Following on from the release last year of the upgraded Aquaracer 300m watch, TAG Heuer has now released a revised Aquaracer 300m Chronograph series. The new range comprises of two automatic chronographs, including the new Calibre 45, and a single quartz chronograph.
Following on from the revised watch, the most prominent features of the new chronograph are the revised case and squared-off bezel. And while the new chronographs use the same 43mm stainless steel case, the three-model range offers different movements and functionality as TAG Heuer seeks to expand the Aquaracer line.
Aquaracer 300m Calibre 16- Ref CAY2110/ CAY2112
There are two dial options for the Calibre 16 model and both the black and the blue dials feature the same horizontal streak pattern that has become one of the Aquaracer’s calling cards. The central chronograph hand has a yellow tip on the black dial model, alternating to an orange/ red tip for the blue dial model.
Aquaracer 300m Calibre 45- Ref CAY211Y/ CAY211Z
The second chronograph model is a new option in the Aquaracer line- a 3-6-9 chronograph with grande date function at 12 o’clock called the Calibre 45. This is the first Aquaracer since the Aquagraph (Calibre 60) to offer this dial layout, and it makes a welcome change from the familiar Calibre 16 configuration.
Putting aside the dial layout and the obvious double-date window, the design of the Calibre 45 is similar to the Calibre 16, with one of the only changes being the chronograph sweeping seconds hand, which has a thin, needle shape.
Aquaracer 300m Quartz Chronograph- Ref CAY1110
Finally, we have a single quartz chronograph, offering 1/ 10th second precision and grande date function. This model has smooth gloss dial and skeleton hour and minute hands. Similar in design to the Calibre 45, the quartz chronograph gains a bold silver ring around the 6 o’clock sub-dial, but does without the silver window frame around the date function compared to it’s automatic equivalent.
Comparing the new Aquaracer
To highlight the changes on the new Aquaracer 300m Chronograph, it helps to compare the watch side-by-side with other recent Aquaracers.
Starting with the out-going model, you can see the changes in the case design: squarer, sharper angles, matched by a revised bezel. The new model is somewhat simpler, losing the black engraved numerals on the bezel and the silver rings around the 12 and 6 o’clock registers.
Also changed is the bracelet design, another piece of “square” design compared to the softer curves of the previous model.
Placing the 3-hand watch next to the chronograph demonstrates clearly the family connection, with the case, dial, hands and bracelets showing close ties. The 43mm chronograph is significantly larger (in both diameter and case depth) than its 40.5mm brother.
An interesting comparison is the Aquaracer 300m Chronograph up against the Aquaracer 500m Chronograph, the later featuring basically the same dial, but with different hour-markers and hands. Perhaps the two most obvious differences are the ceramic black bezel and helium valve on the 500m compared to the brushed steel bezel of the 300m.
The 500m also offers a rubber finish on the crown and pushers, but misses out on the H-Link bracelet of the newer model. And while we’re talking about the Aquaracer 500m, it’s pleasing to see the return of some design elements of the previous 2010 Aquaracer 500m.
- Calibre 16- Sellita SW500
- Calibre 45- Sellita Sw300 with Dubois Depraz 4510 module
- Quartz Chronograph- Ronda 5040B
The Calibre 45 is an interesting movement- there are several watches on the market with an ETA 2892/ DD4500 combination, and the 4510 DD module is simply the module updated for the Sellita rather than ETA base. Given that the Sellita SW300 and ETA 2892 have a different jewel count (25 and 21 jewels respectively), the two chronograph modules are not interchangeable.
The caseback of the new series is steel and features and engraved divers helmet.
On the Wrist
Last week we had the chance to try on two of the new models- the Calibre 16 and Quartz Chronographs. Both looks good on the wrist but I was reminded of the heft and weight in the case, especially noticeable with the Calibre 16 model.
Price and Availability- TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300m Chronograph
Indicative pricing for Switzerland and the US is as follows:
- Swiss Price- CHF3,350; US Price- $2,900
- Swiss Price- CHF3,900; US Price- $4150
- Swiss Price- CHF2,300 (bracelet); US Price- $2400 (bracelet)