I was always a bit luke warm about the Tag Heuer Aquaracer watch line. The watches were always nice, but not quite nice enough to excite me. Without a big announcement these new Aquaracer Calibre 5 watches started to appear in stores. Not sure if they are in US stores though. Sources indicate some availability in Europe and Asia. So what about the look of the new line? Tag Heuer has taken the term “Professional” off this line, but they look more professional than the last line. For the first time that I know of, a helium escape valve has been added to the design making them appear much more Omega Seamaster-ish.

The water resistance is up to an impressive 500 meters. I know there are a lot of 1000m dive watches out there, but really? Is that necessary. While there will inevitably be quartz versions of the new Aquaracer line, the first models all have automatic mechanical movements. Powering the watch is of course the Tag Heuer Calibre 5 movement. I don’t know much about the movement actually, but as far as I know it is your standard Tag Heuer branded ETA movement. However, the Calibre 5 is NOT to be confused with the Tag Heuer Calibre S, which is something altogether different.

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Size wise things have grow up a bit, but nothing massive. The steel case is 43mm wide being 48mm including the crown. Pretty wearable, even with the large aggressive looking crown. Retained from the old Aquaracer watches is a similar looking steel bracelet, but there is a newly styled rubber strap. Trying to be different (“Swiss Avant Garde” – Tag Heuer catch line), they have placed a rubber coated bezel with a circular patten that looks pretty neat. I’d have to live with it for a while, but I feel good about the design of the watch overall. The bezel number indicators and  proprietary  screws on the bezel look equally nice. Legibility has always been a strong point with Tag Heuer and this is no exception. The hands and hour markers do a great job at jumping out at you, making the watch easy to read. Tag Heuer goes back to its claymore sword styled hands for this one. It works relatively well, though I wonder about how it would look with an hour hand that looks a bit different than the minute hand. Speaking of which the seconds hand is really something and ought to look impressive sliding along the periphery of the based. You’ll no doubt notice that the date window is placed opposite where it normally is. This is to help balance out the bulk of the crown and make the face and case design look “even.” Still, I wonder if functionality suffers and the placement of the date window on the right side of the face is purposeful being the first out of your sleeve for easy reference. There is also a magnifier cyclops over the date Rolex Submariner style.

You’ll notice that three dial colors are available. Rubber and steel straps are available, with the exception of the blue faced model that apparently only comes with the steel bracelet. The bracelet itself features a diver’s extension in case you were wondering. Retail price of the new line is about $2,600. Expect a solid street price at just over $2,000. I’d say that is a reasonable prices given the design, Tag Heuer name, and solid reputation behind the brace.

Via Tag Heuer Japan.

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