LVMH Digital Watch Week 2022 came around again this year unveiling some of its latest creations by the LVMH Maisons.
TAG Heuer Introduces the New Aquaracer Professional 200
TAG Heuer returns to the reborn Aquaracer Professional Series with the Aquaracer Professional 200, a bold, stylish, all-terrain luxury tool watch that continues the rich legacy of the historic Swiss Manufacture’s high-functioning sports watch, which began four decades ago.
“The Aquaracer is every bit as much a TAG Heuer signature as Carrera or Monaco. Its codes and the philosophy behind it were defined decades ago and continue to be as relevant and exciting as ever, particularly in this season of new beginnings and new journeys. The Aquaracer Professional 200 is a companion for a fast-paced, unforgettable life full of adventure and achievement, a life lived beyond the edge.” – Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer CEO, Geneva, January 2022
The Aquaracer Professional Series Story Continues
The Aquaracer story began in 1978 when Jack Heuer introduced the Heuer Reference 844. Designed for men and women who loved outdoor sports and adventures in nature – on land or in the water – the watch defined a new high-performance category of versatile wristwatches that could be relied on in extreme conditions.
The Aquaracer name was added in 2004 and continued the legacy of the family’s six design codes: a uni-directional rotating bezel; a screw-down crown; water resistance to at least 200 metres; luminous markings; a sapphire crystal; and a double safety clasp.
Hot on the heels of the Aquaracer Professional 300 comes the Aquaracer Professional 200, a sister model designed to be as comfortable speed flying or ice skiing as it is pounding the pavement. Like the larger 43mm Aquaracer Professional 300, it too picks up on those six design codes established more than forty years ago.
At every turn, the new watches are about refinement. The larger of the two models that debut today is 40mm across and 11mm thick, giving a sleeker silhouette and a slenderer profile compared to the outgoing model it replaces, which was 41mm in diameter and 12mm thick. TAG Heuer’s design and engineering teams have delivered a watch consistent with the Aquaracer’s fundamental principles, only with greater sophistication and even more durability.
Drawing The Lines: Comparing the Aquaracer Professional 200 and 300
The relationship between the Aquaracer Professional 200 and Aquaracer Professional 300 is easily defined. Both have the famous and now upgraded bezel with twelve facets first introduced in 1995; both feature a refined, repeating horizontal line dial decoration; both have sculpted, chamfered, shorter lugs with brushed and polished finishes; both are fitted with a three-link bracelet, and both have a screw-down crown with twelve facets and protection.
Closer inspection reveals a series of subtle, but definitive differences, all of which give the Aquaracer Professional 200 its unique character and versatility. For example, the Aquaracer Professional 200 is appreciably more compact at 40mm (compared to 43mm), with the further option of a smaller 30mm case. The bezel still features a diving scale, only now it’s engraved into a steel insert, rather than one in ceramic. The central bracelet link is polished rather than brushed, lending the Aquaracer Professional 200 its more formal feel, intended to help it cross codes, from sea to mountain, via the office and a weekend hangout.
The differences continue in the display geometry. Where the Aquaracer Professional 300 has octagonal hour markers, an oversized hour hand, and yellow detailing, the Aquaracer Professional 200 adopts more classic sports watch codes with straight-edged, trapezoidal hour markers, sleeker sword-shaped hands, and crisp white detailing. For dial legibility, the hour markers and hands are still coated with Super-LumiNova, but to create a more sartorial look, no luminescent material has been applied to the bezel.
Movement Options, Diamond Settings, And A New Case Back Design
The new Aquaracer Professional 200 models offer a choice of movements. In the 40mm collection, there are two automatic and two quartz references, while at 30mm there are two automatics and five quartz options. This marks another departure from the Aquaracer Professional 300, which is only available with an automatic mechanical movement.
The choice of movement changes the watch’s layout and functionality. Automatics are distinguished by their fumé (smoky) gradient dials, date windows (but without a magnifier – to maintain the watch’s streamlined profile),
Super-LumiNova sweeping seconds hands, and more detailed minute tracks. The quartz models have no date and a pared-back look by comparison, while otherwise retaining the same aesthetic and technical characteristics.
In the 30mm range there are further playful, elegant options. There are three quartz models with a light silver colour, light blue or black sunray dials; a quartz model with a diamond- dot white mother-of-pearl dial; an additional quartz model that adds a diamond-set bezel to a diamond-dot white mother-of-pearl dial; and then two automatics with either a black or blue fumé diamond-dot dial. Again, the automatics feature date windows.
