TAG Heuer Monaco Watches
All About TAG Heuer Monaco Watches
The original Heuer Monaco was released in 1969. It instantly attracted a great deal of attraction as the very first waterproof automatic chronograph with its iconic square shape. It is renowned for its bold design and high precision.
The TAG Monaco is the TAG Heuer unique square watch that is well known for its distinctive case shape and design. Although it was initially criticized by traditionalists, it soon gained huge popularity by its lovers. Being worn by the legendary motorsports racer Steve McQueen, the TAG Heuer Monaco quickly reached its momentum and gained massive success. It is now considered one of the most iconic motorsports watches.
The origin of TAG Heuer was established in 1860 by watchmaker Edouard Heuer. It immediately gained success and popularity as a quality manufacturer of high-quality chronographs and timepieces. The watches of TAG Heuer have always been connected to the world of sports and motor racing cars. The pocket chronographs of Heuer company were always selected as the official timekeeper for many large motorsports events.
The year 1969 was the year of the birth of the first generation of self-winding chronograph movements. In that year Heuer also participated in the revolution with something that no one had ever done. The company placed its new Caliber 11 movement in a very special watch - the Heuer Monaco. It was launched in March 1969. The Monaco watch is the very first waterproof automatic chronograph in a square case.
Just like other family members of the Heuer watches, the name of the Heuer Monaco collection was related to motorsports. It was named after the Monaco Formula One race. One year before its launch, the brand started its partnership with Formula 1 and sponsored the champion racer Jo Siffert who had just won the British Grand Prix. The Formula One race on Monaco street has been widely considered one of the most difficult routes in all of F1. Placing first at the Monaco race is considered the capability and nerve of the driver for winning the championship for the entire season. Heuer took the idea of challenging and named its innovative new watch as “Monaco”.
The very first model of Heuer Monaco Chronograph had the word "Chronomatic" placed above the "Heuer" marking and "Monaco" was marked at the top of the 6 o'clock position. This dial design was later modified after Jack Heuer transferred the name "Chronomatic" to its partner Breitling. Then the collection name "Monaco" marking was moved right above "Heuer" and the term "Automatic Chronograph" was added to the 6 o'clock position.
Launched at Baselworld, the original TAG Heuer Monaco watch was equipped with the popular Heuer Calibre 11. The chronograph movement originally was made for the TAG Heuer Carrera watches and it was then placed in the square case of the Monaco watch.
It was introduced in two versions: a blue color option with the reference 1133B and a green one with the reference 1133G. These Heuer Monaco watches featured a large square case size of 40 mm x 38 mm, along with a domed plastic crystal. The chronograph hours and minutes of this TAG Heuer watch were displayed with two white counters located at its 9 and 3 o'clock position. The hour index was highlighted in flat silver strips with beveled edges.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph had gained international popularity after the famous motorsports driver Steve McQueen was spotted with the watch. Steve McQueen wore the TAG Heuer square watch while filming the "Le Mans" movie produced in 1970. When the movie was released in 1971, It immediately became widely admired as one of the greatest sports watches that has ever been designed.
In 1971 an updated version of Heuer Monaco 1133 was released. It was equipped with the improved movement Heuer Calibre 12. The movement improved the limited efficiency of the micro-rotor and increased the strength of the mainspring of the one in Calibre 11. The frequency was increased from 2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour) to 3.0 Hz (21,600 vph).
One of the notable differences between these updated Heuer watches was the color of their main plates. It was changed from silver to a gold tone for a more premium look.
The TAG Heuer Monaco has kept evolving since its launch. A year later in 1972, another updated Heuer Monaco was introduced with the new calibre 15 along with some updated models of Heuer Carrera and Autavia. The new Monaco watch was presented in two options of the references 1533B with a blue dial and 1533G with a grey dial.
The brand also launched its famous Monaco 73633 with a hand-wound movement, the Valjoux 7736. This reliable and robust movement brought in various changes, for example, the crown was moved from the left side back to the right side.
TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Watch
Now, amongst all its popular models, one of its notable timepieces is its TAG Heuer Gulf Watch.
The first Gulf Monaco came out in 2005 to celebrate Steve McQueen’s 75th birthday. It was a limited edition run of 4,000 pieces. This Vintage Heuer Monaco reference CW2118 featured a white dial with red and blue stripes. The design was inspired by the colors of the racing suit Steve McQueen wore in Le Mans.
The one that attracted the most attention should be the newer TAG Monaco Gulf 2018 version. TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf watch was introduced last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partnership between the brand and Gulf racing.
The Gulf Monaco watch also took the classic Monaco elements in place. It is in a 39 mm x 39 mm square case, with short lugs and 47mm lug to lug. It also features the iconic left-side crown. Its sunray burst dial displays the pearl white counters at 3 and 9 o’clock position, date window at 6, the vintage HEUER logo at 12 o’clock. A Gulf logo is placed above the date display window. The Gulf stripes in light blue and orange highlight the right side of the darker blue dial. Like the other Monaco watches, the sapphire crystal is domed and beveled. There is a red lacquered central hand sweep around the dial.