In 2004, TAG Heuer created the revolutionary Monaco V4 Concept Watch. Inspired by the brand’s motor racing heritage (the watch’s name comes from the racing-engine-like V-formation of the movement’s four barrels), the V4 uses ball bearings and is belt-driven – a totally new type of watch movement. The Monaco V4 is the first mechanical watch movement to replace traditional pinions with driving belts. The pinions of the traditional mechanical movement have been replaced with a relay of five driving belts whose tension is controlled by turnbuckles.
A unique linear automatic winding system is used to reload energy. The oscillating weight which generally supplies the energy for an automatic watch has been replaced by a linear oscillating weight. In the Monaco V4 this is a 12g tungsten ingot that moves up and down on a track between the four spring barrels. The system of teeth on the long side of the weight engages a toothed wheel and translates the linear movement into a rotating movement.
The movement’s energy is provided by four barrels in 2-by-2 series and linked to a differential with a V-shaped bridge. Each barrel delivers 4 N.mm of energy. The barrels are mounted in a V-shape (at 15° in respect to the dial). The barrels are held directly onto the bottom plate, allowing the movement to be visible from below. It is this unique design component that gives the Monaco V4 its automobile-sounding name.
TAG Heuer has donated Monaco V4 No. 1 from a limited series of 150 pieces to be offered on September 24 at the Only Watch auction conducted by Patrizzi & Co. during the Monaco Yacht Show. The auction enjoys the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, and all proceeds of the sale go to support research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
TAG Heuer Monaco V4 No.1
Only Watch 2009
Transmission: 5 notched belts (smallest 0.25 x 0.07mm, largest 0.20 x 0.5 mm)
Energy: 4 barrels delivering 4 N.mm of energy
Automatic winding system: Linear oscillating weight: 12g tungsten ingot
Movement features: 28,800 vibrations per hour, small second at 4.30
Watch features: Platinum case, beveled sapphire glass, alligator strap with folding buckle