While becoming more “all-terrain”, luxury tool watches are also looking more elegant, with much tighter designs conceived to accompany any attire or activity whether you’re living your best life as a fast-paced urbanite or new-age explorer — or both. They are also becoming more practical, with technical updates such as extended power reserves, anti-magnetism, improved precision, and interchangeable straps to suit your mood or new adventures. With new CEO Frédéric Arnault at the helm, it appears that TAG Heuer is on the same path to freshen things up.
In line with this, we see the evolution of TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer collection in 2021. With its aesthetics still instantly recognisable, the more refined Aquaracer Professional 300 takes many of its design cues from the “Ref 844”, Heuer’s first diver's watch introduced in 1978.
All models feature a new unidirectional rotating bezel with ceramic insert, thinner case, screw-down crown and new bracelet. Carried over from its predecessor, the reliable, Cosc-certified Calibre 5 automatic movement has a power reserve of about 38-hours. The date window shifts from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock for the new watches, and features an integrated magnifier in the sapphire glass. The updated 12-facetted bezel’s silhouette also informed other design elements such as the octagonal hour markers and the 12-sided crown.
A winning formula, it’s as if the Aquaracer signed up for some serious Olympic training, to emerge much leaner and fitter. Hitting stores from June, the line-up will include three 36mm and four 43mm models, retailing from aboutnd R50,000. Every model is water-resistant to 300m. Six of the new pieces are in stainless steel, with a choice of black, blue or silver dials and matching bezels.
There are also two 43mm piece in hi-tech matte Grade 2 titanium (one with a green dial and green ceramic bezel insert), the other is a limited-edition Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref 844 with matte black dial that references the archive watch.
The Tribute to Ref 844 is an extra acknowledgment to the provenance of these watches with several additional visual references such as the red 24-hour scale on the dial of the Ref 844, originally intended as a quick conversion chart to a 24-hour clock while in the field. It also features vintage-coloured lume and a black perforated rubber strap. Only 844 examples of the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute will be made, and will retail for R77,550 (available in boutiques only from September).
• For more information visit tagheuer.com or contact a TAG Heuer Boutique on 021-421-8539, 011-784-7422, and 031-566-4452.