In 2022, when TAG Heuer expanded the Aquaracer platform to include the 40mm Professional 200 series, the entire collection became more appealing. The Aquaracer’s 2020 redesign made it one of the best-looking divers on the market, but it was the addition of a 40mm model to the existing 43mm and 45mm models that I think truly opened the Aquaracer to the wide audience it had long deserved. Earlier this year, at Watches & Wonders, TAG Heuer expanded its Aquaracer Professional 200 line with six models incorporating precious metals. The two with the widest appeal are undoubtedly the 40mm two-tone editions, offered in steel and rose gold, and in steel and yellow gold.
While not as flashy as the two solid gold models and the two 30mm two-tone models with diamond indices that were simultaneously released, I think that’s exactly what makes these two watches so appealing. The 40mm two-tone models here use 18k 5N rose gold and 18k 3N yellow gold in for sunray-brushed bezel inserts and matching crowns. It pushes the watches into a more luxurious realm without the showiness of the solid gold models. Further, I never felt I needed to be precious or delicate with the watches when trying them out. You don’t get the feeling you’ve got a gold watch on, just a watch that uses gold for an accent here and there.
The cases are angular without feeling harsh, with a predominantly brushed finish (even the gold!), keeping things quite sporty. At 11.5mm thick, they wear fairly flat, in a good way (a bit like the Formex Reef, actually). The contour created by the fitted strap allows this to be very comfortable on the wrist. The screw-down crown is easy to grip and operate and helps to ensure 200m of water resistance. I found the bezel itself to not only be beautiful but to have a perfect balance of tension and grip to allow it to operate smoothly without making it susceptible to nudges.
The included 20mm rubber straps are matched to the dial and you won’t need to deal with some tail flapping around as they are cut to size. They fit the watch seamlessly and help with that great wearing experience. Regrettably, the straps don’t utilize TAG’s quick-adjust clasp that is featured on the Professional 300 series, so any fine-tuning will have to be done off the wrist and with a tool. While I didn’t get a chance to size the strap to my wrist, it was evident that the material is comfortable, and the folding steel clasp is sturdy and slim so as not to add any unnecessary bulk on the underside of the wrist. The quality didn’t reduce my disappointment, though, and I still believe the quick-adjust clasp should be brought to all of TAG’s tool and sports watches. I’d also love to see these on steel bracelets — not two-tone steel and gold, but just steel, as I prefer to allow the bezel of two-tone watches to stand out.
The dials feature the Aquaracer layout introduced in 2020. On the rose gold variant, you get a black dial, while the yellow gold gets blue. Both feature a subtle gradient and garage-door striping. To match the cases, the hands and indices are plated with the corresponding gold and feature generous applications of Super-LumiNova. Both date wheels are black, meaning there’s a bit of contrast on the blue dial. Given the depth of the blue at the edges, though, it didn’t bother me much. One nice detail I noticed was the logos on both dials: Unlike the white print logo on other Aquaracers, these get logos printed to match the gold used.
The movements are hidden under an embossed compass rose on the stainless steel caseback. I’m totally fine with this, as TAG’s basic movements generally aren’t eye-catching enough to warrant display. For both models here, TAG uses its Caliber 5 Automatic movement, which uses a Swiss Sellita SW200 as its base. As such, it runs at 28,800 vph but only has a 38-hour power reserve. Given the amazing things TAG is doing with its chronograph movements, it’s a shame that its divers don’t get a little love. I personally don’t buy into in-house superiority over third-party, but at this price point, to compete with brands like Tudor and Oris, this watch should be using a better movement. These watches should at least have a manufacture movement (as they did with the Kenissi-made TH30-00 in the Professional 1000 Superdiver) but honestly, I’d even settle for a Sellita SW300 with its upgraded 56-hour power reserve.
These are great-looking watches that wear incredibly well. While secondary to any watch, I couldn’t get over the lack of a quick-release system, the use of an inferior clasp, and an underwhelming movement. Where two-tone sports watches are concerned, though, these Aquaracers do a commendable job offering an elevated luxury experience without sacrificing functionality or inducing precious metal anxiety. The two-tone TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 in rose gold (WBP2151.FT6199) and yellow gold (WBP2150.FT6210) are priced at $5,050 USD. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.