The new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition pays tribute to French Racing Blue

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition pays tribute to French Racing Blue

Zach Blass
  • The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue limited edition of 1,000 pieces features a sandblasted grade 2 titanium case
  • Its silver sunray-brushed dial blends into the hue of the case giving a largely monochromatic sensibility
  • Pops of colour are injected by elements like the blue opaline registers that pay tribute to French Racing Blue

The TAG Heuer Monaco is certified iconic. GASP! I know. How dare I resort to buzzwords. But it is the truth. Countless watch designs get compared to one another, such as the famed porthole-inspired watches – you know which timepieces I am talking about. The Monaco, however, is truly distinct, its squared case easily spotted from across a room as a TAG Heuer. The Monaco cemented its place in history as the first square-cased, water-resistant chronograph upon its debut in 1969. It has since undergone many colour and material evolutions, but the latest, the new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition of 1000 pieces brings a new colour scheme into the pantheon that pays tribute to French Racing Blue.

 

With the exception of a few elements, the look and finish of the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue has a somewhat monochromatic and stealthy feel. Its silver sunray-brushed dial blends into the grade 2 titanium case. And with its sandblasted finish, it has a more rugged sensibility without the glistening of mirror-polished surfaces. Clocking in at 39mm in diameter, 14.35mm thick, and 47.4mm lug-to-lug, I love that the crown is located opposite  the pushers on the 9′ side of the case. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with models that have moved the crown to the 3′ position, for me the 9′ position is more faithful to the Monaco’s original roots and a quirk that further distinguishes this iconic design. The watch is not all sombre with injections of colour seen on the lime green central chronograph seconds hand, and the blue found on the hour pips, opaline chronograph registers, and the perforated calfskin strap with a case-matching grade 2 titanium folding clasp.

Exhibited inside is the calibre 11 automatic movement. This movement, while not the most aesthetically glamorous by today’s standards, remains faithful to the origins of the TAG Heuer Monaco. The calibre 11 movement was born alongside the Monaco in 1969, originally comprised of a Buren base calibre and Dubois Dépraz chronograph module. Today, the base is provided by Sellita, but the Dépraz module persists inside. Perhaps one day it would be pertinent to incorporate a modern calibre that offers beyond 40 hours of power reserve, but there is a charm that the movement used in 1969 is still faithfully manufactured and utilised today. It is as legendary as the watch it is cased in.

The blue accents, which pay tribute to French Racing Blue, befitting a brand so integrally tied into the world of racing, may not necessarily connect with those, like myself, who are not as emotionally invested in the automotive world. I still do not have my driver’s licence, I know.. shame on me (I am a NYC kid after all). But the colour scheme is a playful switch up that offers a modern feel to a watch with rich heritage.

TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition pricing and availability:

The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition will be available in July 2023 for purchase as an unnumbered limited edition of 1000 pcs. Price: CHF 9,000

Brand TAG Heuer
Model Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition
Case Dimensions 39mm (D) x 14.35mm (T) x 47.4mm (L2L)
Case Material Sandblasted grade 2 titanium
Water Resistance 100m
Dial Silver sunray brushed dial with blue opaline registers
Crystal Beveled domed sapphire crystal
Strap Blue perforated calfskin strap w/ double safety grade 2 titanium folding clasp
Movement Calibre 11 Automatic
Power Reserve 40 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Availability July 2023, limited edition of 1000 pcs.
Price CHF 9,000