TAG Heuer Dive Watches

Steve McQueen, Ayrton Senna, Muhammad Ali and Fangio – a marketing dreamteam if ever there was one. TAG Heuer can claim all four as Heritage ambassadors. From Steve “the king of cool” McQueen to Ayrton “The Master” Senna. These original renegades have inspired generations to reach for new limits and continue to inspire today

All images courtesy of TAG Heuer (1)

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The TAG Aquaracer Range

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer is aimed at swimmers, sailors and surfers as well as divers. The range can be broken down in to several categories. First and foremost – all current models are certified to a water resistancy of 300m. This justifies their labelling as true dive watches. Other than obvious differences in style / design the main options are case size, movement and watch face options (time only, time & date, time & date + chronograph).

TAG Heuer Aquaracer – Calibre 5

This is the most popular version of the Aquaracer – the TAG Heuer Calibre 5. All models feature the Calibre 5 swiss made automatic movement. It is available in various case sizes from 40.5mm to 43mm – some with metal bracelets others with rubber/ nylon depending on model style. These watches have a power reserve of 38 hours. They also feature a second hand STOP function (for accurate time setting) plus fast date correction.

Aquaracer – 43mm with Calibre 5
Aquaracer – 41mm with Calibre 5

ChronoDivers stress that GREAT CARE and attention must be taken when buying a used TAG Heuer on eBay or similar second hand auction / sales site. As a general rule walk away if it doesn’t come with box, papers, tags and original purchase receipt. Do your homework on provenance & authenticity before parting with any money. More information on avoiding fake watches here

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Aquaracer Calibre 16 Chronograph

The Calibre 16 Aquaracer’s feature a 3 x dial chronograph and two additional buttons (start/stop & reset). The Calibre 16 chronograph models are available only in the 43mm case.

Aquaracer Chronograph – Calibre 16
Aquaracer Chronograph – Calibre 16

The Calibe 16 automatic movement has a power reserve of 42 hours. The chronograph provides timing down to 1/4 second with a 30 minutes counter and 12 hours counter. Available in various styles from all steel, steel & gold to all black with nylon strap.

Counterfeit warning – shoppers must make their own judgement to determine the authenticity of any watch before buying it – avoid buying a fake watch

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UK – TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 16 listed for sale recently

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TAG Aquaracer Ladies versions

Because TAG have such a wide range of case sizes the range of female Aquaracers is quite extensive. The range of ladies’ TAG Heuer Aquaracers covers everything from practical / no fuss dive watches with a usable dive time bezel to classy dress watches with diamond encrusted bezels.

TAG Aquaracer Quartz 35mm
TAG Aquaracer Quartz 35mm

The choice regarding movement is limited as a majority of the smaller cases can only accomodate the Quartz movement. There are a handful of models featuring the automatic Calibre 9 movement. Expect to pay a premium for the luxury of a mechanical automatic (self-winding) movement.

Recently listed for sale

UK – TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ladies listed for sale recently

USA – TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ladies listed for sale recently

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Calibre 45 Chronograph & 7 Twin Time

Noticeably different to other models in the Aquaracer range are the Calibre 45 Chronograph and the Calibre 7 Twin Time. The Calibre 45 Chronograph has the date display at the 12 o’clock position instead of the more common 3 o’clock. The Calibre 7 Twin Time has a second time zone hour hand. Both models are presented in a steel 43mm case.

Aquaracer Chronograph – Calibre 45
Aquaracer Twin Time – Calibre 7 TT

Pre-owned Calibre 7 & 45 watches

These models are harder to find on eBay and other used watch websites. If searching for one – be as specific as possible. Add a term such as “TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 45 Chronograph” or “TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 7 Twin Time” to filter out the more popular Calibre 5 and 16 models. Or just try these links to visit eBay directly > TAG Heuer Calibre 45 (eBay) | TAG Heuer Calibre 7 Twin Time (eBay)

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Choice of 6 Movements / Calibres

A majority of the TAG dive watches feature a variant of their Automatic movement. The Automatic (mechanically self wound) option is more expensive and, in my opinion, the preferred model. The less expensive versions include the Quartz (battery) movement. TAG do not offer any solar / kinetic movements like the Citizen Eco-Drive (solar/quartz) or Seiko Kinetic (kinetic/quartz) systems.

A watch’s movement is known in horological circles as a “calibre”. This is why these TAG Heuer Aquaracer watches are known by their movement or calibre number. All the TAG automatic watches listed on this page feature one of the following calibres.

  • Calibre 45 – automatic chronograph – date at 12 o’clock (43mm only)
  • Calibre 16 – automatic chronograph – date at 3 o’clock (43mm only)
  • Calibre 9 – automatic time & date (32mm only)
  • Calibre 7 TT – automatic time & date with TWIN TIME (43mm only)
  • Calibre 5 – automatic – time & date (40.5, 41 & 43mm)

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Case Size – 27mm to 43mm

Unlike some other leading brands TAG have models available for ALL wrists sizes. The Aquaracer is available in case sizes from 27mm up to 43mm. The 27mm case is limited to their Quartz movement. Going up to the 32mm opens up the option for the Automatic movement

Mikrograph – 1/100 second timing

A major breakthrough for the Heuer company was the creation of the Mikrograph in 1916. At this time stopwatches could only measure down to 1/5th of a second. Heuer’s Mikrograph was capable of timing down to an accuracy of 1/100th of a second – revolutionising sports timings. For the Olympic games in 1920 Heuer were understandably the obvious choice as the official supplier of timing instruments.

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TAG Heuer – a short history

In the Swiss town of Jura in 1860 – Edouard Heuer founded his own watchmaking workshop – aged just 20 years old. The Heuer brand has grown from that single workshop to four production sites mastering the entire luxury watchmaking process. The can proudly boast over 4,500 point of sale outlets across all continents with 170 stores accessible from their website (1). In 1985 the TAG group ( Techniques d’Avant Garde) purchased a majority share in the company – changing it’s name to TAG Heuer. More TAG Heuer history here (2)

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F1 Sponsorship

The sponsorship of Formula 1 teams in the 1970s brought Heuer to the forefront of sport and fashion. Before the days of sponsored ambassadors Heuer watches were simply the preferred choice of many racers. The role call of professional drivers wearing Heuer watches reads like a who’s who of F1 – Niki Lauda, Jo Siffert, Ayrton Senna, Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti, Gilles Villeneuve and many more. Calibre11.com (2) have a good article regarding Heuer’s Formula 1 ambassadors.

TAG Heuer continue to push forward their involvement with sports teams and personalities. Red Bull Racing Formula One team, the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Formula E championship, Manchester United, trendsetter Cara Delevingne and actors Chris Hemsworth and Patrick Dempsey – partnerships which convey the brand’s open-mindedness and accessibility.

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External references / further reading

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