What we have here is nothing especially new or highly innovative… However, it certainly is one very cool edition of one of the most iconic racing chronographs ever: the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 – you know, the watch worn by the “King of Cool”, Steve McQueen, in movie Le Mans. Made especially for the French market (without a single reference to France in its design), very limited in production, and with a dial that recalls a certain “Dark Lord”, here is the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 France Edition.
What we have here is a sort of mix between several watches from the current catalogue (the Heritage-inspired Monaco CAW211P and the Monza 40th anniversary) together with some elements of a precise vintage watch, the highly coveted and rare Monaco “Black Lord” (the one with a black-coated case and a black dial with orange accents). In short, a mix that could either be 1. quite dangerous and unbalanced, or 2, a watch that can talk to vintage aficionados and be very cool… Question is: well, there is no question; this TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 France Edition CAW211S.FC6375 is option 2.
In itself, this France Edition of the Monaco Calibre 11 is nothing more than a new dial and a different strap (which actually is the racing-style, punch-hole strap found on the Heritage Monza). Its case, dimensions and movement (the automatic chronograph calibre 11, with crown on the left side) are identical to the Monaco Calibre 11 “Steve McQueen” ref. CAW211P. No issue with that, this is a very good base.
What is new here is mainly the dial, which takes a reversed-panda look and a nude approach. By that, I mean that the dial gets rid of the horizontally applied indexes found on the McQueen version, and only shows the round minute/second track. If the Dark Lord was fully black, this Monaco Calibre 11 France Edition tends to go close to the original, with its matte black dial and, its coolest detail, the creamy “faux-patina” indexes and hands’ lume (the hands are also slightly different, with a bold size and made in polished steel).
Some coloured accents enliven the dial of this France Edition, with red applied on the Monaco logo and the hands related to the chronograph. Also, the dial only shows the vintage “Heuer” logo. The rest of the watch, meaning its 39mm x 39mm steel case, with brushed and polished surfaces, the crown on the left side like the original versions or the ETA-based automatic movement with Dubois-Depraz module are equal to the standard, worldwide-distributed version with blue dial.
So how to get one and how many will be produced? This TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 France Edition CAW211S.FC6375 is a 200-piece limited edition, and only reserved for the French market (both the official boutiques of the brand, or some selected retailers). It available as of now and priced at EUR 5,500. Maybe a good idea to consider a romantic weekend in Paris with your better-half… More details at www.tagheuer.com.