One attribute shared by every new Aquaracer Professional 200 reference is the case back design. Because these are watches designed to capture the go-anywhere spirit of exploration, the watch’s reverse is engraved with a compass, replacing the scaphander diving helmet that has featured on Aquaracer case backs (and its predecessors) since 2002. The backdrop to this remains the repeating engraved hexagonal motif seen on the Aquaracer Professional 300.
A Spirit of Adventure: The Aquaracer Professional 200, Made for Explorers
The new Aquaracer Professional 200 is the next step in the reworking of TAG Heuer’s iconic tool watch family. While it will sit in the Aquaracer Professional Series as a sister watch to the Aquaracer Professional 300, it is a singular design in its own right, with an extensive list of carefully considered aesthetic adaptions that lend it its sporty, versatile personality. This sophisticated, balanced, and yet commanding look has been achieved following years of research and development by TAG Heuer’s design and engineering teams.
In all, there are eleven references at launch, all in stainless steel. No matter the case size or detailing, these are bold, dynamic watches fit for ice-climbing and speed-flying, just as they are for life in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Each has been heavily tested at TAG Heuer’s La Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture for accuracy, resistance to water and abrasion, and to ensure the bracelet can withstand accidental stresses. The primary guarantee of the Aquaracer Professional Series is performance under pressure.
The Aquaracer Professional 200 opens up a new chapter in the storied tale of TAG Heuer watches designed and engineered for life’s greatest adventures.
A Reimagination of The Autavia in Its 60th Year
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer released three new TAG Heuer Autavia models in 2022. The collection debuts a flyback chronograph and the first-ever three-hand GMT within the Autavia collection.
The Calibre Heuer 02 COSC Flyback manufacture movement brings the flyback function to the Autavia collection for the first time with two new chronograph models, while the Calibre 7 COSC GMT movement drives a brand-new three-hand GMT model – another first for the Autavia collection.
The Autavia wristwatch collection, the first product launched under the leadership of Jack Heuer 60 years ago, got its name from a portmanteau of two pillars of TAG Heuer’s history: automobile and aviation. Initially used for dashboard timers for cars and aircraft starting in 1933, the Autavia name would later make its way onto wristwatches as the segment became of increasing interest to the company.
The newly developed Calibre Heuer 02 COSC Flyback manufacture movement now allows TAG Heuer to flirt with its past. A rarely seen function in chronographs due to its difficulty to implement, the flyback function makes it possible to reset the chronograph hand and commence a new timing without the need to stop it first, saving valuable time in high-pressure situations, such as recording lap times at the racetrack.
The launch of the two flyback chronographs is also another nod to the rich history of TAG Heuer. During the late 1960s, it was Heuer who were most closely associated with a particular order from the German Bundeswehr. The reference 1550 SG – a model still very popular among collectors – was specifically created as a flyback chronograph for their Air Force to meet the special requirements of their pilots, who appreciated the ease of use and reliability.
The references launched in 2022 are immediately recognisable with their distinctive chronograph pushers and an extra-large crown, which are both inspired by the historic TAG Heuer dashboard timers. Another feature that has contributed to the reputation of TAG Heuer chronographs is readability. Here too, TAG Heuer remains true to its DNA with a Super-LumiNova® coating on the hour markers and hands, which ensures quick and clear legibility, once again taking inspiration from a historic Autavia reference, the 73663, which included a dial variation that also featured large luminous Arabic numerals.
A bidirectional rotating bezel – one of the strong features that is part of the Autavia DNA – and a sapphire crystal front and back reinforce the durability and utility of the new TAG Heuer Autavia chronographs.
One of the two chronograph models features a silver dial and polished stainless-steel case, a nod to the rare and coveted panda dials that were produced for the Autavia in extremely limited quantities in the 1960s, while the second Autavia flyback model showcases the direct link to TAG Heuer’s military pieces of the past with its black dial and DLC-coated case.
The third model introduced in the 60th year of the Autavia wristwatch is fitted with the Calibre 7 COSC GMT movement. The completely new three-hand GMT Autavia – the first GMT model in the collection and a perfect fit in terms of components for those who love to travel by road or by air – immediately captures the attention with a radiant blue sunray- brushed dial, a magnificent blue and black ceramic bezel and a polished stainless-steel case, as well as numerals and hands coated with Super-LumiNova® for perfect readability. All three models will be delivered either on a stainless-steel bracelet or an alligator leather strap fitted with a double-pushbutton deployant clasp, and customers can choose an additional strap if they wish thanks to the easy interchangeability options on this model.
Now, 60 years after its launch as a wristwatch, the TAG Heuer Autavia continues its legacy as a robust, reliable and enduring timepiece that is up to any task. The new collection honours this lineage by blending inspiration from the past with modern design touches to create models that are the ideal choice for watch lovers who are constantly on the move and who need absolute timing precision in any situation.