The Aquaracer series is much more than just fan service from a chronograph manufacturer on its water sports fans. First appearing in catalogues in 2003, the roots of TAG Heuer in terms of water resistant pocket watches reaches as far back as the late 19th century. A decade after its launch, the Aquaracer is one of the most popular TAG Heuer collections and encompasses a wide spectrum of different watch types.
Next to automatic models (similar to its Formula 1 series), there are also quartz based timepieces. Along with multiple chronographs, there are three hand watches in bicolour variations of steel and gold. The Aquaracer with sparkling diamonds and a mother of pearl dial is especially favoured as a very elegant ladies watch. Next to timepieces with smooth faces, there are also bladed dials that bring the Patek Philippe Nautilus or the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra immediately to mind, and give the watch a very maritime look.
If anyone is posed the question of what the first worldwide water resistant watch was, theres two possible outcomes: Either there will be an uncomfortable silence or the answer of the Rolex Oyster. Yet, even decades before the famous advertisement coup from Rolexs founder, Hans Wildorf, came to fruition, the first watch with a water resistant case had already been manufactured. Whats incredible, is that Heuer played a big role in it. At the time, whomever made a discovery had the pleasure of dictating its entire history. Heuer smartly seized the moment and turned in a patent for the first water resistant pocket watch case.
Of course, this watch had its restrictions e.g. it wasnt designed to be a wristwatch due to its large size (at this time they were more reserved for the ladies). However, its still remarkable that Heuer realised at such an early stage the significance of this feature. It’s importance was reflected in the development of the first wristwatch chronograph in 1939, which offered this resistance. The Monaco built upon this legacy three decades later by becoming the first square-shaped, water resistant wristwatch. Even though TAG Heuer is closely associated with racing sports (as well as Monacos and Carreras), it was equally involved in the invention of a watch capable of withstanding submersion underwater.
A thank you letter addressed on Jack Heuer from Bo Derek had three photos of her inside it. They showed Bo Derek posing with a Heuer diving watch while lying naked on her stomach. These suggestive photos with the Aquaracer’s predecessor belong to some of the most famous photos where luxury watches, along with the person wearing them, stole all the limelight.
The automatic movement Calibre 5 is one of the most frequently used calibres in the entire Aquaracer model series. Its based on an ETA 2824-2, which due to its high production volume might not be the most exclusive, but its definitely one of the most premium and accurate calibres. Its often incorporated into varying diver watches due to its toughness. The chronograph from the Aquaracer series is predominantly equipped with a Calibre 16, which is based on an ETA/Valjoux 7750. To read more about the most common ETA movements, the ETA 2824, as well as the ETA/Valjoux 7750 click right here.
Since 2009, the Aquaracer 300M has been expanded upon by an additional version with a water resistance of up to 500 metres. This model is furnished with a helium release valve and is available with a black and silver dial.
The case measurement of the Aquaracer belongs to the more moderate case size dimensions and is also comfortable to wear. Most models equipped with a Calibre 5 measure in at around 41 mm. The Aquaracer 500M models and the chronograph with a Calibre 16 measure in at 43 mm due to their thicker cases.
Like most other diving watches, the Aquaracer has a unidirectional, rotating bezel. However, compared to the Rolex Submariner with a 60 graduation, the Aquaracer is crowned with 120 clicks. Next to bezels made from stainless steel, there are also blue and black ceramic inlays available in the collection.
1895: The first water resistant pocket watch is patented by the sons of the founder, Edouard Heuer.
1939: The first water resistant wristwatch chronograph is launched.
1963/1964: The Carrera emerges in the recent TAG Heuer collection.
1969: The Monaco becomes the first square-formed, water resistant wristwatch.
1982: TAG Heuer presents a model that is waterproof up to 300 metres in its 2000 series.
1986: The Super Professional with a water resistance of up to 1000 metres is launched.
2002: The Aquagraph is presented. This diving chronograph survives a depth of 500 metres on a Navy SEALs mission.
2003: TAG Heuer launches the Aquaracer.
2009: The Aquaracer 500 becomes a part of the Aquaracer series.