Now, over 50 years after the introduction of the Monaco, TAG Heuer is releasing a special edition of the legendary watch. The newest Monaco incorporates today’s most innovative materials and engineering to offer enthusiasts the ultimate version of what the original Monaco “Dark Lord” might have been.
The case of the latest addition to the Monaco line-up is executed in Grade 2 titanium, coated with DLC (diamond-like carbon). Titanium is a high-performance material, offering a unique combination of strength and light weight, while remaining free of corrosion. TAG Heuer used titanium for the construction of only one previous Monaco chronograph, the Titan model offered as a Limited Edition in 2021 and worn by Max Verstappen as his “lucky charm” during his 2021 Formula 1 World Championship campaign, which has already become highly coveted by collectors. Of course, the use of titanium for chronographs was unknown in the 1970s, with Heuer first using the material in the early 1980s.
This year’s special edition marks the first use of black-coated titanium for a Monaco chronograph. The DLC coating provides deep, rich colour that will stand up to its intended use as the racer’s tool, with the case sandblasted to produce a grained finish. Advances in coatings now allow the durable black coating to be used not only on the case, but also on the crown, pushers and caseback.
The dial offers a radically new celebration of the Monaco’s “circle in the square” geometry, being constructed of two separate pieces, with contrasting finishes. The circle at the centre of the dial has a satinbrushed circular finish, reflecting the speed and smoothness of racing. The exterior of the dial offers a dramatic contrast, being sandblasted to create a grained finish. This grained finish reflects the grip of the tyres and track, offering the perfect run-off to transition from the dial to the case. The chronograph registers have a black opalin finish, offering the perfect backdrop for the deep red chronograph hour and minute hands.
The rose gold used for the hands and markers provides another update of the Monaco chronographs of the 1970s. While the hue of the luminous paint used for the markers and hands of the original Monaco “Dark Lord” would change over the years, the gold accents of the newest Monaco will shine for eternity. The deep black of the dial is complemented by the gold of the markers and hour and minute hands. The hands are also treated with Super- LumiNova which ensures optimum legibility in any conditions, day or night.
Beyond its luxurious appearance, the gold elements of this piece create a glorious bridge to Heuer’s unique racing legacy of the 1970s, reminding us of the gold Carrera chronographs that Jack Heuer presented to leading professional racers and friends of the Heuer brand. The gold offers a stunning contrast to the matte black of the dial, reminding today’s enthusiasts that the Formula 1 champions of the 1970s wore their gold Heuer chronographs on the track.
The in-house Heuer 02 movement that powers the newest Monaco provides another remarkable contrast to the movements that powered the original Monaco chronographs of the 1970s. Utilising a traditional column wheel to actuate the chronograph and offering an 80-hour power reserve, the beautiful finishing of the Heuer 02 is topped with a rose gold-plated oscillating mass and proudly displayed through the sapphire caseback.
The Monaco is mounted on a black alligator leather strap that is fitted with a black-coated titanium buckle.