This year, 2019, commemorates the 50th commemoration of the finish of the 1960’s. I don’t imply that just numerically. The year, 1969 truly denoted the finish of a time. The “free love” development culminated with the Woodstock ’69 celebration and the incredible human achievement of the USA landing men on the moon achieved another time of scientific discovery.

Designs of the times were certainly inspired by the whirlwind of occasions including the retro-futuristic Heuer Monaco. Introduced to sit between the Heuer Autavia and Carrera, the Monaco takes its name from the gem in the crown of the Formula One calendar that is the Monaco Grand Prix. Racing in the city of Monte Carlo requires precision and focus yet the surrounding circus is glamourous and exclusive. This reflects in the Heuer Monaco’s plan being an uncommon square shape with high contrast and readable chronograph subdials. Fit for those in the pitlane just as those watching from the superyachts.

Le Mans and Hollywood Fame

The peculiar thing is, the Heuer Monaco is generally prestigious for being tied to the wrist of Steve McQueen in the cult film Le Mans (1971). The Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans is the home of endurance racing, which the film depicts with incredible accuracy. Generally because of the racing scenes being recorded during the actual 1970 running of the Le Mans race. Steve McQueen accepted the job of the driver of the Gulf liveried Porsche 917. In fact, the winning vehicle was driven by Richard ‘Dickie’ Attwood and Hans Herrmann ‘the German’ in a red and white striped Porsche 917.

5 Decades of the Heuer Monaco


Historical accuracy aside, the Monaco became an icon when TAG Heuer started splashing the well known picture of Steve McQueen zipping up his race suit with the Monaco on his wrist in their 1998 promotions. With the Monaco in full view, another age made the watch inseparable from the ‘King of Cool’ himself when they once again introduced the Monaco following a 23-year rest. This year, TAG Heuer have honored the Monaco’s legacy easily. 5 restricted release Monacos have been sprinkled throughout 2019 each representing the decades leading up to this year with varying outcomes. As Michael Stockton pointed out ( click here ), the most succinct plan was the blue, red and dark model evoking the 90’s. Which is interesting as referenced previously, the Monaco enjoyed a reprieve during this decade.

TAG Heuer Monaco Piece d’Art

The restricted release run of 169-pieces for each of the 5 decades are bookmarked with an original gallery illustration of a 1969 Heuer Monaco. The interesting Piece d’Art is an altered Monaco 1133B adding a psychedelic plaque engraving on the Caliber 11 development connect, which is currently obvious through the retro-fitted sapphire crystal caseback. The package includes the original 1969 flyers in an engraved wooden box. This erratic model will be auctioned on 10th December 2019 in guide of the charity, United Way of New York City and is an uncommon chance to possess something directly from the TAG Heuer museum.

Swan Song for the Caliber 11

Enjoy the iconic Monaco outline of the left-side crown and two-pushers on the right-side while it keeps going. Label Heuer are not just putting the full stop on the Monaco 50th Anniversary, yet additionally the Caliber 11 that powers it. Since the beginning, the Monaco has been fueled by one of the principal automatic chronograph developments in production. The Caliber 11 name has remained yet the development architecture has changed throughout the long term. From 2020, the in-house Caliber Heuer 02 will have its spot and keep the winding crown on the right-hand side close by the pushers. From an ease of use perspective, I comprehend this choice, yet actually wish the southpaw crown remained for sentimentality’s sake.

Monaco Caliber Heuer 02

The new Monaco Caliber Heuer 02 changes the format by moving the running seconds to the 6 o’clock position with a crosshairs plan and the date window just underneath. The new look Monaco is launching in a stainless steel case and classic petrol blue dial evoking the original’s plan with present day underpinnings and 80-hours of force reserve.

More articles on TAG Heuer on Fratello can be found here.

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