TAG Heuer × Bamford Aquaracer Is A Gritty Take On A Classic Dive Watch
It’s bromance time. TAG Heuer and Bamford Watch Department. Most of you will at least be familiar with the Aquaracer line from TAG. These entry-level dive watches have a lot of fans in the community and are nothing if not reliable and well-made watches.
They’ve always been a little safe in their design from my personal point of view. Reliable? Yes. Solid? Yes. Exciting? Perhaps not so much. Now, this is something I have said very frequently on the site — “Taste is subjective”. My tastes will differ from yours. With that in mind, I think the new Bamford Aquaracer proves exactly why TAG Heuer keeps going back to George Bamford and rekindling this bromance.
TAG Heuer × Bamford Aquaracer
The Aquaracer Bamford Limited Edition is a reliable, professional tool-watch made from eye-catching matte, sandblasted titanium, and features bold orange accents. I will forgive you for thinking a black dial with titanium case and bezel would fall into the “playing it safe” category, but there’s something about the execution which is a little more daring than we’ve come to expect from TAG Heuer on its own.
…adds a hefty dose of character…
Bamford Watch Department’s signature styling is evident in the black dial, which bears the Bamford name at 6 o’clock. I really like the circular pattern on the dial. This is something you usually see limited to sub-dials on watch dials, but here it looks superb. I certainly prefer it to the usual horizontal lines found on the standard Aquaracer dials. It’s a subtle change, but it adds a hefty dose of character to the dial, in my humble opinion.
Bamford goes Orange
Precise, orange highlights decorate on the hands, bezel, and around the dial edge. The orange provides a nice contrast to the black dial and the matte case and bezel. I am slightly surprised that Bamford went for orange instead of blue, as blue has become Bamford’s signature color. I think a powder blue, similar to the hues seen on the G-Shock released earlier this year would have looked killer, but the orange does look sharp here too. My only slight comment would be I’d have liked a little more orange on the dial. Perhaps the writing at 6 o’clock could have been orange too? Minor gripes though, in the grand scheme of things!
I am a fan of the matte-finished surfaces…
The grade 2 titanium 43mm case, rotating bezel, and three-piece sandblasted bracelet are super comfortable on the wrist. As we all know, titanium is a super-lightweight metal and definitely helps offset some of the bulk from what is traditionally considered a larger sized watch. I am a fan of the matte-finished surfaces too. Not something you see too often from TAG, so it is good to see Bamford pushing the traditional Aquaracer design and doing his thing.
Professional to the core
The hands and indices are treated with white Super-LumiNova allowing excellent legibility in all lighting conditions and at every depth. This is pretty standard for any dive watch that wants to be taken seriously, but it’s still worth mentioning as not all lume is created equally, but this watch glows. It glows very well. The lume is not something you need to worry about. The Swiss brand has always been pretty solid with its lume applications, from my personal experience.
This isn’t just a fancy desk diver…
Sticking with the dive watch theme, the Bamford Aquaracer has a depth rating of up to 300m. This isn’t just a fancy desk diver, but it is fully qualified as a genuine accompaniment for serious divers — that more than satisfies TAG’s claim that this is a professional-level timepiece. The case-matching, grade-2 titanium case back has a reminder of this depth rating along with “LIMITED ONE OF 1,500” engraved onto it.
Another home run?
This is one of my favorite collaborations between TAG and Bamford Watch Department so far. The venerable Aquaracer and pushed it a little outside of its comfort zone without drastically altering the base DNA. To do this seemingly so effortlessly is quite impressive, and I do not think that this watch will be lying around on shelves for very long. It gives the Aquaracer family that cool uncle it’s been missing out on. I’d even go as far as to say it’s my favorite release from TAG this year! You can add it to your collection for €3,700.
If this TAG Heuer and Bamford Aquaracer tickles your fancy, you can find out more here.