The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue, a classic design with a modern palette
Step back in time with the iconic 1969 layout.
After the TAG Heuer Monaco received an ultra-modern update with a skeleton dial, not to mention a cool carbon Monaco, the Swiss watchmaker has now returned to the original styling of the family. More understated in palette but no less characteristic, the latest Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue boasts the signature left-side crown layout that’s straight out of the first Monaco from 1969, while featuring a new colour palette comprising a healthy and lively mix of silver, yellow, and blue.
Influenced by the classic 1969 Monaco
In the realm of iconic sports chronographs with intriguing histories, the Monaco easily stands out from its peers just because of its square case. That means if you appreciate the allure of sports watches but desire something distinctive, the Monaco is the perfect choice.
In fact, the latest Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue remains true to the original design, not only in its square case but also by preserving the original crown layout. Upon closer examination, you’ll observe an unusual empty space between the pushers due to the left-side placement of the crown, deviating from the conventional right-side arrangement. This further adds to the inherent quirks of the Monaco.
A modern-ish palette for the dial
Just like the case, the dial of the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue gracefully echoes the vintage original. This is evident in the circular ring of the minute track, which encloses two square-shaped registers. Another distinctive detail borrowed from the original design is the use of horizontal baton markers. These quirky elements effortlessly come together, and their enduring appeal even after half a century is a testament to the original designer’s keen eye for integrating diverse elements.
While the layout remains reassuringly classic, the palette received a creative touch. The silver dial, finished with the classic “sun-ray” brushing, is tastefully restrained. However, the latest radiates liveliness with its generous use of blue – a nod to the French national racing colour – and a pop of bright yellow.
While Tag Heuer introduced an in-house chronograph movement with high specs a few years back, the configuration of that movement is conventional, with both pushers and crowns located on the right-hand side.
Therefore, for the Monaco watch with the crown on the left, the brand had to explore other options. For the latest model, they opted for a Selitta SW300-1 base and topped it with a chronograph module from Dubois-Depraz, allowing for easy configuration of the crown and pusher locations. The upside of this choice is the watch’s quirky layout, but the downside is that it features a basic modular chronograph movement, which is less appealing than the brand’s integrated chronograph movement, Heuer 02.
Our verdict on the latest TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph
The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue is a nice watch overall, but there are a couple of minor details that might be worth considering. Firstly, the price of USD 9,200 might appear a bit high, particularly when compared to other watches from the brand with similar movements or in-house movements. While the titanium case and limited edition status do justify the price to some extent, some may find it slightly on the expensive side, unless, of course, they are dedicated fans who prioritise the overall quality of the package over the price.
Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Ref. CAW218C.FC6548 specs and price
Movement: Calibre 11; automatic; 40 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Case: 39 x 14.35 mm; titanium; water resistant to 100 m
Strap: Blue perforated calfskin strap with titanium folding clasp
Availability: Starting July 2023
Limited edition: 1,000 pieces
Price: USD 9,200
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FEATURED FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber BR.CAL-301; 42-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||41mm; CuAI7Si2 bronze; water resistant to 100m|
|Dial||Sunray brushed with applied, gold-plated indices|
|Strap||Black calfskin; satin polished bronze folding clasp|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 50 pieces|