When you talk classics, icons of watchmaking, emblematic models, TAG Heuer has more than one model that fits the bill. There are, of course, the Carrera and the Autavia. Still, the most recognisable watch, the watch with the most character is the Monaco thanks to its unusual yet signature square-shaped case. Even though it was not really a hit in the early 1970s, it became far more appreciated when it was relaunched in the late 1990s, and since then has gone on to gain its cult status. In fact, there is not just one Monaco. On one side of the tracks is the vintage-inspired Calibre 11 – the Steve McQueen – and on the other is a more modern take, which used to be the Calibre 12… With the evolution of the Monaco, the days of Calibre 12 are gone.
For more than twenty years, the Monaco has been powered by outsourced movements, modular chronographs based on ETA ébauches. Whether you looked at the Calibre 11 and its crown at 9 o’clock, or the classic Calibre 12 with its crown positioned at 3 o’clock, there were no “manufacture” or “in-house” engines to rely on. However, for several years now, TAG Heuer has decided to up its game and has unveiled its own integrated chronograph movement, the Calibre Heuer 02, which first found its way in the case of the Autavia, later followed by several Carreras, like this one. And since the idea is to make the Heuer 02 the backbone of TAG’s range, it made sense to see a Monaco equipped with it. And here is the result, the Monaco Heuer 02 which replaces the Monaco Calibre 12.
As mentioned, there are two Monacos in the Monaco range. One is not destined to change soon; the Calibre 11 with its 1970’s-inspired designed, brushed blue dial and horizontal applied markers… and of course, its crown at 9 o’clock. The other model in the range is more modern, more mainstream too, and isn’t targeting the same audience. With its sunray-brushed dial, radial applied markers and its crown located in a traditional position at 3 o’clock, the once-Calibre 12, now Heuer 02 is the classic model. And this is the one that we are reviewing in the video above.