, and substituting them with diamonds. Additional materials include mother-of-pearl (a choice that suggests itself, considering its aquatic origin), and gold coating on the two-tone models.
Up to 1000 feet/300 meters
Chrono and Date