Historically, much of the TAG Heuer catalog has been focused on motorsport or aviation, but the Aquaracer collection stands apart. Discover why in our ultimate collector’s guide to the TAG Heuer Aquaracer. 300M Watch collections, like any family, move through cycles; driven by popular demand, changing styles and creative innovation. Over the years, models may become larger or smaller, change focus from utilitarianism to elegance, and even switch between different movements. Add in the many variations between simple three-hand watches and complicated chronographs, and the choices can seem endless.
Historically, much of the TAG Heuer catalog has been focused on motorsport or aviation, but the TAG Heuer Aquaracer collection stands apart. This series of watches is purpose-designed and built for water sports, from sailing to diving via… everything in between. Today, the Aquaracer remains the collection which has continuously maintained the ‘Six Features’ (Water Resistant to 200m, Screw in Crown, Double Safety Clasp, Unidirectional Bezel, Sapphire Crystal, Luminous Markings) since its launch – making it the direct descendant of the Heuer diving watches introduced in 1978. While the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco collections might have originated all the way back in the 1960s, the 2000 Series (and therefore the Aquaracer) has the longest continuous production of any TAG Heuer collection, totaling more than four decades.
TAG Heuer’s dive watches, first introduced in the late 1970s, have moved gracefully through many evolutions – changing with the times, the technology, and even the preferences of our watch enthusiasts themselves. Heuer introduced its first series of dive watches in 1978; this collection developed rapidly, as the watches became extremely popular. Building upon the appeal of the 1000 Series, Heuer created the 2000 Series in 1982, until 1998. This was an extremely elegant collection that added a touch of ‘fashion’ to the dive watch category with its broad variety of styles, colors and materials. The third generation of the 2000 Series was divided into three sub-collections – ‘Classic’, ‘Exclusive’ and ‘Sport’. Eventually, the 2000 Series incorporated the features of the ‘Sport ‘ series and moved into its soon-to-be-iconic fourth generation: the ‘ TAG Heuer Aquaracer. 300M Watch’ series.
The third generation of the 2000 Series arrived in 1998, when the collection was divided into three lines — the 2000 Classic, the 2000 Exclusive and the 2000 Sport models. The 2000 Classic watches continued the traditional style of the 2000 Series watches, while the 2000 Exclusive models were bolder, with a heavier, stronger-looking bezel, restyled hands and oversized numerals on the dial at 6, 9 and 12. The 2000 Sport models (the predecessor of the Aquaracer) had an aluminum bezel with prominent lume-filled numerals around the dial. These 2000 Sport models took some style elements from the very first Heuer dive watches, including the traditional Mercedes-style hands and the red / black bezel. There were relatively few models in this first line-up of 2000 Sport models, as the 2000 Sport line would soon be replaced by the new Aquaracer model.
After a short run, the 2000 Sport series was discontinued in 2002, but returned in 2004, as the 2000 Aquaracer. As such, the Aquaracer represents the fourth generation of the 2000 Series dive watches. On the very first Aquaracer models, dials were marked ‘Professional’, rather than ‘Aquaracer’, but catalogs referred to the 2000 Aquaracer; the name was so evocative that it stuck! Defining features of the first iteration were aluminum bezels to match the dial, a yellow second hand to allow divers to easily check their display, and waterproofing increased from 200 meters to 300 meters. The first 2000 Aquaracer models met with great success, prompting TAG Heuer to relaunch the full 2000 Series model line as the ‘Aquaracer’ in 2005.
Over the four years of the first generation TAG Heuer Aquaracer. 300M Watch, several niche models were introduced, many of which used the Calibre 16 Chronograph case. For example, there were two Grand Date models from 2008, with subsidiary dial designs echoing those of the Carrera Calibre 1 (running seconds at the bottom of the dial, in a semi-circular form).
Heuer introduced its first dive watches in 1978, and after offering the entirely utilitarian 1000 Series models, broadened its collection of dive watches in 1982 to add elements of fashion and broader appeal, with the arrival of the 2000 Series. After the success of this diverse range of dive watches, and the intervening addition of other collections that offered greater elegance than the traditional dive watch, in 2004 the 2000 Series was renamed ‘Aquaracer’ and would return to offering the most rugged and reliable tools for diving. Since that time, the Aquaracer collection has incorporated a broad variety of styles, colors, materials and movements, including both three-hand watches and chronographs. The touchstone of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer. 300M Watch collection? Always offering the most reliable tools for diving – without ever compromising on style.