Created to support the Only Watch 2023 auction, the unique TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph debuts a brand-new movement for the Maison.
Dressed in a texturized titanium case, this unique TAG Heuer Monaco timepiece houses the Calibre TH81-00, a new mechanical split-seconds chronograph movement developed in collaboration with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier.
The rich history of TAG Heuer’s Split-Seconds Chronograph watches dates back over a century. Since the early 1900’s, the brand has been focused on the chronograph as a significant watch complication and has consistently demonstrated its expertise in this domain through various references of stopwatches and dashboard timers. A defining moment in their history was the introduction of the Mikrograph in 1916, paving the way for the Maison’s participation as the preferred timekeeping device at the Olympic Games of the 1920s and 1930s.
As the first timing device capable of recording 1/100th of a second, the Mikrograph would evolve into a complete collection encompassing the Mikrosplit, a rattrapante accurate to 1/100th of a second.
In the 1960s, Heuer stopwatches became an integral part of the motorsport paddock. These eye-catching timepieces, housed in oversized red casings, showcased remarkable features such as the 11.402 model, which included a time function and a rattrapante chronograph capable of measuring time with an accuracy of 1/10th of a second.
This reference would famously be used by Jean Campiche, a TAG Heuer employee assigned to the Scuderia Ferrari for timekeeping responsibilities, as a backup to their 1/1000th second Le Mans Centigraphe, and would often be also worn by the partners of the drivers who assisted Jean in his duties.
In 1989, with the launch of the new S/EL collection, TAG Heuer introduced a quartz split- seconds chronograph wristwatch. This model gained immense popularity, becoming synonymous with racing legends such as Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and Gerhard Berger throughout the 1990s.
In 2021 the brand presented the collection’s latest masterpiece with the TAG Heuer Monaco Only Watch Carbon Monaco.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch 2023 further enhances a rich history and an exceptional collection.
With its distinctive square shape that defines classical watch design, its disruptive brushed and polished case, blue iridescent dial reminiscent of the Côte d’Azur’s sea and stark rectangular hands, the Monaco presented a completely new design direction in the world of watchmaking, forging a path where others would follow.
By reducing mass and volume from the central part of the case and redistributing the weight towards the top crystal and caseback, a unique hybrid-like appearance is achieved, resembling a combination of titanium and sapphire materials.
This unique watch utilizes a special variation of these materials referred to as “Texturised Titanium”, creating a stunning crystalized effect, enhancing the surface hardness for improved scratch resistance, while also providing a spectacular dynamic effect as the material catches the light.
In total, there are four pieces of sapphire found in the TAG Heuer Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch. Among them, the caseback stands out as it encloses the movement, enabling unique viewing angles that are typically not possible with regular watches.
Additionally, the dial provides an incredible visual effect on the watch’s interior, ensuring absolute legibility for accurate timekeeping while creating a sense of dimension and depth.
Executed completely in titanium, the TH81-00 is the lightest automatic chronograph movement ever crafted by TAG Heuer. Working with the Artime artisans, the signature graté damier finish was applied to key parts of the movement, complimented by black polishing, anglage, perlage, and brushed finishing. In total more than 12 hours of true savoir-faire was required for such a beautiful finish.
Fashioned in the shape of the iconic TAG Heuer shield, the oscillating weight of the movement is adorned with the official colors of the Only Watch 2023 event.
Model: TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch 2023
Calibre TH81-00 – Rattrapante Chronograph
Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, rattrapante
Anthracite sand blasted, vertical brushed dial
– 3 o’clock: anthracite opalin minute chronograph counter; red lacquered hand
– 9 o’clock: anthracite opalin hour chronograph counter; red lacquered hand
– 6 o’clock: silver polished permanent second indicator; rhodium plated polished hand
White Super-LumiNova® applied indexes
Rhodium plated polished hour and minute hands with white Super-LumiNova®
Rhodium plated polished central chronograph hand
Red lacquered central rattrapante hand
Rhodium plated polished TAG HEUER applied logo
RATTRAPANTE ONLY WATCH MONACO printed
Texturized titanium case
Lug-to-lug: 47.8 mm
Thickness: 15.2 mm
Polished sapphire fixed bezel
Beveled, domed sapphire crystal
Titanium crown at 3 o’clock
Fine brushed, polished titanium shaped chronograph push-button at 2 o’clock
Fine brushed, polished titanium shaped chronograph push-button at 4 o’clock
Fine brushed, polished titanium shaped rattrapante push-button at 9 o’clock
Fine brushed, polished titanium crown protector at 9 o’clock
Polished full sapphire caseback
Water resistance: 100 meters
Black calfskin strap
Sandblasted titanium butterfly folding clasp and safety push-buttons