History of Tag Heuer Monaco watches
Luxury Swiss watchmakers Tag Heuer have long had an affinity with motorsport. And this continued in 1969 with the brand introducing it’s Tag Heuer Monaco range inspired by the iconic Monaco Grand Prix.
The racetrack has become one of the most famous in Formula 1, located in the heart of glamorous Monte Carlo.
Jack Heuer, great-grandson of company founder Edouard Heuer, was then working as the brand’s managing director and was intent on creating the world’s first watch which incorporated automatic chronograph movement.
After teaming up with Breitling (another famous manufacturer), as well as experts Dubois Depraz and Buren, the initial mechanics of the Tag Heuer Monaco were underway. The team worked tirelessly on the piece’s movement ultimately opting for the revolutionary Chronomatic Calibre 11 movement. Originally intended for Heuer’s Carrera line, it proved to be a big hit and has since been used in the Autavia range.
As for the design, Heuer was determined to do something different or as he put it “avant-garde." Following a meeting with fellow Swissman and watch designer Erwin Piquerez, a square, waterproof case was decided on, the first of its kind. Heuer loved the design so much he acquired exclusive rights from Piquerez and it continues to be used in all Monaco models to date.
Having positioned itself as a sports chronograph for the world of racing, the Tag Heuer Monaco really made its name in 1971.
Legendary Hollywood actor Steve McQueen donned the piece for his role in the feature film Le Mans based on the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Since then, the watch has become synonymous with McQueen. The unique look and bold design aligned perfectly with the Hollywood icon and it remains one of the most recognisable pieces in the history of sports watches.
Despite being discontinued in the mid-70s, the Monaco made a heroic return in 1998 as the company made a conscious effort to reflect on its past.
In 2003 the Monaco CW2113 was unveiled featuring a brand-new mechanism and 2009 saw a special 40th-anniversary edition of the watch released. Known as the Monaco Classic it sees a return of the Calibre 11 movement like the original which had been upgraded and reinvented in the intervening years.
In 2019 Monaco Heuer 02 was released becoming the first Monaco to incorporate the brand’s Calibre Heuer 02 Manufacture movement, ensuring the model remains a staple of Tag Heuer’s collection.
Tag Heuer Monaco men’s watches
Epitomising the same brave and daring attitude of its ambassador Steve McQueen, the Tag Heuer Monaco is perfect for men wanting to make a statement.
Don’t be afraid to buck the trend with the innovative Calibre 11 timepiece. In homage to the original, it features that distinctive square, water-resistant case along with a smart and stylish leather strap that screams sophistication.
The Calibre 12 Final Edition is truly one of a kind. With only 1,000 in existence, this limited edition piece comes with an astonishing grey dial and unique number carved into the back of each product.
Tag Heuer Monaco ladies watches
Encapsulate the luxury of Monte Carlo on your wrist with a piece from Tag Heuer Monaco’s Ladies collection.
Perhaps the most glamorous edition to date is the Quartz 37mm Tag Heuer Monaco. With 12 diamonds on a white, pearl dial, elegance is the order of the day for any lady donning this jewel.
If you’re looking for something more subtle then it is also available in a sophisticated silver complete with a sapphire crystal finish.
Top models of Tag Heuer Monaco watches
Nostalgia, innovation and elegance are what has set Tag Heuer Monaco apart and the brand’s top models are no different.
With hints to the past while still looking firmly forwards, 2019’s Tag Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer 02 boasts the latest movement technology, a distinguished navy strap and a power reserve lasting up to 80 hours.
But if you’d prefer a real nod to its Monagalese roots, then the Tag Heuer X Grand Prix De Monaco Historique is the obvious choice.