TAG Heuer is the LVMH group’s outdoor adventure brand, with brochures plastered with photos of people mountaineering and skiing in places that seem untouched by civilization. It is therefore logical that it is the first brand in the group to make a solar-powered watch. The Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph first launched at the Watches and Wonders trade show in Geneva last March and debuted last week in a titanium version at LVMH Watch Week in New York.
Developed in collaboration with La Joux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the timepiece is a powerful response to the call for more environmentally friendly watches. Caliber TH50-00 uses the power of the sun, so it doesn’t need a battery, and that means no contribution to the dumping. It also means you never have to bring the watch in for a battery change again. The dial is partially transparent to allow the sun to penetrate panels that absorb and transfer the energy in a way that powers the movement. Two minutes in full sunlight will ensure that the watch runs for a whole day. When fully charged, which takes less than 20 hours of exposure to the sun or artificial light, it can run for six months. Even if you don’t wear it every day, you can still save energy: put it in PowerSave mode and the power reserve can be extended to 3.5 years! When it stops ticking — say, if you’re trapped in a cave for 20 hours — it only takes ten seconds of light exposure to get it going again.
The 200 Solargraph is water resistant to 200 meters, with a bezel, dial and hands that glow in the dark to keep you safe during deep dives or nighttime workouts. Or exploring caves. Everything you need to see to read the time is incorporated in Super-LumiNova: indices, hour and minute hands and the arctic blue lacquered central second hand. The polar blue color is a nod to the northern lights. The 40mm case and three-row bracelet are made of titanium, which makes the watch light and durable. It comes with a five-year warranty and costs $3,050.