Editor’s note: Just need a quick watch fix? This preview of the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) review with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. This is not a sponsored post. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
What is it: Travellers rejoice; following the new dual-time Panerai Luminor BiTempo PAM01360 & PAM01361 releases, another Swiss luxury watch brand announces a GMT-timepiece: meet the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT with 43mm diameter, a two-tone bi-directional rotating 12-sided bezel, ~56-hour power reserve and 300m water resistance.
Why: To continue TAG Heuer’s reinvigoration of the Aquaracer Professional family that saw its high-profile relaunch last year.
When released: 24h August 2022
Where: Please contact the TAG Heuer boutique at the corner of Pitt and Market Streets Westfield, Sydney or call (02) 8223 6200.
Who is it for: The duality of a GMT function and 300m water-resistance make it a perfect summertime watch for those who like to travel for leisure.
How does it do: At the beginning of the year TAG Heuer released three new Autavia models for 2022, and one of them was a three-hand GMT model (a first for the Autavia collection). This ref. WBE511A.BA0650 TAG Heuer Autavia 60th Anniversary GMT 3 Hands model featured a ‘Batman’ style rotating bezel, retailing for 6’100 AUD.
Inside it ticked the Calibre 7 COSC GMT, which essentially is based on either the ETA 2893-2 or the Sellita SW330-2. It should feature a typical 56-hours power reserve (and minimum of 50-hours). Assuming it’s based on the SW330-2, the 25.60 x 4.1mm movement comprises 25 jewels, beats at the standard 4Hz frequency, has an angle lift of balance of 51°, features a Nivaflex balance spring, Incabloc shock-absorber, and maximum amplitude of 315° and min of 200°.
The new TAG Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT features the same movement inside an Aquaracer family design architecture. The ref. WBP2010.BA0632 retails for a lesser 5’500 AUD, the price difference perhaps due to the movement not being COCS-certified this time around.
While the TAG Heuer Autavia 60th Anniversary GMT measured 42 x 13.65mm, the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT measures 43 x 13.5mm with a lug-to-lug spacing of just under ~50mm. I haven’t gone hands-on with these yet, so I wouldn’t gamble on the latter two measurements, but they should be roughly accurate gauging from the Autavia 60th Anniversary GMT model’s specs.
How relevant is this release compared to other entry-level Swiss luxury watch brand’s offerings is subjective based on your own preferences, but to put it within context, the recent Longines Spirit Zulu Time features a 100m water-resistant 42mm diameter and 13.9mm thick stainless steel case with a lug-to-lug spacing of 49mm and interhorn spacing of 22mm. So similar dimensions but lesser water-resistance. The major difference here besides the looks preference is the lower — 4’400 AUD on a strap or 4’550 AUD on a bracelet — price mark.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT on the other hand features a 200m water-resistant 41mm x 14.6mm stainless steel case with lug-to-lug spacing of 49.6mm and the same interhorn spacing of 22mm. It is a little big for my ~16cm wrist, but for anyone with larger than my wrist, it will provide a great fit. It again retails for a lesser 5’250 AUD on leather or 5’670 AUD on bracelet.
When it comes to the movements, Longines makes use of the calibre L844 which like the Manufacture Calibre MT5652 of the Tudor GMT is COSC-certified. The MT5652 provides ~70-hour power reserve while the L844 provides ~72-hour, both higher than the ~56-hour power reserve of the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT.
Personally, when it comes to the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT, I believe it nails down to the extra 300m water-resistance, the very identifiable 12-sided bezel case construction, the inclusion of the most legible date aperture thanks to the cyclops magnifier lens, the use of an ergonomic fine adjustment system for wearing over a dive suit, and the genuinely fun colour-way. The blue and white bi-color ceramic bezel insert that works as a day/night indicator for the second time zone is the most visually striking feature that sets this release apart.
On the whole, it’s fresh and youthful, it also features decent legibility and nice summer colours. I particularly like the use of yellow in the GMT and (rhodium-plated central sweep) seconds hand along with its usage on the text. I reckon it’s a worthy advisory in the price-point it operates within.
To find out more about the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 GMT and other TAG Heuer watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © TAG Heuer Brand of LVMH Swiss Manufactures SA – 2022.