BY ERIK SLAVEN
TAG Heuer is no stranger to saturation dive watches. Back in 1982, for example, there was the Heuer 1000m diver and the Super Professional followed in 1984. This latest piece is an upgrade to the Aquaracer Professional 300 and brings a serious watch to divers needing to explore the darker depths of the ocean. It carries a new movement from Kenissi Manufacture SA, founded in 2016 and partially owned by Tudor and Chanel. It’s the first time that the watchmaker and movement manufacturer have collaborated and we’ll be seeing more Kenissi powered TAG Heuers in the future.
The case is predictably large for a deep diver at 45mm in diameter and 15.75mm thick, but that’s actually quite thin for such a piece. Comparable 1,000m divers from Omega and Breitling exceed 17mm in thickness. The case and 3-link bracelet with double safety clasp (and fine adjustment system) are machined from grade 5 titanium that’s both lightweight and very corrosion resistant. The unidirectional 12-sided bezel has a black ceramic insert and orange 15-minute scale made from a special composite material. The screw-down titanium crown is shielded by a steel protector that fully surrounds it, which extends outward when the crown is unscrewed. It does have an Omega Seamaster Ploprof vibe, but is visually different.
The crown sports a black DLC coating and orange ring around the crown tube, which allows users to visually confirm if it’s screwed down. At 9 o’clock there’s a rectangular helium escape valve in steel that’s also treated with a black DLC coating. The case back is steel as well (not quite everything is titanium) and engraved with the vintage diving helmet that’s seen on all recent Aquaracer watches. Reinforcing its 1,000-meter water resistance rating, the watch carries an ISO 6425:2018 certification for saturation divers. This is well above the standard ISO 6425 certification for dive watches and includes anti-magnetic and helium-rich, deep-diving requirements (as of 2018).
The dial is black with a sunray finish and has recessed horizontal lines that are similar to the Aquaracer Professional 300 model (although a bit farther apart). The silver hour hand is a wide arrow and filled with Super-LumiNova SLN Grade X1, along with the sword-style orange minute hand and seconds hand. Orange is a deliberate choice for the latter hands as they’re more important during dives.
Applied octagonal indices are also filled with Super-LumiNova and the dial is very legible in all conditions. Going back to the hands, the minute and seconds hands have a blue glow, again separating them from the rest of the dial elements that have a green glow. A date window sits at 6 o’clock, but the familiar cyclops lens on the underside of the crystal is missing. It would’ve been compromised at extreme depths.
The calibre TH30-00 automatic is a first for TAG Heuer, supplied by Swiss manufacturer Kenissi. It’s an official chronometer, certified by the COSC with an accuracy rating of +4/-6 seconds per day. It has 28 jewels, beats at 4Hz with a respectable 70-hour power reserve. Expect to see more movements like this in the brand’s upcoming models as it’s the beginning of a partnership with Kenissi.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Superdiver 1000 (ref. WBP5A8A.BF0619) has a retail price of CHF 6,650 and is expected to be available in July 2022. We’re seeing new deep divers from Omega and more, so TAG Heuer is definitely pushing for a piece of the professional divers’ market. Visit TAG Heuer here.