When we talk of watchmaking icons, we tend to see the same watches, Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, Rolex’ Submariner, Omega’s Seamaster 300, Breitling’s Navitimer and so on. Somewhere on that list is usually TAG Heuer’s Monaco. Sometimes the Monaco gets forgotten, which is quite a shame as this square-cased watch has an excellent pedigree and is a great watch overall. To show the design is flexible when it comes to colouring, and to show that green really is the new colour of the watch industry, TAG Heuer debuts a new limited-edition version of the Monaco with a green dial.
The 39mm case hasn’t changed in size or proportion. It’s the classic slab of watchmaking we know and love, a design that goes all the way back to the late 1960s. The Monaco has graced the wrists of some of the greatest names of all time, although it’s undoubtedly most well-known as the watch worn by Steve McQueen. When you take in the whole appearance of this watch, you realise that it’s a visually interesting piece. I love the number of layers this thing has. The case has a polished chamfer to it, the mostly-square bezel sits proud of it, and the square sapphire crystal protrudes significantly, just like the Plexiglass of the watches from the 60s.
Inside the case is a thoroughly modern movement, the calibre Heuer 02. It’s a round movement with a 4Hz beat rate and 80-hour power reserve. To show that TAG Heuer has made an effort, it’s coloured the writing on the blackened winding rotor in green, and the column wheel which controls the chronograph is also in green. It’s a little touch, but it’s better than them simply shoving the same old movement in there.
Of course, it’s the gradient green dial that takes the spotlight, and rightly so. I love the layout of this watch and the interplay of circles and squares on the watch. I particularly like the squared seconds and minutes subdials. The watch is water-resistant to 100m, although I wouldn’t bet on the alligator leather strap surviving submersion too well.
TAG Heuer will be making 500 of these, each with a price tag of $6,650 and is available through authorised dealers.