Here’s a new diver from TAG Heuer that we can finally get behind but can they really take any credit for it? Of course, some but most of it goes to Bamford! There literally hasn’t been a single diver’s model from TAG that has got my pulse racing quite like the first time I clamped eyes on a Super Professional – that was 20 years ago. Since the days of the inimitable Super Professional, TAG has either struggled or has showed very little interest in their diver’s watch collections; with each passing generation, the Aquaracer has been just as underwhelming as the next. Neither tool nor retro diver, it is somewhat low on personality. Today the Bamford Watch Department has addressed the Aquaracer’s case of ordinariness; elevating its status from humdrum to super-cool, tool-diver. TAG Heuer and famous UK customization house, Bamford Watch Department have come together for the second time to design a special, Limited Edition timepiece. The Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition has been designed as a reliable, professional tool watch made with eye-catching Titanium and featuring bold orange details. The collaboration is a new and exciting expression of how TAG Heuer and Bamford Watch Department are so well suited in their approach to design. In 2018, TAG Heuer and George Bamford co-created a special version of TAG’s Monaco. It never appeared on my radar but it was apparently pretty well received. This highly anticipated second collaboration puts Bamford Watch Department’s talent for twisting design codes with the spirit of re-imagination and TAG Heuer’s bold heritage. Together, they have created an exclusive diver’s watch that is bound to appeal to both TAG Heuer and diver’s watch fans – or at least those that like me have been waiting for an Aquaracer to come along that finally has a bit of attitude. Bamford Watch Department’s instantly recognizable style is apparent in the watch’s elegant black dial, which bears the Bamford name at 6 o’clock. Precise orange dashes are found on the hands, bezel and around the flange. The 43mm case, 60-minute scale, unidirectional rotational diver’s bezel and three-link sandblasted bracelet are all contrasted from hardy Grade 2 Titanium. While Grade 2 is a lesser grade than G5, it remains a lightweight, ultra-robust metal which is hypoallergenic as well as resistant to corrosion, which is why it is so often used in aeronautics. The watch’s black-gold-plated hands with orange lacquer have been treated with white Super-LumiNova while the applied Super-LumiNova indexes allow effortless reading in all lighting conditions. The case-back is also made from Grade 2 Titanium and is engraved with LIMITED ONE OF 1,500. Finally, beneath the case-back is the beating heart of this utilitarian beast, a Caliber 5 automatic movement. Thoughts? This is certainly a welcomed and refreshing take on (what is imo) an otherwise ordinary diver from a brand that I have always felt was the biggest under achiever in the diver’s watch segment.
There are tons of lovely details that have propelled the Aquaracer to new heights; however I struggle to understand why the dreaded cyclops wasn’t binned. Still super nice though. What do you think?
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