We checked out the blue dial version, close-up, back in March, at Baselworld. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M comes in 41 mm and 43 mm diameter automatic models (in steel or titanium) – with either a ceramic or steel bezel. New for 2016, are two 43 mm diameter stainless steel Aquaracers (black or blue dial), with stainless steel bezels.
The dial features what luxury watch TAG Heuer calls a “horizontal streak effect.” It has prominent hand-applied polished and facetted indexes that mark the hours, including a luminescent treatment for low-light visibility. Big baton-shaped, polished and facetted, luminescent hands indicate the hours and minutes. A polished seconds hand, with a yellow tip with lume, continuously sweeps the dial. The outer chapter ring has white printed graduations that indicate seconds/minutes in conjunction with the seconds and minutes hands, respectively. An angled date aperture with a magnifying lens overtop is positioned at 3.
Distinguished by its steel rotating bezel, this Aquaracer presents differently than two-tone bezels dive watches (from TAG Heuer and other manufacturers), as the steel bezel matches the steel case, instead of contrasting. Moreover, the bezel will scratch easier than a ceramic bezel. But if you don’t want the typical sporty two-tone diver’s watch look, this is a good alternative. The dive scale numerals are engraved and then filled with blue or black lacquer, depending on which dial you choose. There is a white lume-filled dot at 12 o’clock, marking zero. Notably, the bezel is both brushed and polished, the flanks are polished – while the rest of the case, is brushed.
A basic 4Hz (28,800 vph) Swiss automatic movement powers the functions and has a power reserve of 38-hours. The oscillating weight has Geneva stripes and is engraved “TAG Heuer — Calibre 5 — Swiss Made,” although this is a dive watch, so naturally the solid steel screwed-down caseback (engraved with a diving bell) is covering it up. The stainless steel screwed-down crown is polished and emblazoned with the TAG Heuer logo. Water-resistance is 300 meters. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M 43 mm dive watch with steel bezel is presented with a matching 3-row, brushed steel bracelet. (Ref. WAY2012.BA0927)
If you are looking for an ISO 6425 diver’s watch from one of the big names in watchmaking but don’t want to pay five grand plus, this is one of the best options. And if the steel bezel is not for you, pay a little more and get one of the ceramic bezel Aquaracers. $2250