If TAG Heuer is, without a doubt, mostly known for its involvement in motorsports and its impressive collection of racing chronographs, the brand has far more to offer than just these watches. Case in point, during the 2021 digital edition of Watches & Wonders, the brand has presented a revamped Aquaracer Professional 300 series, its take on the dive watch concept. More refined yet still very recognisable, TAG Heuer first introduced the core collection, which is now joined by a new iteration, once again paying tribute to a past model, with the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 NIGHT DIVER.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300 collection can trace its roots back to the ref. 844 of 1978 (which has been the inspiration for a limited edition Tribute to 844) and the Heuer 2000, introduced in 1982. A collection of classic dive watches with a twist, it has been produced in multiple editions, from quartz to automatic, with chronometer-grade or chronograph movement, and in various sizes and colours. There have been four generations of (TAG) Heuer 2000, and the model was discontinued in 2005, to leave space for the Aquaracer collection.
Part of the watches that made an impression in Heuer’s early dive watch collection was a blacked-out model with a white, entirely luminous dial, a watch known as the Night Diver ref. 980.031L (some reliable sources say this was the watch worn by Bond in 1987 movie The Living Daylights, but the exact reference is still debated…) And this watch is now the inspiration for a new model based on the classic specifications of the new Aquaracer Professional 300 series.
The bold design and contrasted look of this vintage piece are now resurrected in modern attire with the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 NIGHT DIVER, a watch that is basically relying on the same proportions and specifications as the steel watches from the core collection, yet with a different finishing and colour scheme, as well as a new strap. The 43mm case, with its rather atypical design, is now executed in matte sandblasted stainless steel, later coated with durable black DLC.
The shape and dimensions are, as expected, identical to the classic editions of the Aquaracer Professional 300, however, the decoration is different with an entirely matte look, rather than a combination of brushed surfaces with polished accents. The signature undirectional 12-sided bezel, the most recognizable element of the Aquaracer collection, has been kept intact but is now blacked-out and features a matte black ceramic insert with an engraved 60-minute scale. Other than that, the case is identical, with a flat sapphire crystal with A/R coating, large crown guards, a screw-down crown and a comfortable 300m water-resistance.
The main attraction of the Aquaracer Professional 300 NIGHT DIVER is its dial, with two different identities, whether you look at it during the day, or at night. The horizontal grooved design is retained, and so are the applied octagonal hour markers. All elements (markers and hands) are black gold-coated. The 4 main markers and hands are all filled with Super-LumiNova, while the octagonal markers are filled in black lacquer, something that once again mimics the look of the old Night Diver. During the day, the dial is a milky white matte opaline surface, but since it’s entirely coated in luminous material, it reveals a different nature at night… Striking, to say the least. A date is positioned at 6 o’clock, under a magnifying lens (inside the crystal, so the top surface is flat).
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 NIGHT DIVER is also equipped with a black rubber strap with a texture that recalls the dial’s pattern. It is closed by a well-designed black DLC-coated folding clasp that features double safety push-buttons and a clever, very practical fine adjustment system, based on a sliding mechanism that allows adjusting to small tolerances by pinching and sliding the button on the side of the clasp.
Under the screwed caseback is a classic movement, the Calibre 5, based on the Sellita SW200-1. This robust automatic movement beats at 4Hz and boasts 38 hours of power reserve. Not the most attractive movement, but one that is reliable and easy to service.
Availability & Price
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 NIGHT DIVER Calibre 5 Automatic (Reference WBP201D.FT6197) will be launched as part of the permanent collection this September 2021, and will be priced at CHF 3,250, EUR 3,150 or USD 3,350.
For more details and orders, please visit TagHeuer.com.