Out of all of the watches that have ever been produced by TAG Heuer this is my absolute favorite time-piece. Why do I love this watch…Well for starters it looks modern, edgy, and distinct at nearly 44 years of age! I mean other than some minor cosmetic changes on the dial, crown position, and case, the legendary design has been kept intact.
Right up there with the Omega Speedmaster Moon watch and the Rolex Submariner this is probably one of the most sought after icons in watch history. Anyone who collects time-pieces has seriously considered adding a Monaco (either new or vintage) to their collection at some point or another.
Back in 1969 when TAG Heuer was simply referred to as “Heuer” the Monaco design was so radical and rebellious that it took the right kind of personality to wear it and really show it off. When Steve McQueen chose to wear it and put it on his wrist in the 1970 racing inspired movie Le Mans, it was a match made in heaven.
This watch is the quintessential cool (much like Steve McQueen was). In a world of round it chose to be square, in fact when it was initially released it didn’t sell all that well…it took a little while for people to warm up to the design. The Monaco has a distinct large brushed stainless steel case, (wears alot like a 42mm watch would if it had a round case) deep sapphire blue dial with bold white register sub-dials for the chronograph minutes and small running seconds at 3 o’clock.
There is a discreet white date window at 6 o’clock as well as the TAG Heuer Monaco logo and minor script on the dial detailing the “calibre 12” (ETA 2892-A2 as the base movement with a Dubois Depraz chronograph module built on top of it). The watch comes on a dyed dark blue alligator leather strap which matches the watch perfectly. The sub-dial counters have red hands as well as the chronograph running seconds hand that brings balance and harmony when paired against the blue background of the dial. The hour and minute hand are treated with lume, as well as the dot markers for the hour indications going around the dial.
Over the past few years Tag Heuer chose to update the Monaco and replace the hesalite crystal with a sapphire crystal which in my opinion was a smart decision for durability sake.
Final thoughts: This is not a watch for everyone, its not subdued or discreet, its bold and edgy and is definitely an attention grabber. Not the sort of watch that can be worn everyday or by everyone. The Tag Heuer Monaco isn’t really like any other watch, it’s a different breed from the rest and a keeper in my book.
It currently retails for $6300USD, a small price to pay for a living legend. There are several different dial color variations for this watch, but for me this is the only version that I would chose because it’s closest to the original. My only gripe is at this price point the price is a little steep for a watch fitted with an ETA movement…hopefully future models of the Monaco will opt for an In-House chronograph design.
For more information on this watch, and TAG Heuer authorized dealers visit http://www.tagheuer.com