The Aquaracer 300m has served as TAG Heuer’s artistic canvas over the last few years. We’ve had bright blue, red and sand back in 2016, blue camouflage and khaki in 2017, carbon-effect dials in 2018 and a full lume “Nightdiver” in 2019. Being TAG Heuer’s aquatic series makes the watch perfect for summer colours, and again in 2020 we have a handful of new models launched in the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer.
Each of the new quintet for 2020 uses the same case- a 43mm stainless steel case with a range of coloured and steel bezels and dials. Four of the 2020 releases use the Calibre 5 automatic movement (Sellita’s SW200) and there’s one Quartz watch, which employs ETA’s 955.112 movement.
While TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 chronograph movement has been extended across the Autavia, Monaco, Carrera and now Formula 1 ranges, we have yet to see an Aquaracer Heuer 02, and it looks as though fans will need to wait until 2021 to see if that changes.
Aquaracer 300m Calibre 5 Blue Tortoise Shell- Ref. WAY201P.FT6178
The range kicks off with something quite different- a blue Tortoise Shell effect bezel matching a blue dial. The bezel insert is made of resin and offers flashes of different colours as the watch moves on the wrist. We can see how this would look quite good on the beach or for casual weekend wear, but it’s probably not going to be a watch that you’d wear with a suit and tie.
The strap is also something new- while it does look like alligator leather, it is in fact made from rubber- far more practical given the intended use. Securing the strap is a folding steel clasp.
The blue dial is a sunray brushed blue, which is teamed with the familiar Aquaracer steel hands and applied hour-markers.
Aquaracer 300m Calibre 5 Brown Tortoiseshell- Ref. WAY201N.FT6177
The second model to offer the Tortoise Shell effect uses red/ brown highlights on a black dial rather than the all-blue affair. This time the strap is black rubber, and again has an alligator leather-style finish.
Technically, TAG Heuer says that brown resin (there is no mention of Red on the product sheet) is used for the bezel, but clearly from some angles, the brown has strong red overtones- at least to our eyes.
Aquaracer 300m Quartz- Ref. WAY101L. FC8222
Next, we have the sole Quartz newcomer, which has a matte Khaki-green aluminium bezel and a grey sunburst dial.
As with all Aquaracers, you can pick the quartz models not only by the lack of the “Calibre 5” text on the dial (there is no marking to signify Quartz), but also the lack of a cyclops over the date window, the flat dial without horizontal ribbing and the needle-style sweeping seconds hand, which lacks the coloured arrow-tip of the mechanical models.
The Grey/ Khaki Aquaracer comes standard on a green textile strap- in fact, this is the same strap as offered on the 2017 Khaki Aquaracer (WAY208E).
Aquaracer 300m Calibre 5 Brown Dial- Ref. WAY2018
If the first three Aquaracers are designed principally for outdoors, this next model is more formal and sober, coming on a stainless steel bracelet and with a flat brown dial.
This model features a brushed steel unidirectional bezel- the only non-coloured bezel model of the new 2020 collection.
Aquaracer 300m Calibre 5 Green Dial- Ref. WAY201S
The last of the new releases builds on the popularity of last year’s Green-dial Calibre 5 Aquaracer. The two watches are essentially the same, save for the 2020 model offering a Green aluminium bezel rather than the steel bezel of the original
We borrowed TAG Heuer’s Kermit for a few days to see how it looked on the wrist.
Green dials have surged into prominence over the last couple of years, along with blue and now red being a trio of bright colours to offer buyers more than the usual black or white. It’s great looking dial, albeit a darker shade of Green than you might expect from the official images.
While the Green Aquaracer uses the familiar 43mm case, it is a reminder of the attractiveness of the Aquaracer series. It may be 5 years old now, but the only aspect of the design that we’d change isn’t to the case, but simply to reduce the size and bling of the hour-markers- something but we’ve been complaining about since 2015. Otherwise, it’s a great design and one that is truly timeless.
On the Wrist
One of the best aspects of the Aquaracer is how good it feels on the wrist. The larger Carreras and Monaco are starting to feel too big, although the new Carrera Sports is a step in the right direction. It’s not so much the diameter of these cases, but the thickness.
But this isn’t an issue with the Aquaracer, which in 3-hand watch form has beautifully weighted case.
Prices and Availability- 2020 Aquaracer 300m
The 2020 TAG Heuer Aquaracer collection starts at US$1600 for the quartz Khaki dial, US$2,300 for the brown dial and extends to US$2,650 for the Green Calibre 5 model. The Green dial is only available in some markets, and so will be the most challenging to find.
We don’t yet have pricing for the Tortoise Shell duo, but will update the post when that information is available.