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TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

TAG Heuer had a very full 2015. With flamboyant frontman Jean-Claude Biver, the Heuer 01 (“affordable Hublot”), Heuer 02 (“affordable tourbillon” at $15,000), a TAG Heuer smartwatch, and even a DJ watch… TAG Heuer’s solid and established pieces also quietly continued to evolve. I admit that I am an Aquaracer fan, and with a ceramic bezel added to the popular dive watch along with other updates, I am happy to see TAG Heuer again offering terrific value. We saw and photographed these new TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300m watches initially back at Baselworld 2015, and even among this year’s Carreras, Monacos, and much louder announcements from TAG, we believe these are worth a closer look.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

We haven’t talked about Aquracers here on aBlogtoWatch that much, and I had particularly wanted to take a look at them because they are an important line for an important brand, but also because I have always been somewhat attracted to them. For a while, I have been particularly interested in the kind of Aquaracer watch that is relatively restrained and conservative and is, to me, one of those great “versatile” dive watches. But these 2015 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M ceramic bezel watches aren’t exactly that. They are, rather, decidedly bold and sporty.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

2014 steel bezel TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M (left) vs. 2015 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M with ceramic bezel.

While, compared to the previous year’s model from 2014, at 40.5mm, with a steel bezel, and relatively restrained looks, the new-for-2015 model shows some notable changes. At 41mm wide, that half-a-millimeter more on the 2015 models isn’t much, but design elements such as the fattened hour markers, hands, and even lugs enhance the watch’s presence, visual size – and, of course, legibility. It looks like someone just hit “bold” in a word processing program on the whole design. If you could take the design of an Aquaracer either in a Carrera direction or a Formula One direction, these would be the latter. Other notable differences include the hands along with hour markers (6, 9, 12) that reference the TAG Heuer “shield” logo.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

But the real story here is the value added by the ceramic bezel. At a retail price around $2,500, the 2015 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M watches make a strong case for themselves. The Tudor Black Bay on a bracelet, for instance, costs $900 more, with essentially the same movement, certainly no ceramic, and looking a lot more Submariner-ish. It has also been observed that a watch such as this TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M with ceramic bezel and sapphire crystal means that “the entire front of the watch is essentially scratch-proof.” I like that. So not only are the TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M watches handsome and sporty, but don’t forget they should also be very durable.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

Part of being a durable dive watch is being water resistant at least to (obviously) 300m – not cracking under pressure, if you will. Unfortunately, that often means sacrificing a view of the movement for a solid caseback. The movement that you won’t see is, as always, the “Calibre 5,” which is the ETA 2824-2. The caseback itself features the signature old-style dive helmet, which adds some nice diving and heritage imagery to your watch-wearing experience.

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TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Bezel Watch Collection For 2015 Hands-On Hands-On

One thing I have always liked about TAG Heuer Aquaracers is that they are distinctive. They are distinctively TAG, and they offer their own personality that doesn’t look too much like anything else. The bezel, in particular, with its “studs” for grip while using with diving gloves, are a big part of the watch’s character – and feel to me like a bit of a retro throwback to some 1980s-1990s models. The 2015 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M watches, while maintaining the studded bezel, do so in a less prominent way than in 2014, as the ceramic takes precedence. Beyond the ceramic bezel, however, there is still more to the 2015 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M watches…

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  • I wore one of these for about 10 days recently and really liked it a lot (the blue one). The one I had contained a Sellita SW 200 movement (which is an ETA 2824 clone). Outside of being something of a fingerprint magnet and the second hand being a bit hard to spot in some lighting conditions, the watch was both comfortable and handsome. The sail cloth and rubber strap and hole-less deployment clasp were comfy, good looking and worked well. All around, a nice watch. I took the one I had into the Pacific while I was on Maui a few weeks ago and a local surfer wore his in some huge waves. So they are without a doubt tough enough for ocean wear. Thanks for the review Zen.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    I would wear this without reservation.
    But, I would like no ‘cyclops’ lens and a return to a simple HEUER shield.
    Those two niggles might actually be enough for me to spring for one of these.
    Starp looks comfortable and it’s endurance is legendary.

    • Shinytoys

      Viva Le Heuer…boo hiss to TAG

  • iamcalledryan

    I have always liked these, and now they look better!

  • Jeffwb65

    The blacked out titanium model with brown bezel gives me NEEDS. I would prefer it had lume, but It’s preferable to the yellow highlights.

    • iamcalledryan

      That’s a reflection rather than a brown bezel, unfortunately. If you wear it only in room with brown walls you should be good to go!

      • Jeffwb65

        Drat. I still like it. Lol.

  • I love the improved design. It makes TH Aquaracer just a little different from the other million diving watches out there in watchland. The different colour options and nice strap are great too. At $2500 – very good and mechanical to boot.

