2022 has been a decidedly strong year for the GMT market so far, with high-profile releases from several of the largest brands in the industry that have shaken up the field for this familiar complication significantly. TAG Heuer is the latest brand to make its mark on this hotly contested corner of the market, bringing a GMT complication and an attractively sporting color palette to the Aquaracer Professional 300 diver first launched in 2021. The new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT is a potential dark horse contender among the current crop of sub-$5,000 GMT models, with an athletic look and solid construction.
At 43mm-wide, the stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT should be bold and athletic on the wrist much like its three-hand counterparts. The general form is carried over from the three-hand line as well, with shortish angular lugs, a narrow polished case side chamfer, and case finishing dominated by strong directional brushing in images. Of course, like the rest of the line, the Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT’s most distinctive feature is its octagonal rotating bezel. As a unique riff on the classic coin edge 24-hour bezel with a hint of on-trend Genta-esque styling, this bezel immediately sets the Aquaracer apart from its competitors at a glance, but for this new model TAG Heuer adds a classic white and navy blue color palette to the glossy ceramic bezel insert. Not only does this emphasize the Aquaracer line’s nautical roots in images, but this is also a classically summery colorway that should adapt to a wide variety of wardrobes. The cyclops date magnifier atop the sapphire crystal is less likely to have the same universal appeal, however, and its inclusion may very well split opinions among enthusiasts. Around back, TAG Heuer fits the Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT with a solid engraved caseback featuring its angular, futuristic take on the classic dive helmet motif, with a cleanly executed matte texture in images. Despite the inclusion of the GMT complication, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT loses nothing in durability when compared to the rest of the series, with a dive-ready 300 meters of water resistance.
TAG Heuer keeps the dial of the Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT close to the rest of the current Aquaracer series, with only a handful of tweaks to the familiar set of visual cues. The base dial is the line’s signature oceanic blue sunburst, with a horizontally slotted “deck plank” texture for added visual dynamism. The brand complements this deep, rich dial color with splashes of vivid hazard yellow for the central seconds hand, 6 o’clock dial text, and slightly undersized arrow-tipped GMT hand, adding a punch of visual energy to the design in images. The rest of the dial layout is familiar fare for the Aquaracer line, with the series’ hybridized Roman sword/paddle handset flanked by applied faceted indices that echo the angular forms of the case and bezel. Although the 6 o’clock date window admirably maintains the dial’s sense of symmetry, the white date wheel against the navy blue backdrop does notably disrupt what is otherwise a handsomely detailed dial surface in initial photos.
Inside the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT beats the familiar ETA 2892-A2-based Calibre 7 automatic GMT movement. The Calibre 7 has been a mainstay of TAG Heuer’s lineup for years, and its performance remains reliable with 50 hours of power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. GMT complication purists may lament the Calibre 7 as a “caller” rather than a coveted “traveler” GMT movement, as it features a quickset 24-hour hand. TAG Heuer finishes the Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT with a pair of strap options. First up is the brand’s angular, fully brushed take on the classic three-link oyster style bracelet in stainless steel. For those looking for a sportier, more contemporary look, the watch can also be fitted with a textured rubber deployant strap in deep navy blue.
In the midst of an increasingly competitive field of GMT models, the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT makes a compelling case with its attractive colorway, clean finishing, and uniquely angular form. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for the watch stands at $3,500 as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.