Few watch designs are as radical and instantly recognisable as the TAG Heuer Monaco. The definition of a statement timepiece, it grabs attention with its bold square silhouette and matching chronograph counters, a look that remains as unconventional and daring today as when it was first introduced.
Just like another iconic timepiece, the TAG Heuer Carrera, this revolutionary watch was a product of both the watchmaker’s history of precision timekeeping and close connection with the world of motorsport. The name was a nod to the Monaco Grand Prix, but it would be another legendary racing event that would make the watch even more covetable. It had a starring role on Steve McQueen’s wrist as he took on high-octane adventures in the famous racing film Le Mans. A testament to both the popularity of the film, and the TAG Heuer Monaco’s enduring appeal, the last of the six Heuer Monacos that were featured on set recently sold at auction house Phillips for $2,208,000.
The TAG Heuer Monaco celebrated its 50th birthday last year, and the watchmaker continues to present innovative new takes with its new 2020 collection. This trio of models includes a version with a blue, red and white colour scheme reminiscent of the original Monaco, alongside a sleek black variation with a choice of metal or leather strap. All come powered by the precise and reliable Calibre Heuer 02 movement, made in-house at the TAG Heuer manufacture.
It is the details that make these latest designs truly special. This particularly comes through with the stainless-steel bracelet, the first time the Monaco has been presented on a metal strap for almost two decades. As TAG Heuer’s Heritage Director, Catherine Eberlé-Devaux, explains, ‘the bracelet is particularly important for any wristwatch – without a good bracelet, the timepiece lacks desirability. For the new Monaco timepieces, we have alluded to its brilliant past with a familiar design and colour while reinforcing that the collection is moving forward with innovative new technology.’
It takes its inspiration from a H-shaped design used for Monaco watches in the early 1970s, in which the bracelet is slightly wider at the lugs and then tapers gently around the wrist. While a nod to its heritage, it also delivers on optimal comfort, and like all TAG Heuer’s creations strikes that perfect, difficult balance between style, precision and functionality.
From £5,250; tagheuer.com