Hello everyone! Allow me to share some of my thoughts on my humble TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M Countdown Chronograph Calibre 72 (CAK211A) First of all, I bid everyone a safe and healthy fortune. In the current pandemic we are all facing, health is indeed wealth! With all the woes and pessimism around the world, please let me share a little bit of interest and a sparkle of joy for me and hopefully for all TH enthusiasts as well! Just a little bit of rewind into yesteryears, my FIRST self-winding mechanical Swiss watch is a TAG Heuer Aquaracer Chronograph Automatic Calibre 16 black dial, the 1st generation (CAF2110) It is a watch that I truly adore. Never failed me. Although it has all sorts of dings and dangs now, this is a watch that is very precious to me and brings back alot of nostalgia. When I bought it 10 years ago (2010), it was sort of my special ocassion chronograph, typical when you go to nice places and special events. It is a Swiss automatic which I consider unique and well-prized and thus was the starting point of my fascination and passion for watches. And although my Aquaracer is a robust, all-around and very capable watch (Diver 300M), I reserved its wrist-time before. The workhorse Calibre16 has this visceral sensation on the wrist and easily reminds you that you are wearing a self winding mechanical watch and also the rattling sound it makes. Some get annoyed but I actually loved it back then. Initially I thought all mechanical watches are like that and it wasn’t really a nuisance for me. My go-to all-around chronograph at that time was my TAG Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date silver/white dial, Series Four (CAH1011) I call it Kimi since it’s design was clearly taken from Raikkonen’s LE watch as an F1 Ferrari World Champion (2007) I’m a self-confessed Kimi & Nando fan! I really like the “tacometer / speedometer” style design and it felt like you are looking at your dashboard gauges. And this is the reason why I chose the silver dial over the very busy and non-contrasting black dial. The TH Formula 1 really was my perception of racing and speed packaged inside a watch. Big and seemingly loud at 44m chrono, it was kind of a headturner and eyecatcher for me. I bought it around the same time as the TH Aquaracer. I have a special watch, and a daily watch, both TAG Heuer, one quartz chronograph, one automatic chronograph. So these are my first two Swiss and TAG Heuer watches and the start of my love-affair and journey! Fastforward to 2020, now, I have here my TAG Heuer Aquaracer Countdown Chronograph Calibre 72. 43mm. Just the right size for me Why do I consider it unique and why is it my Ultimate Aquaracer? BTW, this is my third TAG Heuer Aquaracer and for me combines the very special qualities of my previous two TH Aquaracers, the 2nd one being the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Regatta Calibre S blue dial (CAF7110) In all honesty and frankness, I wasn’t really sold into the Aquaracers with “tachymeter” on the dial. It felt like it was out of place and this feature IMHO, should only be placed in the racing chronographs (TH Formula 1 and TH Carrera) model line. Aquaracers represent the element of “Water / Aqua” and related features should be highlighted for watersports. The diver depth rating, the Six-Features, the Regatta, the Countdown Chronograph, all in all were for me great aspects that I love with my Aquaracers Calibre 16 and Calibre S. And now all of these features combined in this unique and special model, the Aquaracer 500M Countdown Chronograph Calibre 72. To highlight the Pros & Cons, I listed several of them. PROS CERAMIC BEZEL. Introduced in the 3rd generation TH Aquaracers. Offers more class, upscale and less scratches vs the steel bezel. 500M + HELIUM RELEASE VALVE. This should be the deepest diver depth rating made by TAG Heuer. I’m not sure why it was eventually discontinued and reverted back to 300M only. Probably the market didn’t need mechanical watches at that level or the wristcomputers were better suited, I really don’t know. I’m not a diver but this 500M depth rating explicitly tells me, this is a pretty solid and reliable chronograph. I could probably go anywhere with this not worrying about any problems or misfunction. 