To mark the legendary Monaco Grand Prix, TAG Heuer releases a new Special Edition of its iconic timepiece which bears the same name as the prestigious F1 race. This new special edition of the Monaco chronograph is inspired by a legendary Monaco of the 1970s and constructed of DLC-coated titanium.
From its introduction in 1969, the TAG Heuer Monaco chronograph has challenged every aspect of watchmaking with its fearless innovation. In an era when there were only hand-wound chronographs, the Monaco was one of the first automatic chronographs.
Rather than the traditional black or white used for dials, the Monaco was painted a brilliant blue, which is made even bolder by the bright white registers and red accents. But the most radical innovation was the Monaco’s shape. Going against a tradition of virtually all chronographs being round, the Monaco was square, and the first to be housed in a waterproof case.
From the moment of its introduction in 1969, the Monaco would reflect the cutting edge of contemporary design. From the midnight blue and bright white of the late 1960s to the contrasting grey tones used in the early 1970s, the Monaco reflected popular culture while advancing the limits of design.
It was natural then that in the late 1970s the Monaco chronograph would introduce an entirely different look, including the matte black case and dial of the legendary “Dark Lord”, with bright orange and white accents, optimising the usefulness of the chronograph as a tactical instrument for the racer.
Now, over 50 years after the introduction of the Monaco, TAG Heuer is releasing a special edition of the legendary watch. The newest Monaco incorporates today’s most innovative materials and engineering to offer enthusiasts the ultimate version of what the original Monaco “Dark Lord” might have been.
The case of the latest addition to the Monaco line-up is executed in Grade 2 titanium, coated with DLC (diamond-like carbon). Titanium is a high-performance material, offering a unique combination of strength and light weight, while remaining free of corrosion.
TAG Heuer used titanium for the construction of only one previous Monaco chronograph, the Titan model offered as a Limited Edition in 2021 and worn by Max Verstappen during his 2021 Formula 1 World Championship campaign.
This year’s special edition marks the first use of black-coated titanium for a Monaco chronograph. The DLC coating provides deep, rich colour that will stand up to its intended use as the racer’s tool, with the case sandblasted to produce a grained finish. Advances in coatings now allow the durable black coating to be used not only on the case, but also on the crown, pushers and caseback.
The dial offers a radically new celebration of the Monaco’s “circle in the square” geometry, being constructed of two separate pieces, with contrasting finishes. The circle at the centre of the dial has a satin-brushed circular finish, reflecting the speed and smoothness of racing. The exterior of the dial offers a dramatic contrast, being sandblasted to create a grained finish.
This grained finish reflects the grip of the tyres and track, offering the perfect run-off to transition from the dial to the case. The chronograph registers have a black opalin finish, offering the perfect backdrop for the deep red chronograph hour and minute hands. The rose gold used for the hands and markers provides another update of the Monaco chronographs of the 1970s.
While the hue of the luminous pain used for the markers and hands of the original Monaco “Dark Lord” would change over the years, the gold accents of the newest Monaco will shine for eternity. The deep black of the dial is complemented by the gold of the markers and hour and minute hands. The hands are also treated with Super- LumiNova® which ensures optimum legibility in any conditions, day or night.
Beyond its luxurious appearance, the gold elements of this piece create a glorious bridge to Heuer’s unique racing legacy of the 1970s, reminding us of the gold Carrera chronographs that Jack Heuer presented to leading professional racers and friends of the Heuer brand. The gold offers a stunning contrast to the matte black of the dial, reminding today’s enthusiasts that the Formula 1 champions of the 1970s wore their gold Heuer chronographs on the track.
The in-house Heuer 02 movement that powers the newest Monaco provides another remarkable contrast to the movements that powered the original Monaco chronographs of the 1970s.
Utilising a traditional column wheel to actuate the chronograph and offering an 80-hour power reserve, the beautiful finishing of the Heuer 02 is topped with a rose gold-plated oscillating mass and proudly displayed through the sapphire caseback.
The Monaco is mounted on a black alligator leather strap that is fitted with a black-coated titanium buckle. TAG Heuer will present it in packaging that evokes the racing heritage of the Monaco collection.
This new watch is available in TAG Heuer boutiques and on http://www.tagheuer.com from 27 May 2022.
Model: TAG Heuer Monaco
Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Hour, minute, seconds chronograph
Two tone dial: Black circular brushed & grained finishing
– 3 o’clock: black minute chronograph counter
– 6 o’clock: black permanent second indicator
– 9 o’clock: black hour chronograph counter
18K 5N rose gold-plated applied indexes
18K 5N rose gold-plated hour and minute hands with white Super-LumiNova®
39 mm diameter
Black DLC titanium grade 2 sandblasted case
Domed, bevelled sapphire crystal
Black DLC titanium grade 2 screwed sapphire caseback
Water-resistant to 100 metres
Black alligator strap
Black DLC titanium grade 2 folding clasp with double safety push buttons