Following the original Aquaracer Solargraph two years ago, the affordable solar-powered dive watch now debuts in a more compact format with the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph that has a 34 mm case containing the solar-powered TH50-01.
The Aquaracer has long been one of TAG Heuer’s main entry-level offerings. For several years, however, the models were mostly big or bulky, until the brand released the more wearable and solar-powered 40 mm model two years ago.
The new Solargraph maintains the familiar design and solar-powered movement but with a smaller case. With a diameter of 34 mm, this model leans towards being a women’s watch, so an in-between or “mid size” model of 37 mm or 38 mm is arguably still missing. Nevertheless, the vibrant dial offerings – that importantly do not reveal the solar panels – are noteworthy and hopefully indicate more variety is coming to the larger model.
With prices starting at US$2,150, the value proposition is reasonable, given the execution of the case and dial, and the innovative solar calibre (at least for a Swiss brand).
As an aside, Swiss-made solar-powered movements are relatively uncommon, making this a relatively unusual proposition. While there have been a handful of solar-powered models from Cartier, they haven’t made it to the market in significant numbers, perhaps due to difficulties in mastering production on a large scale. In contrast, Japanese brands like Citizen easily produce several million solar-powered watches a year.
Consequently, TAG Heuer stands out as perhaps the only Swiss manufacturer with a sizeable presence in solar-powered watches – thanks to its partnership with Citizen, which supplied the tech for the movements via its Swiss subsidiary La Joux-Perret.
A solar-powered sports watch
The new Solargraph is available in four dial configurations: radially brushed blue, concentrically pattern light green, and white mother-of-pearl, with the options of diamond markers for the mother-of-pearl version. Crucially, all dial variants look like ordinary watch dials with applied hour markers.
Although solar technology requires dials to be semi-transparent to harness the Sun’s energy, the Solargraph dials look like conventional dials, an important element in looking like a conventional watch as opposed to a gadget. Both the green and blue dials, for instance, resemble metallic finish dials.
The new Solargraph retains the familiar Aquaracer case that’s descended from the 2000 Series of the 1990s. The polygonal bezel features trapezoid-shaped tabs that echo the trapezoidal indices on the dial. Notably, the tabs feature recessed centres with a frosted finish that are outlined by polished, raised borders, adding a more refined touch to the overall look.
The case is finished in the same spirit, with a combination of brushed and polished surfaces. The mirror-polished bevels along the lugs trace the profile of the case, while the bracelet is brushed on its outer links with mirror-polished centre links.
The watch is equipped with the TH-01, a solar-powered quartz movement that eliminates the need for battery replacement since the battery is charged by solar panels under the dial that work on both sunlight or artificial light. A mere two minutes of exposure to sunlight is enough for a full charge that lasts 10 months.
The surprising level of technology in the movement is explained by the fact that all of TAG Heuer’s solar-powered movements were developed in collaboration with La Joux-Perret, the Swiss movement maker headquartered in La Chaux-de-Fonds that’s a subsidiary of Citizen, perhaps the world’s most prolific maker of advanced solar-powered watches. This calibre is exclusive to TAG Heuer is accompanied by a five-year extended warranty.
Key facts and price
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
Ref. WBP1311.BA0005 (deep blue)
Ref. WBP1312.BA0005 (mother-of-pearl)
Ref. WBP1313.BA0005 (mother-of-pearl with diamond indices)
Ref. WBP1314.BA0005 (mother-of-pearl with diamond indices and bezel)
Ref. WBP1315.BA0005 (polar blue)
Diameter: 34 mm
Height: 9.7 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 200 m
Movement: Cal. TH-01
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Winding: Solar-powered quartz
Power reserve: 10 months
Strap: Matching bracelet
Limited edition: No
Availability: At TAG Heuer boutiques, retailers and TAGHeuer.com starting on February 2024
Deep blue: US$2,150
Polar blue: US$2,150
Mother-of-pearl with diamond indexes: US$2,950
Mother-of-pearl with diamond indexes and bezel: US$5,000
For more information, visit TagHeuer.com.
Back to top.