Should this Watch Exist? The Solid Gold Aquaracer is a Surprise Watches & Wonders Highlight

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new obsession. Zach Weiss already told you about the latest Carreras from TAG Heuer, and they are undoubtedly pretty great. But the watch that stole the show for me from the TAG presentation was a solid gold Aquaracer. Yes, a solid gold Aquaracer. It wasn’t too long ago that we were universally kind of gobsmacked by a solar powered titanium version of this very same watch. Now, if you’d like, you can have a pair in two very different metals, which give very different impressions. 

The key to this Aquaracer is the complementary nature of the rose gold case and the degrade dial, which is a warm blend of brown and gray. The bezel and tops of the lugs have a sandblasted finish that mimics the utilitarian look of titanium reference, but there are polished accents that really make the precious metal pop, and that’s kind of what you want on a watch like this. 

Aside from the solid gold case, though, this is the Aquaracer we know and love (but just, you know, elevated to an insane degree). Inside ticks a TH31-00 automatic movement, a new caliber built by AMT, Sellita’s high end division. It has 80 hours of power reserve and has been COSC certified, so in terms of specs it’s highly competitive with calibers found in other high end divers. The case still measures a tidy 40mm in diameter. The horizontal ridged pattern that the Aquaracer’s dials have adopted recently is also present, and I can’t understate how well the tone of that dial works with this particular shade of gold.

There are a few obvious points of comparison for the gold Aquaracer. Doxa released a solid gold Sub 200 T. Graph in 2019, and more recently we saw a solid gold Black Bay Fifty-Eight from Tudor. Some people sneer at the idea of an accessible watch luxed out to such a degree, but I think it’s charming, and am endlessly fascinated by the decision making process at a brand behind a watch like this. Clearly TAG has done their market research and they suspect they have buyers for this watch. I’d love to know who they are, meet them, and park myself in front of them at a watch gathering, because I’m guessing they will be far more interesting to talk to than most of the crowd with the usual coterie of luxury sports watches. 

This is a watch that probably shouldn’t exist, at least in a world that makes any rational sense. But we don’t live in that world, and this watch most certainly does exist, and it was among my favorites to try on at Watches & Wonders this year. 

The retail price for the solid gold Aquaracer Professional 200 is $18,450. TAG Heuer

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.