By Harlan Chapman-Green
Monaco. Sun, sea, sexy boats and booze parties. Some of the richest people on the planet live in Monaco and it’s no wonder why. The geographical gods have smiled upon Monaco and placed it slap bang between the Italian and French border making Monaco a sunny haven almost all year round. It’s also the site of the Grand Prix, when Formula One comes to town the roads are closed for a few days and when there aren’t any events going on the locals and tourists whizz about the track in their own cars hoping to have excellent fun.
The original Monaco – 1969
Monaco also gives its name to a special chronograph watch. Originally made and released by the Heuer watch company in 1969, the Heuer Monaco was the first square-shaped chronograph watch which was also water resistant. The cool metallic blue dial with sixties style square subdials and red hands made a statement about the design lengths manufacturers were willing to go to while the crown was provocatively placed on the left-hand side of the case to remind you while you are out and about that this is the first automatic chronograph watch and, therefore, doesn’t need winding, it’s almost like tying a piece of string to your finger to remind you to do something.
Steve McQueen wearing the 1133B Heuer Monaco
Like the Rolex Submariner worn by Sean Connery in James Bond, the Heuer Monaco also ended up as a movie star despite not being made specifically for the job. One of the coolest men to walk the Earth, Steve McQueen, wore a reference 1133B Heuer Monaco in the 1971 movie Le Mans.
The re-issue of this piece is one of the closest remakes of the original Monaco that we here at WristReview have ever seen. Like the original Monaco, the re-issue wears the same Martini colours that the original had, a blue dial with white square subdials and red flourishes here and there. The crown is also placed on the left like the original had. The date window is also placed in the same position and, surprisingly, the text on the dial is the same as they have decided to drop the TAG part of TAG Heuer to make it an even closer match. In fact, without going into too many finicky details such as the slimmer seconds hand the main difference on the exterior is the use of square shaped chronograph pushers as the original had round ones.
The new watch is 39mm wide and 39mm tall, making it a perfect square whereas the original was 40mm wide and 38mm tall, the case on the re-issue watch uses a three part construction technique which has been used since 1998, sealed closed by four screws which allows the watch to be watertight to 100 metres. The movement inside is a TAG Heuer Calibre 11 which runs at 4Hz and has a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module added to it, this watch will run for 40 hours without the chronograph running. It’ll set you back $5900, but then again it is a cult classic. For more info, please visit tagheuer.com
WristReview wishes you the happiest of holidays this year!
HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the odd Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. You can follow him on Instagram Read his articles here