Overcoming Pressure: TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver
By The Time Place Magazine
TAG Heuer takes on the depths of the ocean with the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver.
One of the foremost haute horology brands in the world, TAG Heuer has, through the years, showcased its prowess in quality watchmaking with its strong repertoire of watches, including its three pillar collections: the Carrera, Monaco and Autavia. Supported by its array of contemporary lines such as the Link, Formula 1, Connected and Aquaracer, the esteemed watch brand forges on to overcome more challenges and break boundaries in watchmaking.
For 2022, TAG Heuer follows up on the 2021 reimagining of the Aquaracer with an astounding new timepiece: the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver.
Down the Depths
A testament to the brand’s motto, “Don’t Crack Under Pressure”, the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver is undoubtedly made for the deep. Dubbed as the ultimate luxury dive watch, the timepiece is a resolute upgrade compared to its predecessors. More extreme and robust than ever, the novel watch sports an entirely new movement, as well as features that take it several notches deeper as a diving instrument.
Belonging to the ultimate category, which in the world of dive watches means it was designed for professional divers, the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver boasts a 1,000 metre water resistance. With this one kilometre capability, the model is more than adept of taking on the pressure of extreme depths. Picking up the mantle from some of the manufacturer’s great watchmaking feats, such as the Heuer 1000m Diver and the Super Professional, this latest offering is a wonderful culmination of TAG Heuer’s savoir faire, as expressed by TAG Heuer CEO, Frédéric Arnault, “TAG Heuer has been developing bold and innovative luxury tool watches for over 40 years, and the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver is the essence of our unique expertise in this area. This super dive watch joins the entirely reimagined Aquaracer Professional 300 collection launched last year, which now comprises 11 models. We are delighted to launch our latest TAG Heuer Aquaracer at the new edition of Watches and Wonders. It is a watch capable of overcoming all challenges.”
Into the Details
If there’s one word to describe the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver, it’s extreme. Extreme in terms of design, precision and power, the watch is a bold representation of excellent timekeeping. Equipped with a substantial 45 mm case, the model is robust, yet elegant. A thickness of 15.75 mm makes it one of the slimmest in the deep dive watch category and lends the sporty timepiece a stylish appeal.
It does not stop there however, as the designers and watchmakers of TAG Heuer certainly did more than just provide the watch the ability to resist the extreme pressures of the deep; they also ensured that the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver affords the wearer with utmost legibility even in underwater darkness. Taking cues from Jack Heuer’s fixation on readability, the designers took painstaking steps to guarantee that the time can easily be viewed at a glance.
We begin our dissection of the timepiece with the watch hands. The hour hand now takes on the shape of an arrow, and has been made more imposing in comparison to that of the classic Aquaracer Professional 300. This provides a more sizeable area for the application of Super-LumiNova®, thereby increasing underwater visibility. In addition, the minute and second hands are rendered in bright orange, a hue that is most useful for diving. The very colour of maritime safety, and quite a contrast to the blue of the ocean, its standout intensity makes it starkly visible at sea, TAG Heuer has chosen this distinct shade to dominate its latest dive watch. Apart from the choice of colour, the watch also showcases an improved horizontal striped design on its dial. Another design element to improve visibility, the lines are now set farther apart.
Orange can also be seen in the first quarter of the bezel, highlighting the portion most often used for timing decompression stops, which is a key technical detail used extensively by divers when taking part in deep-water exercises. Created with black ceramic and a unique composite of a hybrid material incorporating ceramic with an orange colour specifically developed for TAG Heuer, the bezel is one of the arresting features of the model.
Rounding off the crucial attributes that make the timepiece highly readable underwater is the use of the highest grade of Super-LumiNova®, SLN Grade X1. Extremely powerful and bright, this substance allows for optimal legibility in the dark, a priceless feature especially on deep dives. Lending the watch a cleaner aesthetic is the absence of the date Cyclops, which has been removed for technical reasons. Apart from ideal legibility, a sound diving watch must also possess great durability and safety. The Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver is made entirely from grade 5 titanium, an exceptional material allowing for a finish that is very similar to steel while offering outstanding ergonomics due to its reduced weight. The case back, on the other hand, is made of steel to uphold optimum balance and give the professional instrument reasonable weight. This steel covering features the iconic diving helmet motif, which is engraved on all watches in the Aquaracer collection and has been one of the enduring markers of the timepiece for almost 20 years.
