November 26, 2020
Both as a competitor in the entry level luxury diver market and as a member of the brand’s own catalog, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer exists as something of a dark horse. While not lacking for capability or quality, the Aquaracer is rarely the first watch mentioned among enthusiasts when discussing both divers and TAG Heuer itself. When the Aquaracer series does make an impact in the community however, it tends to be a massive one, and TAG Heuer’s latest release is likely to continue this trend. Pairing up with acclaimed watch customizers Bamford Watch Department, TAG Heuer delivers an aggressive, idiosyncratic take on the Aquaracer form that emphasizes its futuristic masculine shape. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition stands as one of the most striking iterations of the model line in recent memory, with enough vibrant and unique cues to instantly set it apart from its stablemates.
The beefy, angular 43mm case of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition follows the same lines as the standard variant, with wide lugs and a distinctly trapezoidal mid case profile, but renders it in dark matte Grade 2 titanium. This bead blasted treatment and deep gray metal look in initial images to emphasize the aggressive and futuristic shape of the case, while likely helping to compact the watch visually on the wrist. The solid caseback with its signature engraved dive helmet is carried over from the standard model, as is the signature 12 sided geometric dive bezel. The titanium bezel insert, however, is unique to this model, with a stepped design that adds visual depth to the case. Topping this new inset is a broad recessed triangle filled with bold traffic cone orange paint. Like its stablemates, this case offers a stout 300 meters of water resistance.
For the dial of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition, the designers take a notably different tack from standard Aquaracer cues to create something equal parts sporty and playful. The oversized snailing of the black main dial surface immediately jumps out visually, creating an effect similar to a vinyl record. This is accented with a printed crosshair pattern in white, along with simple rectangular applied indices in lume covered rhodium. The handset abandons the brightly polished paddles of the regular production model in favor of more reserved straight sword hands edged in orange, paired with a stick seconds hand featuring a striking orange and white striped tip. This orange is carried through outside the seconds track, where a vibrant pattern of orange and black encircles the rest of the dial. The dial is such a dramatic departure overall that it does not immediately register as an Aquaracer but looks to carry a funky masculine charm all its own.
Inside the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition is the ETA based Calibre 5 automatic movement. While many of its competitors in this segment have moved on to in house movements, the Calibre 5 remains a reliable if unspectacular performer with a 42 hour power reserve and a 28,800 bph beat rate. TAG Heuer pairs the Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition with its hefty, angular three link oyster style bracelet in matching blasted Grade 2 titanium.
With a dark yet playful new look that gives it a futuristic feel apart from its stablemates, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition stands as a complete and cohesive reimagining of the brand’s stalwart diver line. Only 1,500 examples of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition will be made, available for preorders now before arriving at authorized dealers in December 2020. MSRP for the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition stands at $3,900 USD. For more details, please visit the TAG Heuer brand website.