Introducing the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph 39mm Calibre Heuer 02 with new bracelets
The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph 39mm Calibre Heuer 02 is offered in three new variants. Each model is equipped with the brand’s highly impressive Calibre Heuer 02 movement, two of which are fitted with a new stainless steel bracelet. Once again, TAG Heuer has looked to its past but created something new and very relevant to the present-day.
In 1969, a legend was born when Heuer created the inaugural Monaco. It was endowed with the iconic Calibre 11 and housed in a square, water-resistant case. The Calibre 11 was one of the first self-winding chronographs and the case, made by Piquerez, was the first square housing capable of getting its hair wet. The inaugural model sported a blue dial, white counters and a crown positioned on the left flank of the case.
At the same time, Jack Heuer, a consummate marketeer of watches, recruited Don Nunley, a property master in Hollywood. Jack was eager to see Heuer branded products in films. Don was later appointed property master on the film Le Mans starring Steve McQueen. Wearing overalls similar to Jo Siffert’s Heuer-branded racewear and a Heuer Monaco Ref. 1133B on his wrist, McQueen became the face of the watch forever.
During the 1970s, the Heuer Monaco was sold on a black, perforated leather strap. However, it was also offered on a steel bracelet. Ultimately, the bracelet disappeared from view and, despite a number of Monaco variants being offered over the years, the bracelet remained a distant memory.
In 2019, TAG Heuer chose to mark the 50th anniversary of the Monaco, releasing a series of limited-edition models, each referencing a 10-year period in the model’s history. The stylistic influences were varied and yet each model was instantly recognisable as a Monaco. Recently, I interviewed Guy Bove, the Creative Director of TAG Heuer and gained a greater insight into the design of these models.
Last year, TAG Heuer unveiled a Monaco featuring the fully integrated Heuer 02 movement with column wheel and vertical coupling. This movement is superb, delivering a smooth pushpiece action, stutter-free actuation, less wear, a prodigious power reserve and minimal drag. Indeed, the Swiss watch brand has equipped many of its recent models with this movement, including the recently launched Carrera models.
After 2019, a hectic period in Monaco history, the brand has not really taken its foot off the gas. Earlier this year it launched the TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition and now it has unveiled three new Monaco models.
One model, with a black sunray brushed dial is presented on a black alligator leather strap paired with a steel folding clasp. Consistent with all models endowed with the Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic movement, the crown is positioned on the right flank of the case.
The other two models, one with a blue sunray brushed dial and the other, once again, featuring a black sunray brushed dial, are presented on a new 3-rows stainless-steel bracelet with folding clasp. One glance at the modern-day bracelet reveals it to be of superior quality to its 1970s forebears. The latest bracelet looks sturdier and its design pays due consideration to ergonomics, tapering as it encircles the wrist.
Clearly, the brand’s designers have spent time in the company’s museum, taking inspiration from past models and creating a new bracelet beautifully refined for the present-day.