March 26, 2023
by Jake Witkin
Color and materials trends shift each year, and the return of yellow-gold and two-tone watches has been creeping over the horizon for some time now. TAG Heuer, while having two-tone women’s watches in the catalog, hasn’t been the quickest to embrace the change, but this year at Watches and Wonders, the brand is diving headfirst into the return of the 80’s-style sports watch. New steel with 18k yellow gold and steel with 5N rose gold Aquaracer Professional 200 watches for all wrist sizes and preferences have just been unveiled.
Brand: TAG Heuer
Model: Aquaracer Professional 200
Dimensions: 40mm-wide or 30mm-wide
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Case Material: Stainless steel with solid 18k 3N yellow gold or 5N rose gold bezel insert and matching crown, gold plated hands and markers
Movement: Caliber 5 Automatic (40mm), Caliber 9 Automatic (30mm)
Power Reserve: 38-40 hours
Operating Frequency: 4Hz
Strap/Bracelet: Black or blue rubber with steel deployant clasp and adjustment link
Price & Availability: $5,000 USD, $4,700 USD (April 2023)
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer has existed in many forms over its decades of production, but the latest generation of professional tool watches has almost always been rendered in steel, and sometimes titanium, to maintain its tool-focus design. The addition of solid gold is a welcome luxurious elevation to the line that embraces the returning trend of bi-color watches and adds a flash to the expansive collection.
The new two-tone Aquaracers come in two distinctly different sizes. The first is the tried and true 40mm-wide case, and the second is a 30mm-wide option that comes with the addition of diamond hour markers. Both variations will feature a solid 18-gold or 5N rose-gold bezel insert and winding crown. However, the hands, markers, and indices are plated with the respective precious metals. This may seem like a cop-out, but for the amount of material and the cost to finish these small components, plating on non-wearing items is a fair way to keep the final cost down.
The larger two-tone Aquaracer Professional 200 features a familiar dial text of horizontal ridges not dissimilar to a wooden boat deck. This same pattern is found across the existing lineup, however, a fumé sunburst finish has been applied. The yellow-gold-accented watches feature a blue gradient dial that fades to match the dark-blue rubber strap, while the rose-gold options received a smoke gray-to-black gradient and a black rubber strap. Both options pair nicely with their associated precious metal adornments for a warm and enticing package. The 30mm Aquaracers follow their larger counterpart’s color schemes but opt for a smoky mother-of-pearl finish and diamond indices. Eleven Top Wesselton diamonds (VS-rated) fill the faceted markers. While the dazzling addition of diamonds and their subtle execution is always a pleasure to see, I would have liked to see the 30mm option with standard luminous markers, as well.
Following the success of last year’s Solargraph on a rubber strap, the new Aquaracer collection comes with its own. Fitted to each watch is a supple rubber strap with the same textured center channel and smooth outer channels. The straps are fitted with a steel deployant clasp that features an adjustment link extension. It is worth noting that the 40mm models have a functional quick-adjust system, while the 30mm models have standard drilled clasp holes for micro-adjustment. All the straps are cut to fit.
While a two-tone SKU of an existing watch is not the most exciting thing to debut at one of the largest shows of the year, it is certainly one that will find its way to thousands of wrists around the world. Blue with yellow gold and black with rose gold are timeless pairings that have wide appeal. Additionally, compared to the solid precious metal markup from other Swiss brands, the cost for a bi-color sports watch here is palatable. The 40mm Aquaracer Professional 200 is priced at $5,000 USD, and the 30mm Aquaracer Professional 200 is priced at $4,700 USD. You can learn more about the brand and new releases at the brand’s website.