Monochrome Watches
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The New TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Calibre 11

A timeless symbol with a cool and contemporary aura, the Monaco transcends the boundaries of horology.

| By Denis Peshkov | 4 min read |

More than 50 years after its presentation, TAG Heuer continues to produce and promote the Monaco as one of its flagship models, preserving the heritage of the iconic chronograph while continuously updating it with design elements to ensure its enduring appeal. The new Monaco Racing Blue edition retains the allure of the original yet looks captivatingly fresh. And contrary to most modern versions, it features the classic crown on the left side, paired with a calibre 11 movement and a titanium case.

Before introducing any new Monaco timepiece, it is worth quickly going over the model’s history, if only to remind of its importance, not just to TAG Heuer. The Heuer Monaco was first introduced in March of 1969, with a simultaneous launch in Geneva and New York. It was revolutionary at the time because it was the first square-shaped, waterproof automatic chronograph in watchmaking history. All of the initial Monaco models were powered by the groundbreaking Chronomatic Calibre 11, co-developed by Heuer, Breitling, Hamilton-Buren, and Dubois Dépraz, one of the world’s first automatic chronograph movements, which helped to solidify the watch’s place in the hearts of horological enthusiasts.

Heuer Monaco 1133B Steve McQueen worn Le Mans Haig Alltounian
One of the Heuer Monaco 1133B worn by Steve McQueen while filming his iconic racing film, Le Mans

The Monaco gained immense popularity and became a cultural icon when it was famously worn by Steve McQueen, actor and racing enthusiast, in the 1971 movie Le Mans. McQueen’s association with the watch contributed significantly to its lasting legacy. Still, it did not save it from the rising proliferation of quartz watches and lack of interest from the public – the Heuer Monaco was put to rest in 1975, only to return almost a quarter century later in 1998. Since then, the design of the TAG Heuer Monaco has seen various iterations, special editions, and limited-edition releases. While the core design and distinctive square case have remained, different dial colours, materials, and complications have been incorporated, catering to various preferences and tastes. The New Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue combines historical significance, fantastic design, and association with motorsport and pop culture, so it is relevant and desirable; let’s take a closer look.

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The Monaco Racing Blue is a proper tribute to the original Monaco, beautifully combining sharp lines and smooth curves. Crafted from grade 2 titanium, the 39mm x 39mm case boasts slightly curved sides and bevelled edges, showcasing a sandblasted finish on its 47.5mm lug-to-lug and 14.35mm thick frame. At 9 o’clock, the titanium crown position harkens back to early Monaco models, while the titanium pushers, their shape reminiscent of later Monaco versions, sit at 2 and 4 o’clock. Completing the case are a bevelled, domed sapphire crystal dial side and a sapphire crystal caseback, ensuring water resistance up to 100m.

The striking silver sunray-brushed square dial features two blue opaline square subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock for running seconds and the chronograph minutes counter, both elegantly rounded. The subdials, and the angled date window positioned at 6 o’clock, find their place inside a round minute track, lending the dial a cool and contemporary look while retaining a timeless appeal.

The dial details emphasize the essence of the impeccable design. The hour and minute rhodium-plated hands have Super-LumiNova stripes down the centre, and the chronograph seconds hand is lacquered with lime yellow; the accent is repeated on the 12 o’clock index. The rhodium-plated, polished applied hour markers are all oriented horizontally, filling up the negative space, faithful to the revolutionary original from 1969. Luminous dots mark the intervals on the minute ring, and together with the hours and minutes hands, they shine blue in the dark.

The blue perforated calfskin leather strap further accentuates the importance of the colour chosen to name this Monaco edition as it evokes the Bleu de France, also the French national motor racing team’s paint from the 1920s and until sponsorship liveries were allowed in international racing in the 1960s. 

The driving force of the Tag Heuer Monaco Racing Blue is the automatic Calibre 11, based on Sellita SW300-1 movement with a chronograph module from Dubois-Depraz. It beats to 28,800vph and has a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound. Not a revolutionary movement as the original Monaco’s, it nonetheless allows for the crown and the pushers to be on opposite sides of the case; the round window on the caseback allows some view inside. 

The new Tag Heuer Monaco Racing Blue is a limited edition, with the One of 1000 engraved on the caseback to remind of the timepiece’s rarity. This new take on one of TAG Heuer’s most iconic and recognizable models is priced at CHF 9,000 and available at authorized retailers as of July 2023. For more information, please visit

5 responses

  1. That is thought a lot when visiting luxury websites. (Also luxury anywhere else)

  2. Nice upgrade to a classic Chronograph. why a off shelf movement?


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