Forums Latest Members

Will your Aquaracer break? A shocking scientific study on the calibre 5

  1. dtf

    dtf Dec 20, 2021

    Posts
    1,729
    Likes
    1,212
    That may be a new record, and amazing that two have failed in such a short time.

    I think mine took about 8 months to fail. It has worked reliably since thou, and was worn near daily for 2 years until I bought my bb58.
     
  2. OttoWilliam

    OttoWilliam Dec 20, 2021

    Posts
    2,756
    Likes
    2,403
    It got jealous over the bb58 and decided to end it life :(...
     
    McBeardy and Jim Dollares like this.
  3. kappa_md

    kappa_md Dec 20, 2021

    Posts
    3,481
    Likes
    4,864
    Sorry to hear that.. the Calibre 5 truly has issues, unfortunately and sadly :(
     
  4. VirgileF

    VirgileF Dec 20, 2021

    Posts
    388
    Likes
    1,791
    The defect is always the same, with the previous Aquaracer (from 2015 -> 2021) and the new one (from 2021) : manual winding.

    With old Aquaracer (before 2015), ETA movement : never any issue.
     
    Jim Dollares likes this.
  5. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    13,026
    Likes
    17,016
    As the owner of a 2016 Aquaracer this leaves me feeling :mad:, and even though mine has already been back to the factory now it's out of warranty I expect it will break again.
     
    VirgileF likes this.
  6. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    9,529
    Likes
    28,074
    The SW200 certainly does have issues, but most can be avoided pretty easily with just a little bit of movement finishing. TAG just clearly puts the lowest-quality off-the-shelf movement into their watches, just like a microbrand would. The only difference is that TAG then charges 3 to 4 times as much for the result.

    Meanwhile, I've got SW200-based watches from IWC, Breitling, and even Unimatic (a microbrand with a ~$700 US price point). No issues at all among the three from the movement. Because they actually go to the step of adding their finishing touches to the movements to support their price point.

    TAG really isn't making a good product for the prices they charge at this point and I think I'll be holding back from purchasing any more (at least at retail price) until some serious improvements are made.
     
    VirgileF likes this.
  7. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    9,529
    Likes
    28,074
    Problem here is that the issue at hand is a design flaw with the SW200 having to do with a part called the reversing wheels. During the process of movement finishing, oftentimes a watch company will make improvements to the base caliber such as fixing this problem. TAG does not do this, and so after a service it's only really a matter of time until this begins to occur again.
     
  8. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    6,479
    Likes
    7,214
    Spot on, I feel the same way about the C11 Monaco too, price for that one is now up to 73 000 SEK (8 000 USD) in Sweden.
     
    VirgileF and dtf like this.
  9. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    6,479
    Likes
    7,214
    Last time I tried on the IWC mark 18, the guy told me IWC replaces approx. 35% of the parts in the Sellita movement. The end result is an actual robust work horse movement (that also happens to be silky smooth to hand-wind). Pricewise the Mark 18 is about the same as the 844. TAG really could do better.

    Like I've said before, you buy a TAG Heuer not for the quality or watchmaking innovation. You buy it for the insanely good looks, a nice feeling in your heart and the history of the brand. A little bit like people buying an Alfa Romeo, it looks so so good but you know it is only a matter of months before it breaks again. Still, some people feel a strong urge to buy one. I mean you are aware of the SW200 issues and still you told me yesterday that you recommend me buying the 844 :D irrational and emotion based bunch of happy idiots we are! And despite reading and knowing this, my heart longs for the 844.

    It would be so freaking interesting if we could get some insight scoop from TAG or a bigger service center to learn more about these movement issues and how TAG look at it. Obviously they have chosen to live with it and hope for the best. If I owned a gigantic global company and one of my most popular product lines (Aquaracer) had this build in flaw I would invest some money into improving that issue. But I also know that shareholders care 0% about long term profitability and maintaining the brand image of a quality product, short term profits is king.
     
    Remo, VirgileF, dtf and 1 other person like this.
  10. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    9,529
    Likes
    28,074
    Yes, my IWC is a Mark XVIII (Tribute to Mark XI model). I had reservations about picking it up as I knew it housed an SW200, but IWC does indeed do the necessary work to justify their price point.

    Yeah, I still like the 844 Edition, I'm not planning on selling it (if only because I'd lose a ton of money if I did) but I am disappointed in the end result for my $4,500 or so after taxes. If you factor in the cost of a winder, it's still worth it IMO. (I'm running out of winder space though!)

    I don't think TAG has decided to live with it and hope for the best, I think TAG just doesn't care. Which is a shame because as you say, there are so many people who want to love TAG. And a good number of the people working there are really exceptional, passionate people so it's even more disappointing to see them have to hawk these subpar products.
     
    Jim Dollares and VirgileF like this.
  11. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    6,479
    Likes
    7,214
    Dude, I ain't be spending no 5 000 on a watch I cant hand-wind
     
    dtf likes this.
  12. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    9,529
    Likes
    28,074
    Yeah. Well, consider the Seamaster 300M - it's better than the Aquaracer in every way despite costing about the same.
     
    VirgileF, dtf and McBeardy like this.
  13. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    3,704
    Likes
    7,450
    What you really need is a manual wind watch Jim, like the Speedmaster Pro. Wind everyday to your heart's content. ;)
     
    thingziliketoo likes this.
  14. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    6,479
    Likes
    7,214
    True that yo as the kids say! The CS3140 is on my wish list, it ticks two boxes, manual wind and yellow gold!
     
    Mspeedster likes this.
  15. akong71

    akong71 Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    196
    Likes
    277
    Hey @Jim Dollares can you please put your mega scientific mind to work and do a study on the Aquaracer crown/stem failure rate??? My hypothesis: The AR crown/stem is a sketchy design and prone to failure.
     
    Jim Dollares and thingziliketoo like this.
  16. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    6,479
    Likes
    7,214
    Currently my research team is working on a study on how much happier a person gets from wearing a silver dialed watch. Phase 2 of the study is to test the theory that hand-winding twice a day makes the sadness go away. But sure, we will keep your ideas in mind and see what we can do.

    Don't forget to donate to our cause, science aint free.
     
  17. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Dec 21, 2021

    Posts
    13,026
    Likes
    17,016
    But, unfortunately, it has been hit in the face with an ugly stick.
     
    McBeardy likes this.
  18. dtf

    dtf Dec 22, 2021

    Posts
    1,729
    Likes
    1,212
    I believe the stem/crown issue was discussed during Dr Jim's Super Scientific Survey, and no respondents had issues with the crown/stem on the previous generation of aquaracer (or the 'nice aquaracer' as it will henceforth be known).

    I have a stem issue on my 500m AR full black, but that was excluded from the survey because it's not a calibre 5.
     
  19. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Dec 22, 2021

    Posts
    6,479
    Likes
    7,214
    Yeah I think the WAK Aquaracers mainly were notoriously known for the crown/stem issues and with that model you have to expect fixing it every second year or so.
     
    VirgileF likes this.
  20. VirgileF

    VirgileF Dec 22, 2021

    Posts
    388
    Likes
    1,791
    I had the same feedback from an employee from Tag Heuer in Paris ;)
     
    Jim Dollares likes this.