Aquaracer: TAG Heuer's Diving Watch
The Aquaracer is TAG Heuer's diving watch. Top models are water resistant to 500 m (1,640 ft). Their helium escape valves make them a great choice for professional divers. Black titanium watches with a carbon bezel are particularly stylish.
A Versatile Diving Watch from the Chronograph Experts
Few brands have as strong a connection to a specific sector as TAG Heuer has to motorsport. Based in La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland, this company's Carrera and Autavia chronographs have become famous on the wrists of race car drivers like Niki Lauda and Jo Siffert. However, TAG Heuer proves they are no one-trick pony with the diving watches of their Aquaracer collection, one of their most popular lines of watches.
As its name implies, the Aquaracer combines the robustness of a diving watch with the functionality of a racing watch. The collection contains numerous chronographs with an automatic or quartz caliber, such as the Aquaracer Calibre 16.
A majority of this collection consists of three-hand watches with a date display at 3 o'clock and a unidirectional bezel for measuring dive times. Most models are water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), which is more than enough for recreational diving. Professional editions can dive down to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft) and feature a helium escape valve. This means they are suitable for saturation diving.
More recent versions of the standard model are even available with a carbon bezel or a camouflage aesthetic. Both versions are made of titanium with a black PVD coating.
How much does the TAG Heuer Aquaracer cost?
|Aquaracer 500M Calibre 72 Chronograph||3,100 USD||43 mm|
|Aquaracer Calibre 45 Chronograph||3,000 USD||43 mm|
|Aquaracer Calibre 16 Chronograph||2,800 USD||43 mm|
|Aquaracer Calibre 5 Camouflage||2,200 USD||43 mm|
|Aquaracer Calibre 7 Twin-Time||2,000 USD||43 mm|
|Aquaracer Calibre 5||1,900 USD||41 mm|
|Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5 Full Black||1,500 USD||43 mm|
Prices for the Aquaracer Calibre 5 with Three Hands
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 is a typical diving watch. It has three hands, a unidirectional bezel with a 60-minute scale, and luminous hands and indices. There have been two bezel options since 2014: stainless steel or ceramic, each with six bezel rider tabs. The tabs on the ceramic version are somewhat smaller and sit on the outer edge of the twelve-sided bezel. Both versions are available with or without a Cyclops lens above the date. Their angular cases underscore the Aquaracer's sporty nature. This timepiece comes in three sizes: 40.5, 41, or 43 mm. TAG Heuer also uses the Aquaracer 5 series to promote their sponsorship of US Soccer, specifically the United States Women's National Team (USWNT) and Major League Soccer (MLS). The US Soccer Special Edition of the Aquaracer 5 has a black ceramic bezel. The first 45 minutes of the bezel's 60-minutes scale are in white, representing the length of a half in a soccer game. The final 15 minutes are in red and marked as "extra time." There are also several red elements on the dial, including the minute and second hands. Finally, Team USA's crest sits at 9 o'clock across the dial from the date display. This timepiece happens to be the favorite watch of brand ambassador and legendary American goalkeeper Tim Howard. You can show off your love of Team USA and fine watchmaking by purchasing the US Soccer Special Edition. Its list price comes in at 2,900 USD.
The TAG Heuer Calibre 5 is based on the ETA 2824-2 and, therefore, very reliable. Many people regard this ETA movement as a workhorse because of its ability to maintain accuracy over long periods of time. The balance of the Calibre 5 ticks at 28,800 alternations per hour (A/h), the equivalent of 4 Hz.
If you're interested in a new 43-mm TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 with a ceramic bezel and three-piece link stainless steel bracelet, plan to spend around 1,900 USD. Pre-owned pieces sell for about 1,500 USD. The 41-mm edition falls into the same price range.
Both the 40.5 and 43-mm versions of the Aquaracer Calibre 5 with a stainless steel bezel cost a few hundred dollars less, with prices between 1,200 and 1,800 USD.
Features of the Aquaracer Calibre 5
- A solid stainless steel bezel or a bezel with a ceramic inlay
- 40.5, 41, or 43-mm cases
- Calibre 5 based on the proven ETA 2824-2
- A modern, angular design
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Camouflage is available with a green or blue and gray dial. A matching textile strap holds this timepiece securely on the wrist. Both watches can be had for under 2,300 USD new and around 1,700 USD pre-owned.
The 41-mm TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 Carbon also has a titanium case with a black coating. The highlight of this timepiece is its carbon bezel inlay and carbon-style dial. Its strap is made of black nylon. You can purchase a Carbon Aquaracer for roughly 3,500 USD.
