Beaverbrooks / Milton Keynes 15th June 2017
I was surprised to see this one in the MK Centre today, seeing as it's only just been released! But I thought I should give it a go, and I must say for the money it's a nice little watch. Well I say little, it's not that little, in fact in the window it looked rather large. However, on the wrist it was a very comfortable size (it measures 43mm), looking neither too large nor too small on my 7" wrist.
The bracelet seems a step up from the Formula One range although the clasp is still not brilliant looking. It does have double button deployment though, and you have to take into account that this watch is still fairly 'entry level', indeed for a £300 premium (the watch retails at £1600) this is a Calibre 5 automatic not a quartz model.
The most striking thing about the watch of course, is the white dial, and no doubt there are echoes of the Rolex Explorer II about it. I have a bit of a love/hate thing with white dials, I find they usually look cheap. However, this one seems to work, and the stark contrast with the black edging to the hands and the hour markers sets it off nicely. The black around the markers is quite matt, and in fact it looks a lot like rubber. I don't know if it is or not but it certainly gives that impression.
And then of course, this is set of with the orange second hand, which gives the otherwise two-tone dial a shock of colour. This really works, in much the same way as my own Formula One except in reverse and with an orange hand rather than the red on mine. The slatted effect on the dial provides some nice texture as well and I found myself rather liking this one.
But then there's that cyclops, and this cyclops is particularly nasty. Strangely, it seems too small and seems to make reading the date harder rather than easier, which is not good. I really wish TAG would offer all the Aquaracers with and without the cyclops, there are so many that I would consider buying but for that bloody bubble!
I know you're just waiting for me to say it, but this one would look REALLY good with a black rubber strap. The black outlines on the dial are just screaming out for one, and maybe a nice touch would be to make a pin and buckle strap with the holes outlined in orange, like the one that came with the Kimi Raikkonen Formula One.
Would I buy it? Possibly... it seems I'm going to have to get over the cyclops thing if I'm ever going to own a modern Aquaracer, and this one seems like good value for money and it doesn't look like anything else I currently own. Not sure if they'll hold their value well or not, perhaps I'll wait and see what the second hand market can offer.