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Racing along the tight curves of the Formula 1 city circuit, historic cars compete in the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, a reference in the motoring world and one of the most important historic car racing events. TAG Heuer, maker of iconic racing chronographs, including the Monaco, was already the Official Watch of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Monaco Top Cars Collection. The brand has now been appointed Official Sponsor and Timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique… Some partnerships just seem like natural fits.
The 1950s and 1960s were the golden age of motor-racing and of mechanical watch design. It was a period of authentic connection between automotive and horological worlds. At Heuer, stopwatches and dashboard instruments were the mainstay of the company business. Instead of soulless reference numbers, the brand started to use distinctive names for its chronographs like the Autavia, the Carrera or the Camaro… And in 1969, Heuer launched the Monaco.
In collaboration with other makers, Heuer also presented the calibre 11 in 1969, one of the first automatic chronographs. The calibre 11 was fitted, among other models, in a new chronograph with a distinctive square shape, the Monaco. Monaco happened to be the first city Jack Heuer visited on a business trip. He picked the name because it sounded cool and luxurious. And very few places in the world capture the legend of mechanics and auto-racing quite like the Principality. Interestingly the watch was not immediately successful until 1971 when it was worn by the ‘king of cool’, Steve McQueen in the 1971 Le Mans movie…
TAG HEUER MONACO CALIBRE 02 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO HISTORIQUE
2019 was an important year for the TAG Heuer Monaco as the brand celebrated the 50th anniversary of this iconic racing chronograph. The brand presented five commemorative watches, each celebrating a decade since 1969. Last year also marked a mechanical upgrade for the Monaco which was fitted with the in-house calibre Heuer 02 replacing the outsourced calibre 12.
The new Monaco Heuer 02 has been the base used for the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique limited edition, which retains the specs of the model. The iconic square-shaped case is 39mm x 39mm and is fitted with rectangular push-pieces. The sapphire crystal protruding from the case adds to its dynamic character. Made from stainless steel, it is enhanced by a sophisticated play of alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces.
The main specificity of this special edition is its dial with its striking colour scheme combining red and silver that evokes the flag of the Principality of Monaco. The round central part of the dial is radially brushed and silvered. The outer part and the recessed square registers are red. The small seconds and the date are presented more discreetly at 6 o’clock. The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique logo, a stylized racing car, is transferred at 1 o’clock.
Turning the watch over, the exhibition caseback features the MONACO GRAND PRIX HISTORIQUE CAPTION and provides a view of the Heuer calibre 02. This modern integrated chronograph comes with a column wheel and a vertical clutch to engage the chronograph mechanism. Meausuring 31mm in diameter, it runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a robust 80-hour power reserve when fully wound.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 02 Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is worn on a black leather perforated “racing” style strap. It is Heuer through and through, looks great and gives the watch a cool vintage feel. It is closed by a steel folding buckle. On the wrist, the watch looks great and has a strong presence with its striking colour scheme. It wears larger than the 39mm x 39mm dimensions suggest because of its square case.
Price and availability
The TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 02 Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is a limited edition of 1,000 watches. It retails for CHF 6,700, EUR 6,500 or USD 6,850.
For more information or to buy the watch online, please visit www.tagheuer.com.