Hands-On TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date – a renowned diver improved

Small, rather subtle changes improved the wearability of the new Aquaracer. I had a chance to see for myself during the watch official launch in Tuscany, accompanied with some TAG Heuer ambassadors.

Italy is my place on Earth. Beautiful landscapes, the sea, the mountains, the architecture, delicious food, exquisite coffee and happy people – I could list all day long, which is why it’s Italy I always choose for my summer holidays. It was therefore with great pleasure I accepted an invitation to visit Tuscany, chosen as a venue to reveal the latest, revamped Aquatimer collection. The event was lead be TAG Heuer CEO – Julien Tornare, and amongst the special extra treats to accompany the watches, we had a pleasure to see the sunset surf performance by Maya Gabeira (a Guiness World Record holder with a surf on a 22,4 m wave in 2020) and Kay Lenny.

There was also a show to behold, performed by the Flying Nikka sailing boat, which is a speed-breaker thanks to modern technologies and high-tech materials. And I could experience all this with an Aquaracer strapped on the wrist. Lucky me, I got to play with probably the most interesting version – green dial with a lemon-lime seconds hand.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
Premiera zegarka TAG Heuer Aquaracer
Premiera zegarka TAG Heuer Aquaracer
Premiera zegarka TAG Heuer Aquaracer
Julien Tornare – CEO marki TAG Heuer
Premiera zegarka TAG Heuer Aquaracer

I had a premier encounter with the (old) Aquaracer 300 back in 2016. 5 years later, TAG Heuer decided to rather extensively refresh the watch, make it more modern and fit to present times. Next 3 years gone, some more minor changes have been introduced to the design side of the collection, and one major novelty inside the cases.   

Small changes – big difference

Let’s start with the looks. New Aquaracer Professional 300 Date measuring 42 mm in diameter, comes right in between the 2016 version (41 mm) and the 2021 one (43 mm). For me, an my rather humbly sized wrist, 42 mm is borderline big, but still acceptable. Stainless steel case is 12 mm thick and mostly brushed, along with all the links of the Oyster-type bracelet.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

The bracelet is tightly locked with a butterfly clasp with two safety buttons. There is also a 1 cm long extension hidden within set clasp – and to use it all you have to do is press two dedicated buttons. It is easy to do and does not make the whole construction thicker. Only set-back might be you can accidentally press the wrong buttons when opening the bracelet – but it’s a matter of getting used to. And the bracelet itself is very comfortable, does not pull out your wrist-hairs and sits properly on. I would myself also add an easy-change system, which would allow to instantly, tool-free, change the bracelet for a rubber strap.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

As a proper diver’s watch, the Aquaracer comes with full 300 m of water resistance, and is topped with a unidirectional diving bezel. It was supposedly a case of close attention for TAG Heuer engineers, and the result is more than satisfying. The click is nice and less noisy, with turning the bezel a smooth, easy experience. And the bezel inlay, made out of ceramic, shines green but only in bright light. Other times it’s almost back, same as the dial.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

For years TAG Heuer got us thinking that the Aquaracer dial comes with prominent, horizontal lines, that were supposed to look like a teak wood on the decks of luxury yachts. For the new iteration, the brand resigned from this feature in place of a pattern imitating sea-waves. And it does look good in the flesh, nicely playing with the light, with all kinds of different shades.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

There is still plenty of lume on the dial, abundantly placed on the hands and applied indices, some of which have this characteristic octagonal shape (I’d rather prefer a more classic, round ones). The luminova glows green on both the indices and the hours hand, with the minutes hand, the tip of the seconds hand and bazel scale in bright blue.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

It’s worth mentioning at this point, that the designers propose a more solid set of hands, with the tip of the hours hand resembling TAG Heuer’s logo (as was the case in 2016 model). Seconds hand has been entirely painted – in the piece I wore with a very bright, almost to vivid lemon-lime green. Same color adorns the CHRONOMETER inscription at the bottom half of the dial. Just underneath it, at 6 o’clock, you will find a squared date window, with a magnifying loupe over it – cut under the glass, instead of being glued on top of it. It works just fine and, being round, allows you to read the date easily from all angles. One could only ask, if a round loupe would not match better with a rounded window for the date?

Movement and an enhanced power reserve

Although there are some quite significant design changes to the outside of the watch, the biggest new thing must be a brand new movement. The Calibre 5 from the previous models (ETA 2824 or a Sellita SW200-1) was replaced with a TH31-00 caliber, made by AMT. AMT, part of Sellita manufacture, is specialized in creating a higher-end mechanisms for selected brands.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

TH31-00 has a significant, 80-hours power reserve, which is quite an improvement from previous 38 hours. COSC certified movement is securely closed under a solid back, adorned with a diver figurine, wearing a helmet and surrounded by six-sided honeycomb frame.

Thoughts

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

Although new not always equals better, I think the new TAG Heuer is a significant improvement and a step in the right direction. Aquaracer Professional 300 Date is not too big, well finished, and with some well thought-through details, like that bezel turning sound (I know nobody cares, but for me it’s a bit like paying attention to the sound of the engine) or the wavy dial, standing out from the crowd.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Date

The watch is also easily readable, thanks to the set of large indices and hands, boosted by significant amount of lume. There is also a better, new movement inside – the new caliber makes the watch run for much, much longer than before. And then there is the color. My piece just beautifully shined with all different shades of green. I highly recommend you find by yourself – ideally with a glass of good wine, enjoyed somewhere on the coast of Italy.