The TAG Heuer Monaco (originally Heuer Monaco) is a series of automatic chronograph wristwatches originally introduced by Heuer in 1969 in honour of the Monaco Grand Prix. The Monaco was revolutionary for being the first automatic as well as the first square cased chronograph. Hollywood film star Steve McQueen used the watch to accessorize his character in the 1971 iconic film ‘Le Mans’.
A design classic beloved by connoisseurs, the instantly recognizable Monaco is cooler and more cutting-edge than ever.
In the decades after his death the use of film stills has made the watch synonymous with McQueen. Although it was discontinued in the mid-1970s, the Monaco was reissued with a new design in 1998 and was reintroduced again with an entirely new mechanisms in 2003 in response to McQueen’s increasing popularity.
The watch typically features a pair of pushbuttons at the 2 and 4 o’clock position. The dials for the minute and hour counters are at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively. There is a hand-applied date window at 6 o’clock. The watch also features chamfered square and oblong hours markers (dials with ‘waffle’ type cross-hatched markers are later reproductions).
In the original version of the Monaco, the crown is located at the 9 o’clock position on a square casing. The shape was revolutionary at the time for a chronograph watch. The unique, square-faced icon of TAG Heuer’s avant-garde heritage and savoir-faire. The Monaco’s provocative look represented a complete break with conventional watch design. Equally radical was its perfect water-resistance — a world first for a square case. More revolutionary still is its heart, the Chronomatic Calibre 11, the first automatic chronograph movement with microrotor.
Early versions came with two different colour schemes. The first (represented by the letter B at the end of the reference code) had a metallic blue dial with white registers. The other (represented by the letter G) had a metallic grey dial and registers. The G model is less popular with collectors. In the years the Swiss watch maker created several beautiful versions.
Now TAG Heuer has taken pole position in the current trend for green dials with a new limited edition release of its classic Monaco to mark this year’s Grand Prix de Monaco Historique race. TAG Heuer is no stranger to this trend, releasing green versions of the Carrera, Aquaracer, and Formula 1 over the past year. To celebrate the 2021 running of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, held in Monaco from April 23 to April 25, 2021, the Swiss watchmaker is bringing a stylish new green look to one of the most recognizable watches on the planet: the Monaco.
There’s no question that the world’s watchmakers have decided that Green is the ‘new Black’ when it comes to watch dials. A couple of years ago Blue was the new Black, and there’s a push by some to make Red the newest of new Blacks, but for 2021 Green is where it’s at. Actually technically, the new 2021 TAG Heuer Monaco Green dial LE combines both Green and Black. If the richness of the sunray dial’s emerald tone wasn’t enough already, TAG Heuer has added further depth with black sub dials and a gradient effect that sees the dial get darker towards its outside edge. We think that this is one of the most beautiful dials that TAG Heuer has ever made.
The 39mm square stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Monaco Green Dial follows the slightly modernized lines of the rest of the Heuer 02-powered Monaco series, with its 3 o’clock crown and sapphire display caseback. The Monaco case formula remains intact here, with the short angled lugs, slightly curving rectilinear case sides, and the Monaco line’s signature wide sloping pushers. Like other models in the series, this familiar case provides a reasonably sporty 100 meters of water resistance.
Flip the watch over, and you’re treated to a view of the in-house Calibre 02 automatic chronograph movement through the sapphire display case back. The green theme continues on the automatic movement, with its column wheel and text on the winding rotor picked out in a matching verdant shade, all of which is visible through the watch’s sapphire crystal caseback.
The Calibre 02 is 2018’s follow-up to the Calibre 01, launched in 2015. Performance of the Calibre 02 remains unchanged from the standard models, with a hearty 80-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. The movement has a tri-compax layout (with sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9), a date at 6 o’clock, and a maximum measure of 12 hours. The date window is discreet and quite well integrated into the sub-dial at 6. In keeping with the dial livery, the movement rotor is also DLC plated in green, as is the chronograph column wheel. A nice touch and continuation of the green theme from the dial.
In a sea of limited edition dials and engraved casebacks, a special touch on the movement is a welcome addition and gives the Monaco Green Dial a subtle unique charm. TAG Heuer pairs the watch with a classic black alligator leather strap on a signed deployant clasp.
The biannual Grand Prix de Monaco Historique gets underway today with more than 200 classic Grand Prix cars racing through the streets of Monaco over the next three days. TAG Heuer, with its historic association with motorsports, sponsors the event as well as the being the official watch of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the official watch partner of the Monaco Top Cars Collection museum. TAG Heuer’s Monaco has been associated with motorsport since it appeared on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the 1971 film, ‘Le Mans’.
The new limited edition TAG Heuer Monaco Green Dial offers one of the most striking and handsome takes on the current right-hand crown Monaco series.
Just 500 pieces of the 39mm stainless steel Monaco Green Dial Limited Edition are being made and are available now via select TAG Heuer stores, priced $6,650 USD. Come into the beautiful and timeless world of TAG Heuer.