Photography via Bilal Khan.
TAG Heuer’s Monaco needs little introduction, neither in the world of mechanical watches nor in the realms of motor racing. Introduced in 1969 as one of the first self-winding chronographs and housed in a square quase which was water-resistant, it soon rose to fame, also thanks to Steve McQueen who wore it in the movie Le Mans, and, as legend has it, also in private. Since its debut there have been many intriguing executions, varying the hallmark features of this legend, such as the colors of the dial and sub dial, most notably with Gulf’s signature powder blue and bright orange hues. Like TAG Heuer, this oil company sponsored some F1 teams in the seventies. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 2019 five commemorative and limited Monaco timepieces, of which each was dedicated to a decade, were introduced.
That year also saw the introduction of the most important technical update, with the introduction of the Monaco Calibre Heuer 02 driven by the eponymous manufacture caliber TAG Heuer had introduced two years earlier. This automatic chronograph which amasses a power reserve of 80 hours features a column-wheel control and a vertical clutch. The new inner workings also meant that the Monaco had the crown on the right side for the first time in its history and that the subsidiary seconds indication was positioned at 6 o’clock. Naturally, the latest line-up also comes with this state-of-the art movement.
On the occasion of the 80th birthday of the Monaco Grand Prix, TAG Heuer surprises with three skeleton-style Monaco models in 39-mm titanium cases that honor the racing heritage and spotlight the intricate mechanics inside by opening the “hood.” The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph comes with three different dial shades, “Original Blue”, “Racing Red”, and “Turquoise”, all with an unobstructed view into the technical prowess of their “motor” and a new rubber-leather strap combination.
The “Original Blue” draws inspiration from the first-ever TAG Heuer Monaco blue dial. The blue and red hues are featured on the dial, the blue on the column wheel and the oscillating mass engravings – an overall design paying homage to the pioneering Monaco of 1969. The “Racing Red” is a nod to the racing DNA, with the color red often referencing the racing sparks made on the tracks. The black and silver colour touches are especially noticeable on the dial, along with the red column wheel and red engravings being visible on the oscillating mass, which highlights the racing-inspired feel. Red also comes into play on the “Turquoise” piece, which recalls Monaco’s beautiful coastline. This fresh hue is featured on the column wheel and the engravings of the oscillating mass.
While the dials are certainly a beautiful sight during the day, they are a feast for the eyes in the dark thanks to the Super-LumiNova treatment on the carved indexes, hands, and date window.
Pricing is marked at $10,750 for the “Original Blue” and “Racing Red” executions, while the “Turquoise” variant, which comes in black coated titanium has a price tag of $11,250.
To learn more, visit TAG Heuer, here.