Since late 2019, the Monaco, the square icon of motorsport watchmaking by TAG Heuer, isn’t only one watch but a more complete collection based on two inspirations. First is the Calibre 11, a watch with strong 1970s and Steve McQueen inspiration, with an outsourced movement, the crown at 9 o’clock and a dial that recalls original models. Then there is the new Monaco Heuer 02, a more modern and classic take, which is powered by the brand’s calibre. The latter continues to expand with new dials and the addition of a stainless steel bracelet, for an even sportier attire.
For several years, the Monaco collection has been built around two models. First are the vintage Calibre 11 watches, inspired by the original 1133B with its blue dial, horizontal applied indexes and its crown at 9 o’clock, which also gave birth to the Gulf edition. Next to it was the Calibre 12, a watch with a more modern, more classic style, thanks to its crown at 3 o’clock and radially positioned applied indexes. This model is now gone – with a final edition here – and was replaced in late 2019 by a highly updated watch: the new Monaco Heuer 02. Same style but a more powerful in-house engine.
First introduced with a blue dial (what other colour could it be?) and a leather strap, not much changed regarding the overall style of the Monaco. The case retains its iconic shape, with the same 39mm x 39mm proportions. Surfaces alternate between brushed and polished finishings and the crown and chronograph pushers are all on the same side, meaning on the right. Other than a slight increase in height, all the elements have been kept, including the nice bevelled sapphire crystal on top and a very decent 100m water-resistance.
The dial and its display were the main evolutions on this Monaco Heuer 02. While the overall design is familiar, with the short radially applied hour markers, the circular seconds track and the square sub-counters, some updates can be appreciated. The silver contrasting sub-dials are now entirely dedicated to the chronograph – 12h and 30min counters – while a small seconds is discreetly positioned at 6 o’clock over the date window.
Inside the case and visible under a sapphire crystal is the brand’s in-house, integrated automatic chronograph movement with top-notch architecture, meaning a column wheel and vertical clutch. This modern engine runs at 4Hz and stores up to 80h of energy. Overall, a great improvement over the modular and outsourced Calibre 12.
New for autumn 2020, the blue dial version – which we covered in this video – is joined by a new sunray-brushed black dial version. This model retains the silver-coloured sub-counters and the red accents on the secondary hands.
Also, the brand adds a long-gone steel bracelet to the collection. Alternating brushed and polished surfaces, this particular example draws on the H-shaped bracelet that was used for Monaco watches in the early 1970s. It has a tapered shape and is closed by a butterfly clasp with double safety push-buttons.
In all, TAG Heuer expands the Monaco Heuer 02 with three new references:
- CBL2113.BA0644 – Black dial, steel bracelet, available October 2020 – EUR 6,200
- CBL2113.FC6177 – Black dial, leather strap, available October 2020 – EUR 5,800
- CBL2111.BA0644 – Blue dial, steel bracelet, available January 2021 – EUR 6,200
More details and orders at tagheuer.com.