500M is also a feature quite rare for TAG Heuer watches nowadays. REGATTA function. Literally meaning “boat or yacht race” This function is reminiscent of the vintage Aquastar by Heuer, there is heritage and nostalgia in it and I like the splash of (blue/grey/white - regatta colors) in the dial, makes it more in line with watersports (vs red more commonly used in motorsport) This is quite different from the Calibre S Regatta function. It’s unique 5 minute feature is a nod to the pedigree of Heuer’s long history in sailing. I may not have an actual use of the 3 x 5 minute interval timers, all I can say is that they are a handy function and keeps your dial entertaining and quite different. (Maybe it is time to get a yacht? Hahaha LOL) HOUR & MINUTE HANDS. Like the Carrera Calibre 360, the open hand design is to make way and to feature the Regatta countdown chronograph. Only these two models in TAG Heuer have these unique hour and minute hands design that I can think of. CMIIW. UNIQUE MOVEMENT. Only this model has this Calibre 72. No other TAG Heuer watch has this movement. Only 2 variations were release. Standard black version CAK211A and the Oracle Team USA version CAK211B. Although I laud the achievement of Oracle Team USA, I prefer the cleaner presentation of the standard version and with the non-red highlights. BOAT DECK black dial. Similar to an old boats deck pavement design. This is a dial that was intially presented in the 2nd generation Aquaracers albeit vertically. It was changed to a horizonal direction in the 3rd generation and still is a feature placed in the current generation. Pretty unique. UNIQUE CASEBACK design. The old diver’s helmet is ubiquitous and a maintstay of all TH Aquaracers caseback but the Calibre 72 have unique caseback designs. The sailing rope and winch for the standard version and the 72 feet sail hoist catamaran / yacht of Oracle Team USA. Again unique only for these 2 versions. RUBBER STRAP. This is my 1st and only TH watch on a rubber strap and this kinda makes it special for me. The pusher and crown were adorned with black rubber so it was kinda logical for me to get the rubber strap and it blends well with the design of the watch which offers good contrast. The rubber also makes this one package light and not too heavy. Also after a hiatus of not wearing any watches during this pandemic, yet I still needed to monitor time, the Aquaracer on rubber strap made it very easy for me to wash and clean the watch on a daily basis. How I truly missed wearing a watch during the lockdown period.. DIVER and SKIPPER chrono into ONE TAG Heuer Aquaracer. Yes this is self explanatory. Very capable diver’s watch and very capable skipper chronograph. Two boats in one sail. PLACEMENT of the 3 & 9 o’clock registers and TAG Heuer LOGO. I can’t seem to remember a two register Aquaracer chronograph in this position and kinda makes it even more unique. And out of all my Heuer/TAG Heuer chronographs, this is the only one with a logo sitting at the 6 o’clock. CONS. Not too many for me, just the placement of the date at 12 o’clock which can interfere with the second hand on idle. The date presentation seats way below inside and gives you this “depth perception.” I am not sure why but I think the reason why TAG Heuer made this so is to have a better glimpse of the date when viewing on an angle? The review articles made by Calibre11 (Thanks DC ) Escapement and Watchonista all convinced me that this is a MUST have chronograph if you love TAG Heuer Aquaracers. It has the feeling both “modern withna vintage flare” Although I feel it is quite under-appreciated, it is still a very good all around chronograph with its exceptional build quality and features. BTW, Calibre 11 website uses this particular model as the EXAMPLE PICTURE for the Aquaracer line-up. SEA TIME Magazine also featured this particular CHRONOGRAPH and calls it the “spiritual descendant” of more than 70 years of Heuer/TAG Heuer MARITIME HOROLOGY. (Thanks Mr_Orange ) To wrap this up, I have come to love all my TAG Heuer Aquaracers as my daily reliable watch, my daily TAG Heuer companion, able to handle all the rigors and beating in whatever situation. Very practical and reasonable. For 4 years my Aquaracer Calibre 16 was my “daily beater” and still performed very well. It made me really impressed, still working great after 10 years. Now is a good time to try and switch to a light rubber strap and see how good this Aquaracer Calibre 72 Countdown Chronograph. Thank you for allowing me to grab your attention so I can share my thoughts and a glimpse of my TH passion history! I hope you enjoyed this little tribute! TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M Countdown Chronograph Calibre 72. YES! My Ultimate Aquaracer!