We’re on the ground in Singapore for LVMH Watch Week 2023, the fourth edition of the luxury group’s luxury watch symposium and arguably its most exciting edition yet. It’s Singapore, so it’s tropical, steamy and the sun’s beating down – which is perfect for the launch of a tough solar-powered dive watch.
One of the most exciting watches TAG Heuer has released in recent memory was the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph (ref. WBP1112.FT6199): the 163-year-old brand’s first-ever solar-powered watch, and a real looker. Stealthy, with a black DLC-coated steel case and a unique carbon fibre bezel with lume mixed in, it was one of the most impressive watches released at Watches & Wonders 2022.
Unfortunately for many watch fans, the limited-edition black Solargraph got snapped up pretty quickly. Thankfully, TAG has just unveiled another take on the Solargraph at LVMH Watch Week 2023 – one that’s even more practical and arguably even better looking.
Meet the new titanium Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph (ref. WBP1180.BF0000): quite possibly the best luxury watch for the outdoors ever made.
WATCH the titanium Solargraph below.
First things first, let’s talk about that solar-powered movement. The Caliber TH50-00, which TAG Heuer partnered with renowned movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret to produce, is an ultra-accurate quartz movement powered by a small array of photovoltaic solar cells hidden behind the Solargraph’s translucent dial.
According to TAG, the Solargraph only needs 2 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight to power the watch for 24 hours. Once fully charged (which the watch will reach after less than 20 hours in the sun), it can run for up to 6 months with no light exposure. If it runs out of charge, it only needs exposure to any light source – not just the sun – for 10 seconds to get going again.
So the movement’s pretty special – but so is the titanium Solargraph’s case. Where the black Solargraph was steel with a rubber strap, this new model is crafted from grade 2 sand-blasted titanium and boasts a complementary titanium bracelet.
Titanium is the ideal material for a sports watch as it’s lightweight and very hardy, but one of its few flaws is that it tends to get scratched (superficially, mind you) quite easily. However, the titanium Solargraph’s sand-blasted finish makes it exceedingly resistant to scratches, as well as unique to look at and feel.
Its matching titanium bracelet is also a big selling point – as are its cool little aesthetic touches, such as how the seconds hand and the lume on the minute hand are polar blue, contrasting against the other indices’ green lume. It’s sporty but quite elegant.
Since the Aquaracer collection was updated in 2021, the only titanium model in the range was a Professional 300 with a green dial: a good-looking watch, but green’s not for everyone. The titanium Solargraph’s dark gray dial and colour scheme makes it a more versatile daily wearer… As does its solar-powered movement.
Like other models in the Aquaracer Professional 200 collection, the Solargraph is water-resistant to 200m and features a screw-down crown and a unidirectional diving bezel with a 60-minute scale. Combine that with a solar movement and you’ve got a watch that’s really perfect for the outdoors.
The best bit is that it costs the same as the black Solargraph: AU$4,450. That’s really quite affordable considering how much watch you get for the money. Sure, there are plenty of solar-powered watches out there that you can pick up for a few hundred bucks – but how many of them are TAG Heuers? More to the point, how many of them feature the same sort of build quality and elegant looks as the titanium Solargraph? None, that’s how many.
All in all, the titanium Solargraph is an exceedingly exciting, good-looking, practical daily wearer that I can’t wait to slap on my wrist. If this is the calibre of watch that LVMH Watch Week 2023 has in store for us, we’re in for a treat…
Find out more about the titanium Solargraph at TAG Heuer’s online boutique here.