Did you catch the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday? while the attention was correctly focused on Formula 1 drivers struggling with this On the track, Sergio Pérez’s first place wasn’t the only notable story from the weekend. To mark the occasion, TAG Heuer released the new Monaco Grand Prix, a special edition of their long line of watches inspired by the famous F1 street circuit. The new TAG Heuer Monaco re-imagines the square shaped watch with a new titanium case and detailing that recalls its 1970s forebears.
From the outset, the TAG Heuer Monaco was a watch that broke the mold. It was introduced in 1969, and it took off from many watchmaking conventions. The first and most obvious was the square case: it was a rare feature on chronograph timepieces, and it is still a hallmark of Monaco watches today. The ’69 Original was also waterproof, had an automatic movement (even rare for chronographs of the time), and thanks to its blue dial with contrasting white and red accents.
Later versions of Monaco will appear with several new colors. In the 1970s, TAG Heuer introduced a version with contrasting gray tones, and later that decade, the company created the famous “Dark Lord” Monaco. The watch got its name from its matte black case, which was paired with orange and red accents for nice legibility – a nod to its roots as a tool watch for racing drivers.
Aesthetically, the new TAG Heuer Monaco is a riff on Dark Lord, but includes a lot of upgrades. The case is made from DLC-coated titanium for exceptional strength and durability with minimal weight. (Only one previous Monaco, a 2021 limited edition version, was made with titanium—and Max Verstappen wore it during his flagship 2021 F1 season.)
The new Monaco continues with the familiar “circle-in-the-square” layout of previous iterations, but there are new textures on offer: the main dial circle has a satin-brushed finish as opposed to the rough sandblasted finish on the square portion . Why dial? According to TAG, this finish is inspired by the pavement of F1 tracks and the tires of F1 cars.
Against that rich black background, the bright red chronograph hands really pop, as do the rose gold main hand and index. To make them more legible, the hands are coated with Super-LumiNova for better visibility in the dark. Flip it over, and the see-through case back offers a smattering of more rose gold accents. To top it off, this blacked-out watch is paired with a black alligator leather strap and a black titanium buckle. How’s that for a new Dark Lord?
TAG didn’t skimp on the mechanicals, either. The watch is powered by an in-house-made Heuer 02 automatic movement. It offers a whopping 80 hours of power reserve, so you won’t have to worry about this watch stopping if you turn it off for a few days. Like a Formula 1 driver, it’s completely ready to go.
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