Tag Heuer Aquaracer vs Rolex Submariner

Due to the high price tag of the Submariner, many people look for an alternative diver watch that’s more practical to use. This is where the Tag Heuer Aquaracer comes to the picture. It offers a competitive range of features that can make you think twice about purchasing a Submariner.
But does this mean the Aquaracer is better than the Submariner? Let’s take a look at what each watch has to offer.

The Rolex Submariner

Who doesn’t know about the Submariner? This widely popular model from Rolex has become synonymous with a diver watch.
First appearing 60 years ago, the Submariner has undergone many changes and innovations, especially with its movement mechanism. Today, the modern Submariner features a ceramic bezel and a better movement with a larger power reserve.
Jack Black, Tom Hardy, Mark Wahlberg, Robert Downey Jr., and Ellen DeGeneres are some of the famous celebrities who love the iconic Submariner.

Pros:

  • Highly legible watch face
  • Excellent lume brightness
  • Solid, durable build
  • Available in gold cases
  • Power reserve of up to 50 hours
  • Water-resistant up to 300 meters

Cons:

  • Limited design option
  • Incredibly expensive compared to the Aquaracer
  • Its look is quite common

The Tag Heuer Aquaracer

The first Aquaracer was released in the 1980s and has been a consistent part of Tag Heuer’s collection of bestselling models.
Since its inception, it has undergone various design changes. It took quite a while before the brand achieved the right combination of dial design, size, and pricing. We’re now seeing the fourth generation of Aquaracers which has been a hit among divers who need a practical luxury watch.
Zac Efron, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Sacha Baron Cohen are some of the celebrities seen wearing an Aquaracer.

Pros:

  • Highly legible watch face
  • Has a helium escape valve
  • Larger selection of designs
  • More affordable compared to the Submariner
  • Lightweight but durable
  • Comes in a variety of strap styles
  • Power reserve of up to 38 hours
  • Water-resistant up to 500 meters

Cons:

  • Lume brightness is less stellar compared to the Submariner
  • Lower resale value
  • Band can be uncomfortable to wear

Head-to-Head: Aquaracer vs Submariner

For comparison, we’ll be having the Aquaracer WAK2180.FT6027 Calibre 5 and the Submariner 116610LN.

Case

The Submariner has a stainless steel case measuring 40mm wide and 13mm thick. It has a round shape and a solid case back.

The Aquaracer, on the other hand, has a titanium case with black carbide coating. It measures 41mm wide and 13mm thick. Like the Submariner, this one also has a solid case back.

Bezel

The Submariner has a unidirectional rotating bezel made of stainless steel with a black Cerachrom top ring. The bezel has a luminous pip at the 12 o’clock position and minute markers in Arabic numerals.

The Aquaracer has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a black ceramic top ring featuring a luminous pip at the 12 o’clock position and Arabic numeral minute markers.

Crown

Both watches have screw-down crowns for better water resistance rating.

Dial

The Submariner has a plain black dial with dot and index hour markers. It has a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The Mercedes-style hour hand, the minute hand, and all the hour markers all have a luminous coating. The watch face is covered with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with a Cyclops lens over the date aperture.

The Aquaracer has a black dial with a horizontal guilloche pattern and a minute track on the outer edge. It has index hour markers, a yellow-tipped seconds hand, sword-shaped minute and hour hands, and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. It’s also covered in scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

Movement

The Aquaracer features a Calibre 5 automatic movement. It has a power reserve of up to 38 hours.

On the other hand, the Submariner has a Rolex Calibre 3135 automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve.

Strap

The Submariner sports a stainless steel bracelet with the patented Oysterlock deployment clasp.

On the other hand, the Aquaracer has a black rubber strap with a push-button clasp.

Water Resistance

The Submariner has a 300-meter water resistance rating. This is lower than the Aquaracer’s 500-meter water-resistance rating.

Price

The Aquaracer is an affordable timepiece at $1,900 to $3,200. On the other hand, the Submariner is way more expensive than the Aquaracer at $12,000 to $13,000.

Conclusion

The Aquaracer and the Submariner are completely different dive watches with many similar features. Their designs set them apart, with the Aquaracer having a more subdued look. But the biggest differentiator between the two watches is their price.
If you’re after a diver watch you won’t mind using every day, the Aquaracer is the more practical option. But if you want a collector’s item that will probably fetch higher value in the future, the Submariner is your best bet.

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