Prices for the Aquaracer 500M Professional Diving Watch
The Aquaracer 500M is a great option for professional divers thanks to its helium escape valve. With 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft) of water resistance, this timepiece is comparable to the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.
TAG Heuer launched the Aquaracer 500M in 2009 and ceased its production in 2014. The first generation's run lasted until 2012. The main features of this diving watch are its polygonal case, angular bezel with a rubber inlay, and date display with a Cyclops lens at 9 o'clock. TAG Heuer equipped the Aquaracer 500M with a rubber strap in the same hue as the rubber bezel insert. There are also models with a stainless steel bracelet available. Pre-owned pieces on a rubber strap cost around 1,600 USD. Those on a stainless steel bracelet demand about 110 USD more. The series' top model – the Aquaracer 500M Full Black – is made of titanium with a black coating and has hands and indices coated in yellow luminous material. Prices for a used timepiece sit around 1,500 USD.
TAG Heuer also created chronograph versions of the Aquaracer 500M. One example is the ref. CAJ2110 . It's powered by the Calibre 16, which is based on the Valjoux 7750. You can purchase this model in good condition for roughly 2,000 USD. In 2012, the manufacturer introduced a chronograph powered by the Calibre 72: the Aquaracer 500M Calibre 72 Countdown. This movement is based on the Sellita caliber SW300 and features a chronograph/countdown module from Dubois Dépraz. A countdown function is especially useful at sailing regattas, for example. Expect to pay almost 3,000 USD for this countdown chronograph.
The second generation of Aquaracer 500M watches debuted in 2012. Instead of a rubber bezel inlay, these timepieces have a ceramic inlay. Furthermore, their cases are less angular and the date display has shifted from 9 to 3 o'clock for an overall more conservative design. There's also a "Full Black" version with luminous white hands and indices. This timepiece bears the reference number WAK2180.FT6027. Both this model and the standard stainless steel version with no black coating change hands for around 1,600 USD.
Top Features of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M
- Water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft)
- Suitable for saturation diving thanks to its helium escape valve
- Models with the Calibre 72 have a countdown function
- Full Black watches made of PVD-coated titanium
How much do Aquaracer chronographs cost?
TAG Heuer specializes in chronographs. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the Aquaracer collection contains its fair share of chronographs. More recent models come with your choice of a quartz or automatic 45 or 16 caliber. The caliber 16 is based on the reliable Valjoux 7750. This movement has a date display at 3, a 12-hour counter at 6, a small seconds at 9, and a 30-minute counter at 12 o'clock. It ticks at 28,800 A/h and has a 42-hour power reserve.
The Aquaracer Calibre 16 comes with a 41 or 43-mm case made of stainless steel or titanium with a black coating. Like their three-hand counterparts, these chronographs are available with a stainless steel or ceramic bezel. In terms of the band, you can choose between a stainless steel bracelet or nylon strap. Prices for the Aquaracer Calibre 16 range from 2,000 USD pre-owned to 2,900 USD new. Models with a stainless steel bezel cost a few hundred dollars less.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 45 has a classic tri-compax subdial layout with a small seconds at 3, a 12-hour counter at 6, and a 30-minute counter at 9 o'clock. An outsize date sits below the brand's logo at 12 o'clock. The Calibre 45's power reserve lasts around 40 hours. You can purchase this diving chronograph for about 3,000 USD in mint condition or 2,400 USD pre-owned.
The Aquaracer Chronograph with a quartz caliber looks almost identical to the Calibre 45 thanks to its outsize date and subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. However, thanks to its quartz movement, it can accurately measure times to within a tenth of a second. Never-worn pieces sell for around 1,600 USD, while used watches go for roughly 1,400 USD.
Prices for the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 7 Twin-Time
If you often find yourself traveling between time zones, the Aquaracer Calibre 7 Twin-Time with a GMT function is the right Aquaracer for you. Its additional central hour hand and bidirectional bezel allow the Twin-Time to display two time zones at once – for example, the local time and the time back home. The ETA 2893-2 or Sellita SW300 serves as the basis of the Caliber 17 and has a 42-hour power reserve. It also provides these timepieces with a date display at 3 o'clock. Like the other newer Aquaracer models, the GMT edition has a twelve-sided bezel and is water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft).
Inspired by the USWNT, the version with a blue and red ceramic bezel with a 24-hour scale makes it easy to tell day from night. This timepiece bears a strong resemblance to the highly coveted Rolex Pepsi. That being said, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 7 Twin-Time is much more affordable. While a new Rolex Pepsi from 2018 requires an investment of over 19,000 USD, TAG Heuer's timepiece changes hands for between 1,800 and 2,100 USD.