TAG Heuer’s Monaco has experienced a rather slow evolution in recent years, as the world’s most famous square watch shouldn’t be messed with too much. The new black dial TAG Heuer Monaco on bracelet is a further exploration into the watch’s roots, while keeping up to date with all the technical quality we expect from a modern luxury wristwatch. The good news: it’s simply great.
The particular star of the show on this model is the vintage-style bracelet, inspired by examples often found on models from the mid-to-late ’70s. The solid steel links are quite short, allowing for a great fit to be found, even though the butterfly clasp doesn’t allow for the micro-adjustment holes we’re used to. The H-links are all brushed except for polished chamfered edges, and the polished centre links give the watch its signature look of retro sporty-meets-dressy.
Although the integrated look of the bracelet is part of what makes this watch so charming, the 22mm lug width does make changing straps incredibly easy, as well as the straight end-links meaning you could even put this bracelet onto other watches in your collection for a bit of experimentation and fun.
The cleanliness and sophistication on this dial is quite interesting to consider. The sunburst black dial gives a distinct effect of charcoal, leading it towards a dressiness you might not have expected of a sports watch.
As it stands, the crisp white sub-dials, small seconds hand, and the vivid crimson chronograph hands all bring it back into that automotive realm, making this a watch that can easily move between an office building and a racetrack. The steel hands are also very legible, with the minute hand easily reaching the edges of the printed track.
The 39mm Monaco case may be ubiquitous at this point, however it remains a slightly underrated piece of watch case architecture. It is anything but a perfect square, with the sides bulging out a minuscule amount to soften its appearance.
The brushed bezel, if you can call it that, is softly stepped up from the polished chiselled edges of the case, which, in turn, houses the complexly cubic pushers. Even the sapphire crystal is shaped, creating some groovy distortion effects when viewing the watch at harsh angles.
Thankfully, visible behind the sapphire display caseback lies the Heuer 02, TAG Heuer’s flagship in-house chronograph movement. Although you can find this movement in the back of 39 (at the time of writing) TAG Heuer mechanical chronographs, its personality really suits this particular Monaco reference.
The decoration well matches the many brushed aspects of the watch, and the black rotor with bold red writing suits the dial quite well. The specifications are up to scratch, too, with an 80-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph beat rate, and a bright red column wheel that gives you that satisfying ‘chunk’ whenever you engage a pusher.
There are no barriers pushed with this Monaco, which is what makes it such a satisfying release for fans of the original design that did all the pushing nearly 50 years ago. The $9800 AUD price tag comes with some strong competition, but if you’re a Monaco fan then you know it’s something that just must be had, and this variant is a strong contender.
TAG Heuer Monaco on bracelet price and availability:
The TAG Heuer Monaco on bracelet ref. CBL2113.BA0644 is $9,800AU, and is currently available. For more details, visit TAG Heuer right here.