Introducing the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan Special EditionBy Felix Scholz
Ever since the Monaco was released in the first wave of automatic chronographs in 1969 — and certainly ever since it graced Steve McQueen’s wrist in Le Mans, the watch has epitomised the spirit of rebellion. Just look at it. It’s square, it’s got the crown on the ‘wrong’ side, the Monaco is a watch that did its own thing, and in doing so it became a legend.
Now it’s 2021, and the legend lives on — only this time, in titanium! The TAG Heuer Monaco Titan Special Edition is a striking limited edition where the dial matches the case and does so with a healthy dose of modern flair.
The main talking point about this watch is, of course, the case. It is made from Grade 2 titanium, lightweight, strong and a surprisingly uncommon material in the Monaco family. The bead-blasted look does lend an air of modern matte minimalism, especially when paired with the striking silver dial. The subtle interplay of the sun-brushed silver on the dial with the slightly darker matte grey of the case is compelling.
Featuring the heritage ‘Heuer’ only logo and splashes of red at 12 and on the chronograph seconds hand, the dial is an exercise in restraint. Add to that the angular geometry of the Monaco, with its gloriously bevelled sapphire crystal and wearable 39mm case, and this is the Monaco for the 21st century. For all that the design codes on the dial are straight out of the 70s — take the subtle curves at the edges of the chronograph registers, of the unusual horizontal layout of the indices for example — the watch looks and feels modern. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of the Monaco that it pairs as well with McQueen’s racing suit as it does the latest Kith collab.
As you might expect, behind the scenes beats the tried and trusted Calibre 11, which is virtually unchanged since 1969 and a genuine piece of horological history. And this special titanium edition, limited to 500 pieces, is the latest chapter in the ongoing Monaco story.
Movement: TAG Heuer Calibre 11 Automatic chronograph
Case and dial: 39mm, Grade 2 titanium, sand-blasted. Domed, bevelled sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 100 metres. Silver sunray-brushed dial.
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with Grade 2 titanium folding clasp.
Price and availability: Limited to 500 pieces; CHF 7700/ USD 7900