March 29, 2022
While solar-powered quartz movements have been a staple of rugged and affordable Japanese brands for years, for the most part the solar watch niche has gone underserved by the Swiss luxury watch industry. Given its durability, low environmental impact, and dependable accuracy, solar quartz is an ideal solution for a forward-thinking dive watch, and as part of its Watches and Wonders 2022 novelties TAG Heuer has announced its first-ever solar-powered timepiece. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph fully embraces and celebrates its exclusive new solar movement, with unique visual touches and an ethos that aims to elevate solar watchmaking above its affordable roots.
Brand: TAG Heuer
Model: Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Case Material: Stainless steel, black DLC coating
Movement: La Joux-Perret sourced TH50-00 (solar quartz)
Power Reserve: Six months on full solar charge (up to 3.5 years in Power Save mode)
Strap/Bracelet: Black rubber strap with folding clasp
Price & Availability: $2,950, on sale October 2022
The 40mm stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph follows the same template as its automatic stablemates but reframes this angular “low-res” take on the classic dive watch with a variety of unique aesthetic touches. The angular main case body is fully finished in simple matte black DLC, giving the design a stealthy and purposeful edge in images while subtly echoing the light-absorbent nature of the movement within. TAG Heuer’s dynamic new insert for the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph’s trademark dodecagonal gear-toothed dive bezel also plays off the nature of solar charging, albeit in a far more eye-catching way. Rather than the Aquaracer’s standard ceramic or stainless steel bezel inserts, the Solargraph is fitted with a custom forged carbon design, with the carbon epoxy resin base mixed with green Super-LumiNova. The end result leaves the usual organic gray swirls and striations of forged carbon shot through with livid green in initial images, which combined with the lumed diving scale should make for a particularly striking appearance in low light. Around back, TAG Heuer fits the watch with a solid caseback featuring a handsome engraved compass rose motif. In keeping with the line’s diving credentials, TAG Heuer rates the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph for an ocean-ready 200 meters of water resistance.
When compared with the wild blacked-out case treatment, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph’s dial feels far more conventional in images. The black sunburst dial finish and engraved horizontally slatted dial surface are familiar territory for the Aquaracer, but TAG Heuer gives these elements new vitality in images with the use of color in its dial hardware. The faceted applied wedge indices and pointed paddle hands are both rendered in deep polished black, continuing the aggressive modern style of the case. TAG Heuer uses lume to break up this monochrome look in images, however, with the green Super-LumiNova of the hour hand and indices acting as a complement to the icy blue Super-LumiNova found on the minutes hand and the seconds hand. Although most iterations of the Aquaracer use a lumed wedge-shaped tip, TAG Heuer further differentiates the Solargraph with a fully lume-coated needle seconds hand that adds a bolder permanent dose of color into the mix.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph serves as the testbed for the new TH50-00 solar quartz movement. Developed by movement specialist La Joux-Perret and manufactured exclusively for TAG Heuer, the TH50-00 is engineered with a focus on quick and efficient charging. From a dead stop, the movement only needs 10 seconds of direct sunlight to begin running, and once running only two minutes of sunlight are required for a full 24 hours of running. From there, a full charge can be achieved with under 20 hours of direct sun exposure, which should allow the TH50-00 to run normally and accurately for a full six months. For the longest battery life possible, the crown can be pulled out to engage the TH50-00’s Power Save mode, at which point the battery will maintain charge for up to three and a half years. TAG Heuer pairs the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph with a textured black rubber deployant strap, completing the aggressive monochrome look in images and reinforcing the Aquaracer’s sporty modern design philosophy.
With a new bespoke high-performance solar quartz movement and striking new visual cues, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph brings solar watchmaking to a new segment of the market in a stylish and intriguing way. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph will be available through authorized dealers in October 2022. MSRP for the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph stands at $2,950 as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.