By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
Tag Heuer and motor racing cannot be separated. The company’s first foray into the world of high-octane racing back in 1971, when it (then it was just Heuer) became a sponsor of the Ferrari team. In 1976, the original Heuer Monza was launched to commemorate Niki Lauda’s 1975 World Championship win.
Niki Lauda at F1 Silverstone 1975 Photo: DPPI
To mark the 40th anniversary of the first Monza series back in 1976, TAG Heuer introduced the new 2016 Heuer Monza Calibre 17 Chronograph. Although there were other iterations of the Monza prior to this new model, it is suffice to say that the 2016 Monza is the closest rendition in terms of design to the original 1976 Monza (see below).
The material of choice of the 2016 Monza is from grade 5 titanium; making it lighter and more corrosive resistant. The titanium is coated with titanium carbide to give it a matt black appearance and to provide additional protection. Nevertheless, the crown and pushers are left in polished stainless steel like the original. In the 1976 Monza, the material of choice for the casing was stainless steel with PVD coating.
In terms of size, Tag Heuer has upsized the original cushion case diameter by an additional 3 mm to 42 mm. Like the first model, it comes with black and white lacquered hour and minute hands as well as the vintage orange SuperLumi-Nova on the indices. The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal rather than a flat glass in the original.
The caseback looks simple yet purposeful with the lacquered Red Heuer Shield and bright white “Monza” script.
The casing is matched with a strap in full-grain black calfskin with top-stitching and large holes, which again an interpretation of the original strap design.
The 2016 Monza reissue features the watch’s two key functions – the pulsometer and the tachymeter scale. The pulsemeter is a “15 beat” pulsometric scale (the chronograph is activated on the first beat and stopped on the 15th) and the tachymeter scale which converts time into speed. The Heuer Monza Chronograph is powered by the TAG Heuer Calibre 17.
The 2016 Monza will have a limited edition run of just 2000 watches. A good looking watch and I bet it will be taken up very fast by enthusiasts. For more info, please visit tagheuer.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here