Introduced in 1969, the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph was initially limited to only 169 pieces; the original Monaco Heuer logo was engraved on its caseback. TAG Heuer's association with the Monaco Grand Prix is well-known. For 2023, TAG Heuer has released a brand new interpretation of the legendary Monaco timepiece: the Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue (Ref. CAW218C.FC6548) watch. The new chronograph is limited to just 1000 pieces.
The model is important because of its association with Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, who wore the Monaco watch in the 1971 film, Le Mans. Since then, the design of the TAG Heuer Monaco has seen variations; there have been special editions and limited-edition releases. Even though the previous models came with new dial colours, the DNA of the watch always remained the same — it’s a distinctive square case watch.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue watch offers sporty and understated aesthetics, similar to those of destro watches. The term, “destro watch", refers to a timepiece whose crown is on the left side, instead of being on the right side. In other words, it’s a “left-handed” watch; it allows the wearer to use the dominant hand to turn the crown to wind or set the time on the watch, which is worn on the right hand.
The latest TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue watch is housed in a striking 39 mm Grade 2 titanium sandblasted case. This material can be found on the shortened lugs, the crown that now comes on the left side at 9 o’clock, and the two chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. The colour of the watch resembles the tone sported by automotive brands like Talbot-Lago, Delage and, last but not least, the famous Bugatti Type 35.
The dial boasts a sunray brushed finish, reminiscent of the engine-turned-dashboard, seen in sports cars in the 1920s and 1930s. The dial is adorned with a round minute track, eight applied, silvered hour markers and 12 blue dot markers. There is a faceted baton marker at 12 o’clock, featuring a vibrant yellow stripe, serving as a direct connection to the chronograph’s central hand. The chronograph gets two blue opaline square subdials: the 60-second counter at 3 o’clock and the 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock. There is an angled date window at 6 o’clock.
The hour, minute, and chronograph hands, and the hour markers are all rhodium-plated. The arrow-shaped hands come with blue Super-LumiNova® while the central seconds hand is lime yellow in colour with lacquer. Powering the watch is the automatic Calibre 11, based on Sellita SW300-1, with 40 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the exhibition caseback with four visible screws and a titanium oscillating weight with the embossing of ‘Heuer Calibre 11’. The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue watch is finished on a blue perforated calfskin strap with a Grade 2 titanium folding clasp, featuring double safety push buttons.