Tag Heuer is situated in a gray zone where most people seem to respect the brand, but a few collectors think of them as fashion watches.
However, the Tag Aquaracer is almost unanimously beloved by every watch enthusiast. The automatic Aquaracer is definitely the most sought-after version, but the Quartz one can be an incredible bargain if you want a low-maintenance GADA watch.
|Measurements||Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz|
For today’s review, I chose the largest quartz Aquaracer available in Tag’s collection. To me, this is the one that represents the essence of a modern diver’s watch (the bigger, the better!). However, the substantial size of the Aquaracer shouldn’t scare you. Below, you can see it on my small 6,25” wrist.
I must admit, a 50mm lug-to-lug length is pushing the absolute limit of what my slender bones can handle, but I think I still pull it off nicely. If you don’t feel bold, there’s always the option to downsize. Indeed, Tag sells the quartz Aquaracer in 32-41mm configurations, so the bulkiness shouldn’t deter you from getting one.
It also helps that the model reviewed here (WAY101E.FC8222) comes with a fabric strap, which makes it less hefty than the stainless steel version. Not only does this strap makes it super comfy, but it also looks stunning. It turns this Aquaracer into a rugged army watch that wouldn’t be out of place on Rambo’s arm!
You also get a stitching pattern shaped like Tag’s shield logo, giving it a distinctive look.
|Design||Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz|
|Dial||Sunburst Khaki Green|
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
The aforementioned nylon strap matches the drop-dead gorgeous green dial of this Tag Heuer Aquaracer, and there’s a lot to unpack about it!
The first feature that got my attention is the heavy sunburst effect. Under strong lighting, the sunburst pattern will dance around the dial turning it to a light green color.
Next, I took a close look at the 300m script in the middle of the dial. This one has a unique yellowish/green hue that puts it at the forefront of the dial without being too dramatic. This is the same color that you’ll find on the tip of the seconds hand to help with legibility.
This needle hand stretches all the way to the chapter ring, making it quite easy to read the time accurately. Speaking of which, this chapter ring is perfectly aligned with the thick rhodium-plated indices applied to the dial. Not only is rhodium extremely durable, but it’s also quite shiny.
Even though there’s no gold or rare jewels on this Aquaracer, the reflective hands (also rhodium-plated), indices, and bezel insert will undoubtedly get noticed from time to time.
The case of the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz is quite simple but very well-finished. The lugs are beautifully brushed while the case sides have a highly-reflective polish with a smooth set of crown guards. However, they’re a bit useless since they only protect about 1/3 of the crown.
The case back is a true example of something understated that still looks awesome. It features a circular brushing surrounding the iconic scuba helmet, which is professionally etched into the case.
|SPECIFICATIONS||Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz|
|Water Resistance||300m / 1000ft|
|Bezel||60-Min Aluminum Insert|
I didn’t open the case back yet, so I’m going to assume that Tag Heuer uses the same movement as the previous Aquaracer generation; the Ronda 6003. It’s nothing fancy, but I do enjoy its ease of use. There’s something enticing about a watch that you can simply grab and go to the office.
This is a regular 3-hand movement with +-15 sec/month accuracy and about 40 months of battery life, so it’s not a “high-accuracy” quartz caliber like a Bulova Precisionist. However, the fact that Ronda is a Swiss company allows Tag to write that sweet “Swiss Made” script at the bottom of the dial.
You’ll be able to see this script through the flat sapphire crystal. This one is coated with a layer of anti-reflective film which does a great job at reducing glare even under heavy sunlight. You also get a polarizing cyclops lens over the date display, which offers a 2,5x magnification.
I could do without this lens because you need to be perfectly aligned with the date display to read it. This is counter-productive as I think it makes the date harder to read at a quick glance.
As you can tell from the specs table above, the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz is a proper dive watch. With its 300m water resistance rating, screw-down case back, and screw-down crown, it will be able to brave depth much greater than most of us will ever encounter.
I always like to compare a 300m WR rating to your grandpa’s Mercedes S550. He probably won’t ever fully use the 400 horsepower engine, but it’s nice to know that it’s available.
The crown is a feature that most reviewers brush over, but I think it’s important to mention that there’s a world of difference between a Tag’s screw-down crown and a lower-priced watch (like a Seiko). This one will noticeably be much sharper and easy to use. However, I must admit that the date change is painfully slow.
The Tag Aquaracer Quartz wouldn’t be a proper dive watch without the right lume. For this model, Tag applies a thick layer of Superluminova C3 on the hands, indices, and lume pip. With this watch on your wrist, you won’t need to bring glow sticks to your next rave!
Not only is the lume extremely bright and long-lasting, but it also features two colors. Indeed, most of the indices are covered in a distinctive blue lume, but there’s also a green spot on the 3/6/9/12 o’clock indices.
A lot of people assume that Tag only swap out the auto caliber for a quartz one on this model. However, there’s another very important discrepency; the bezel insert.
On the quartz Aquaracer, the ceramic insert is substituted by an aluminum insert. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is to me. It’s a bit insulting to spend $1,500+ on a watch without getting a ceramic insert when $100 Chinese watches get one.
As you can see, my Tag already collected a small scratch on the bezel within 2 years of ownership, so there’s a reason for my complaint.
In conclusion, I think the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz is a great entry into the luxury Swiss watches world, but it might leave you itching for “the real deal”. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that this timepiece has its place in any collection and it will definitely make you smile.
I can’t recommend buying this Tag brand new since it’s one of the high-end brands that lose the most value. Instead, look for a 2-3-year-old pre-owned model which you’ll be able to fetch for around 50-60% of the original MSRP, making it a real bargain.