  • Bruce Wang

    The Titanium model is the one….a “sporty-standard-dive” watch, simple, beautiful, cool and not above 3k asking price which is “reasonable”…….

  • Excel

    nice watches,I put a few of these on my wrist yesterday as my 18 year old model I have now is looking tired..These are very nice and Ill prob have one soon…

  • abrod

    A surprisingly attractive design – I’ve stayed away from TAGs as I found them to be a bit too casual and I still don’t like the date cyclops, but to my eye they got most of the details right on these. I suppose a visit to the TAG boutique is in order, then…

  • SuperStrapper

    Good review of an honestly excellent watch. This is a very strong contender in the upper-class diver segment. Considering that anyone could get a better number out of a dealer with some small talk and a genuine display of interest, these are competitively priced and well appointed.

  • Ryan B.

    A fantastic design, black and yellow always mix together very well.

  • Spaceguitar

    This is simply a great watch all around. I’m having a hard time finding anything I dislike. And yes sir…that lume is fantastic. Wow.

  • Larry Holmack

    Do I wish they were a tad larger….yeah….closer to 45 mm’s would be nice. But…that being said….this is the first Tag I’ve seen that I would purchase to replace my Tag that was stolen when our townhouse was ransacked after Katrina. Yeah…10 years is a long time…but I am just happy to know there is one I finally like enough to save up now to replace my old one.

  • Shinytoys

    Nice job Heuer. A lot to like here. You’re starting to bring me back into my sadly departed fold.

  • Danny Ren

    This is actually quite a nice looking watch. Although I could do without the cyclops… You’re just gonna have everyone asking you if it is a Rolex and you’re only going to disappoint. But other than that, this is an attractive watch at this price point.

    • SuperStrapper

      If anyone looks at this and asks if it’s a Rolex, that would b your first indication that they don’t know anything about watches aside from the word ‘Rolex’.

  • Neal Harvey

    It seems like a nice watch. However, I think the Steinhart or Christopher Ward are equally pleasing to the eye, mechanically similar, and are far better value for money.

  • A D

    I used to come here to read the commentary in which you folks bashed every TAG watch. You disappointed me this time.

    • wrigduo

      Thanks!! I was thinking the same… Dont know why people(generaly) hate TAG so much… I like them, nice watches, ok prices, etc…

  • DanW94

    It’s hard to stand out in a virtual sea of look-alike divers. Tag does a nice job of doing that with these.

  • Ulysses31

    A surprisingly decent effort from Tag. It stands out from the pack. The bezel is super-slick and nice-looking.

  • JPonce

    These are quite attractive watches and will be good values with their street prices. I specially like the lume settings that distinguish themselves from other watches. The strap look fairly solid too. These will be liked as daily beaters or first nice mechanical watches.

  • TechUser2011

    Nice watches. I really wish that black titanium model came with a black bracelet in addition to the nylon strap.

  • Nelson Hing

    Had my first Aquaracer 10 years ago. This Heuer 01 rekindle my interest again in owning another Tag.

    • resonator resonator

      me too.

  • 4tens

    Tag will do a great job with theses ceramic bezels. Nice to see the Swiss move into colored ceramic bezels. Tissot has had these (ceramics) out for awhile, at a sweeter price point. Thought I’d share.

  • Lawrence

    mmm bezel edge too simple…aka, no coin edge.

    • The bezel edge has 6 tabs which actually do make it easy to grip and rotate the bezel. I can vouch for this as I wore an Aquaracer every day for about 10 days recently.

      • Lawrence

        Totally Agree, however imo it doesn’t looks as nice as the oris aquis, seiko shogun, rolex sub, etc etc.
        But yes i get that tag wanted it a bit different, but imo is too plain. And that is the only reason i didn’t buy it ( online is below 1.8k). Also i was not crazy about the dia stripes and the yellow hand on the black, i wish it would be red.

  • JT

    page 2, the light brown one. WHERE DO I FIND IT?

  • Glad to see I’m not in the minority here for my fondness for TAG watches. I have a bunch of them, from the 1990’s GMT Professional to the venerable Aquagraph (arguably the best luxury dive watch that can actually function as a dive watch). While these certainly are bold and lovely, I’m a chrono kind of guy; how about a review of the CAK2112 series? Or you can just send me one and I’ll review it myself.

  • Jonathan W. Fink

    The new Aquaracer reminds me of the 500M from a few years ago, with the helium release valve, and the left hand side date.

  • Pedro

    Does the hands of the phantom aquaracer shines in the dark?

  • oldclimber

    Why anyone rags against the cyclops is a mystery; see how well you can read the date once you pass 55, and realize too late you coulda had a cyclops, LOL.

  • I_kabod

    I love this model. I hope TAG will retain this classic and timeless design. I notice watches at higher price range does little or subtle changes in their watches. The ceramic bezel plus a little love and care will make this watch last a lifetime.

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