The TAG Heuer Solargraph in steel offers a heightened sense of eleganceZach Blass
We have previously covered the sandblasted titanium variant of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph. This model was rather subdued and rugged, with largely grey hues livened with a sliver of colour seen on the teal central seconds hand. But, does it have to be so rugged and tooly? Or, would a more flashy and vibrant Solargraph be a welcomed and worthwhile exercise in variety? Well, there is now such an option. You can now opt for one of two stainless steel Solargraph watches, one with a vibrant sunray blue dial or another with the same black sunray dial seen on the sandblasted titanium model.
Whereas the sandblasted titanium model was more matte and monochromatic, this stainless steel Solargraph is far less so, with a mixed-finish case and bracelet. Also, if heft in your mind equates to luxury, then the greater weight of stainless steel versus the lightweight feel of grade 2 titanium will up the tactile luxury experience too. It’s not about one experience being better than the other, rather simply having the variety to go with what you prefer from a finish and weight perspective.
The steel case – 40mm in diameter, 11.5mm thick, and 47mm lug-to-lug – is largely brushed on the front, matched by its sides, though separated with a highly polished edge. The knurled steel bezel edge, as well as the screw-down crown securing 200 metres of water resistance are also rendered in a mirror polish.
The largest amount of mirror polishing is found on the subtly tapered three-link bracelet, with a broader polished centre-link framed by two narrower brushed links. As you work your way down the bracelet, you will arrive at a twin-triggered folding clasp polished in its centre to match the flow of the links with three-points of micro-adjustment.
Both dials, whether the familiar black or the vibrant blue, follow the same design layout. A raised and dial-matching outer minutes ring borders the luminous applied hour indices, with a shorter index adjacent to the 3 o’clock date window. On both dials, you have a teal stick central seconds hand that informs the colour of the printed boxes adjacent to each hour index. While the hours and minutes hands use crisp white SuperLuminova like the applied hour indices, the central seconds hand is non-luminous on both dials.
On the black sunray dial the date window is color-matched with a white-on-black disc, but for the blue, the date sticks out with a more conventional black-on-white disc. The horizontal striations found on each dial add to the aesthetic but are also a functional element of the Solargraph’s design. These lines offer a window for sunlight to permeate through the dial and charge the solar movement within.
Designed with La Joux-Perret, the TH50-00 movement leverages the unlimited energy offered by the Sun. On a full charge, the battery will last up to 6 months, and even 3.5 years in power save mode. So, you do not really need to worry about ensuring the watch gets enough sunlight to run – it will naturally recharge over the course of wear.
What these two watches really offer is a Solargraph with heightened elegance that will better fit in boardroom environments while offering every bit of the same beach functionality. The sandblasted titanium is probably a better option if you are concerned with scratching the polished surfaces of the steel model, or want something more lightweight on your wrist for activity. These steel models offer a greater sense of robust elegance that packages the same movement functionality in a less rugged aesthetic. This added variety in material also offers a variety in price. Titanium watches are typically more expensive than steel ones, and the same can be said for the Solargraph. Whereas the grade 2 titanium solargraph is A$4,450, these steel solargraphs are just over A$1,000 less, coming in at A$3,400.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph pricing and availability
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph is now available for purchase in these stainless steel configurations. Price: A$3,400, US$2,350
|Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
|40mm (D) X 11.5mm (T) X 47mm (Ltl)
|200 metres, screw-down crown
|Sunray black or blue
|Stainless steel bracelet, double pusher folding clasp
|TAG Heuer x La Joux-Perret TH50-00, solar
|Six months or 3.5 years in power-saving mode
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date