Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 – Best value diver?
When you buy a high end Diver’s Watch from a reknowned brand, such as Tag Heuer, you expect the best materials, “Swiss Made” on the dial (although there are some fantastic high end brands from other countries, especially Germany and Japan) high quality fit and finish, excellent luminosity, a reliable and robust mechanical movement, impressive water resistance, stainless steel bracelet with diver’s extension and sapphire glass.
What you would also normally expect, however, is to have to pay a premium for all of this. Somehow Tag Heuer has managed to produce the Aquaracer Calibre 5 Automatic (ref number WAN2110.BA0822), with all of these attributes, for just £1295 (Aug 2012).
I have to admit that, after being initially impressed by this solid diver’s watch, I was immediately suspicious after hearing the price. I searched in vein for components within this timepiece where Tag Heuer surely must have cut corners, either with materials, components or quality of finish.
I failed to find anything.
This is a 300m diver’s timepiece with:
– A uni-directional bezel that is accurate with a nice, firm feel to the rotation. I particularly like the contemporary design, which is very easy to grip and operate
– A sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating both to the top side and underside.
– A screw down crown and screw down caseback.
– Hand applied hour markers and highly polished hands with liberal amounts of Superluminova.
– A Swiss made automatic mechanical movement, with quick set date and hacking seconds.
– The stainless steel bracelet is meticulously finished with polished and satin finishes. It utilises push-pins, instead of the usual desirable screws. However, special attention has been given to the finish of the bracelet so that it sits comfortably on the wrist. The Aquaracer 300 is also a nice size at 41mm, so it remains comfortable and not at all fatiguing or overbearing.
I am really going to struggle to recommend any other diver’s watch at any where near this price point. In fact, I would happily recommend the Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300 to a seasoned watch collector looking to add what is commonly called a “beater” into their collection or someone looking to buy their very first high end “only watch” on a budget.