Up Close: TAG Heuer Monza Calibre 36
TAG Heuer have brought back the Monza for 2011, with this limited edition Calibre 36 Chronograph shown today at Baselworld 2011. While the case design is almost identical to the original 2000 re-edition, the dial design introduces a new heritage concept.
Most TAG re-edition watches to date have drawn their inspiration from the 1960s and 1970s, but the new Monza goes a lot further back: to the manual-wind Chronographs and stop-watches of the 1910-1930 period. It’s a welcome change, although one that I suspect could be more polarising than the 1960/70s design-theme, simply because very few people know much about the Chronographs produced in that earlier era.
In fact, so little is known about these watches that for the last 10 years, most writers- including me- have described the 2000 Heuer Monza re-edition as a Camaro re-edition with the name lifted from the Carrera-based Monza of the 1970s. As you’ll see below, there is much more to the design that this.
1933 Heuer Chronograph
The true inspiration for the new Monza is this manual-wind, single button Chronograph from 1933. The case design of the 1933 was replicated almost perfectly for the 2000 Re-edition Monza- the same cushion-case design with its polished outer ring and brushed metal-finish on the top bezel. The lug design is identical and even the crown is inspired by this early Chronograph.
As well as the version that you see above, Heuer also made a black-dial version with a different hand-set. These are lovely little watches- only 33mm in diameter. The Chronograph is operated by the single-push button at the end of the crown.