The TAG Heuer Superdiver is an Aquaracer on steroidsBorna Bošnjak
If we’re going to refer to it correctly, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver really is more super in many ways than existing Aquaracer models. Combining massive water resistance and tough materials with a brand new movement, TAG Heuer is positioning the Superdiver as an out-and-out tool watch, sitting atop the constantly updated Aquaracer lineup which received several additions at Watches and Wonders 2022. This is backed up by its ISO 6425:2018 certification, which officially makes it a saturation dive watch. The deep-dive category is becoming increasingly more occupied, with all sorts of manufacturers — microbrand to the big time — wanting a slice of the 1000+ metre cake. Check out the video below to see how the Superdiver stacks up.
Legibility is priority
The dial of the Superdiver is an interesting dichotomy between form and function. While, for a true tool, function would be the absolute primary goal, TAG Heuer clearly put some consideration into the aesthetics of the Superdiver. The dodecagonal (what a fun word) shape of the bezel is reflected in the octagonal indices, with more angles and bevels from the large hand set and garage door dial. That horizontal dial pattern is clearly an aesthetic choice, as the reflections under certain lighting make me believe a plain dial would provide more legibility. The orange minute and second hands reach to the inner edge of the raised minute track, which is white for extra contrast. The hour hand is a truly supersized arrow, though it skips the orange treatment. No compromises have been made with the lume — with TAG Heuer using a bicolour setup. The minute and second hands glow in a cold blue, matched by the bezel markings, while the hour hand and indices take on a green colour. With truncated triangle indices at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock and a small square index and date window at 6, the dial is symmetrical. For sake of legibility, TAG Heuer chose a white date wheel, yet without a cyclops, which was omitted due to technical constraints (really?), it isn’t the most easily discernible.
In terms of overall appeal, the Superdiver is quite handsome. The dial proportions are spot on, and I like that the TAG Heuer branding has taken a step back, as its highly polished finish blends into the shiny nature of the dial. There are, however, six lines of additional text that wouldn’t be amiss if their number halved. The white minute track acts as a rehaut, offering a step up from the depths of the dial, while also adding distinction and legibility to the operation of the bezel. The whole affair is topped off by a thick sapphire crystal, and while TAG doesn’t specify whether it has any coating, the sharp viewing angles suggest decent anti-reflective capabilities.
Plenty o’ presence
So, how does this 1000-metre behemoth wear? Put simply — big. But, owing to some packaging and bracelet trickery, not as big as I’d feared. The case has that signature titanium finish, with a muted grey metallic tone. When taking the measurement between 10 and 4 o’clock, the diameter is slightly larger than the 45mm TAG Heuer suggests, coming in at 46mm. The lugs sit at 52.3mm in length, and though a large measurement in isolation, it’s actually quite compact considering the diameter. Given the same ratio, if the Superdiver was decreased to 40mm, the lug-to-lug would be just over 45mm. That doesn’t seem too bad, now does it? Overall, the finish is really simple, but done well. The single feature that highlights the curves of the case is the chamfer running from lug tip to lug tip, and thanks to the relative dull shine of titanium, doesn’t stand out excessively. The bezel has become one of the defining features of the facelifted Aquaracer and is an interesting proposition in the Superdiver. It’s a bicolour ceramic bezel, with a circular grained finish. The orange and grey/black aesthetic is not new to this category, though its integration here differs from the rest. The coloured first quarter of the bezel seems to be slotted into it, made of a unique composite developed for TAG Heuer. I’d be interested to know whether TAG attempted to make the bicolour bezel out of a single piece of ceramic, due to the difficulty of producing such a thing.
As for the tech specs, the Superdiver is loaded with features that are supposed to make it extra-rugged underwater. The 1000-metre water resistance wouldn’t do without a helium escape valve, which has been one of the more contentious points of the Superdiver. With its black PVD finish, it takes up a large proportion of the left-hand side of the case, integrated in a way I’ve not seen HE valves done previously. To balance this colour offset, the crown is also finished in black PVD. Though it resides beneath a rectangular crown guard, it’s grippy, with a nice, tactile operation and smooth threading. The crown guard moves in and out together with the crown, as the two are secured by a stem. Turned over, we see a deep etching of a old-timey diving helmet (note the 12 sides surrounding the light), while the diver’s watch certification is reinforced by engraving encompassing the design. Unlike the rest of the case, the caseback is made of stainless steel; TAG Heuer claiming it improves the balance on wrist, and adds some heft you would expect from a diving instrument. While the weight wasn’t excessive, I wonder whether it somewhat defeats the purpose of a titanium case, as the sizeable bracelet makes up for any top-heaviness.
The bracelet is a three-link titanium number, finished in a long clasp with a silhouette of the TAG Heuer logo. The aforementioned bracelet trickery, which helps the watch wear so well, relates to the female end link, which reduces the effective lug-to-lug distance, hugging smaller wrists even better. Once again, the overall finish is minimal and in line with a tool watch, with the exception of the clasp flanks, which match the case chamfer in polish. I love the integration of the quick adjust. While not the most elaborate or well-hidden, it’s simple and no-nonsense — I even managed to operate it one-handed, right on my wrist, though your mileage may vary, depending on wrist size.
Familiar name for the movement
Now that really does look oddly familiar, doesn’t it? If you’ve paid attention to photos of movements from Tudor, Norqain and, lately, Fortis, you’ll notice the Kenissi family connection. While the TH30-00 is manufactured exclusively for TAG Heuer, it offers a 70-hour power reserve we often see from this grade of Kenissi movements. The TH30-00 also offers COSC certification, as it marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration between the two brands, according to the latest news from TAG Heuer. There’s no display caseback that would show off the stylised TAG Heuer logo in the rotor, though I don’t think many will mind.
The category of extra-deep-diving dive watches really has become crowded in recent times. You’re spoiled for choice at any price point, with the Superdiver looking to sit somewhere towards the higher end of the value spectrum, with its advanced materials and associated technologies. I was pleasantly surprised by the fit and feel of the crown and crown guard, as well as the execution of the bezel insert. While the bezel wasn’t incredibly grippy, the dodecagonal shape certainly helped its operation (and I managed to shoehorn in the word dodecagonal once again). While I doubt that many of its wearers will take it to expanses much deeper than a pool (to all saturation divers itching to purchase one, my apologies), the feature set is impressive enough to make it a reasonable option should you be in the market for such a watch.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver pricing and availability:
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver is available now. Price: $9,650 AUD
|Model||Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver|
|Case Dimensions||46mm x 52.3mm x 16.1mm|
|Water Resistance||1000 metres|
|Strap||Titanium three-link bracelet, titanium clasp with pusher-operated extension|
|Movement||Caliber TH30-00, 70-hour power reserve|
Made in partnership with TAG Heuer. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.