Watch review:TAG Heuer Aquaracer- the watch that saved Heuer (sort of)

This article was first published on Fifth Wrist on December 9th, 2019.

It’s the late 1970s and the quartz crisis is taking hold. Heuer is a brand known for its mechanical stopwatches and chronographs, what can it do survive? The solution, launch a quartz dive watch, the Heuer 1000.

The Heuer 1000 was intended to be an affordable yet robust dive watch. The aesthetic was very similar to the popular Rolex Submariner but it was roughly 20% of the price. Over the years the range expanded to include automatic models in an extensive range of colours and sizes. The Heuer 1000 and the subsequent ranges of dive watches proved to be very popular.

Fast forward to 2004 and TAG Heuer launched the 2000 Aquaracer. This was the first time the Aquaracer name was used and ultimately the launch of an entirely new range of watches. Some of the design elements of the modern Aquaracers can still be traced back to those early Heuer 1000 models. Critics of the Aquaracer often say that it is a Submariner knockoff or a poor man’s Rolex, this does the Aquaracer a great disservice. It has always been intended to be a more affordable dive watch that has a classic aesthetic but it’s approachable and available in a wide range of styles.

So what about my Aquaracer, what’s the spec and why did I buy it? I had a significant birthday coming up, I wanted to get the one watch that I was going to wear for the rest of my life. Little did I know that it would be my gateway drug into the wider world of horology. The WAN2110 is a swiss made Calibre 5 auto model, rated to 300m with 41mm steel case, bracelet and sapphire crystal. I wanted a classic look and a go anywhere, do anything watch that would work with a suit or shorts. This was within my budget and it comes with a common movement that most watchmakers will be able to service, which appealed to me. It is the watch I have worn the most often over the last five years.


  • Classic dive watch style
  • Looks good with any outfit
  • Known brand


  • Lots of good alternatives at this price point
  • A dozen people in my office have Aquaracers
  • Vanilla

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