With regards to safety, the model benefits from the addition of a more substantial crown protector than the one usually found on dive watches. The main role of the guard is to ensure the safe screwing and unscrewing of the crown and, as a result, protect the movement from any risk of water ingress. Furthermore, the crown tube is secured with an orange seal. This detail not only recalls the dominate colouring found throughout the watch design, it also provides an important visual indicator that the screw-down crown is properly fixed. This visual detail has been passed down from the TAG Heuer Aquagraph, which integrated the system in 2003. Finally, the crown is coated in black DLC to provide a high contrast to the case and the touches of orange that bring the watch to life.
The TAG Heuer teams also paid close attention to improving the ergonomics of the watch. This can be seen in the deeper recesses incorporated into the design of the bezel, which allows for better grip and facilitates turning. Extensive work has also been carried out on the sound and sensory aspects of handling the bezel which was initiated last year with the creation of the Aquaracer Professional 300 collection.
A watch with high technicality, the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver was conceived to work in saturation diving and to endure the most extreme pressures. A worthy companion for this specific occupation, saturation diving is a practice reserved for professionals working in the deepest depths of the sea at between 200 and 500 m below the surface. This very specialised domain requires practising divers to acclimate themselves to the pressure, notably by spending several days in chambers to adapt to the incredibly hostile environment and the associated pressure.
Helium plays a vital role in adaptation. A gas which must be evacuated at the end of the mission, helium tends to increase the pressure in the dive watch and cause damage upon decompression. To address this problem, the watch has been equipped with a helium valve to enable the gas to escape and prevent damage. The TAG Heuer design team opted for a rectangular shaped helium valve, located at the 9 o’clock position. Finished with black DLC coating, the valve complements the black-finished crown. To properly distinguish its function, it has been engraved with the letters “He”, which stand for helium in the periodic table.
As it can be used for saturation diving, the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver also meets the most demanding of diving standards. On top of the classic accreditations, the timepiece has received ISO 6425:2018 certification for saturation divers’ watches. ISO 6425:2018 has two levels of certification: a certification for dive watches, which few watches on the market can match, and a certification for saturation diving, which is even more difficult to obtain and is also extremely rare among dive watches. With great resistance to magnetism, shocks, corrosion and photoluminescence, the movement of the timepiece also has magnetic shielding, which provides true positive impact for the wearer. Thanks to this innovation, the watch accuracy has the power to better withstand magnetic fields that are present in electronic devices, such as cellular phones. Speaking of resistance, the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver is presented in a custom protective case, which is as resistant as the watch, and includes a rescue dive torch. This highly technical, waterproof and crash-proof case features orange details to remain in perfect harmony with the timepiece it accompanies.
As we have already identified the various attributes of the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver, we now go deeper into the mechanism that makes it tick. Calibre TH30-00 equips the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours, allowing for the watch to be left all weekend and remain in perfect working order without any loss of accuracy when used once again the following Monday. Certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), calibre TH30-00 was produced to TAG Heuer’s exacting specifications by Kenissi Manufacture SA, a Swiss Manufacture for high- performance mechanical movements, founded in 2016 and based at Le Locle. Producing movements renowned for their durability and quality which are best in class in the Swiss watch industry, Kenissi Manufacture SA upholds the highest standards that go beyond expectations.
Calibre TH30-00 not only powers this watchmaking masterpiece, it also represents the new partnership between TAG Heuer and Kenissi Manufacture SA. Sharing the same values of quality and excellence, this collaboration ushers in a whole new era in TAG Heuer’s history of quality watchmaking, specifically in terms of improvements in the reliability and durability of its watches.
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