Custom Heuer Monaco 74033N Homage
While many collectors have an idea of a dream watch they wish their favourite brand made, very few people get past the dreaming stage and make the watch a reality. Joe Ganzler, a well-known expert in Gibson Les Pauls guitars from 1958-1960, did go past wishing and the result is this watch- a custom-made homage to the Heuer Monaco 74033N PVD.
“…What if a guy with more money than sense (so far, so good!) took a CAW2110 [TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12], had the case PVD’d (or more properly DLC’d), was able to source some decent orange-red hands and some more “accurate” minute/hour hands – that fella would be a LOT lighter of wallet, but he’d also have a pretty cool Monaco!”
Eight months on the watch is a reality, a time-frame that illustrates the complexity of custom watches and the trial-and-error that goes into getting each component just right. This is the story of Joe’s one-off Monaco, a watch that will hopefully inspire TAG Heuer to consider an “All Black” Monaco of its own.
Heuer Monaco 74033N
Using the manual-wind Valjoux 7740 movement, the “PVD Monaco” features a unique dial and fantastic Black and Orange colour scheme. We’ve featured this watch before, with the example above being restored by Abel Court back in 2009.
But despite the legendary status of the PVD Monaco, TAG Heuer has not- yet- produced a re-edition. So, given how rare and expensive these watches are, the only option for a collector determined to get their hands on a reasonably priced PVD Monaco was to go and make one.
The design goal was to create an homage to the Monaco 74033N- but not a copy. Think of this project as creating what a modern TAG Heuer re-edition might look like.
Specifically, the date window on the “re-edition” sits lower than on the original, and the markings on the registers are different, reflecting the functionality of the Calibre 17:
- 3 o’clock register: Running seconds (vs. 30 minutes Chronograph on the Valjoux)
- 9 o’clock register: Records elapsed Chronograph minutes (vs. Chronograph hours)
These small details aside, the dial is faithful to the original, down to the off-set “30/ 15″ and “60/ 30″ markings on the sub-dials.
Note that the minute and seconds hash marks on the prototype above are all the same length, while the final dial (below) has longer minute markers. This is just one example of the trial-and-error approach that you need to be willing to endure if you go down the path of creating your own dial.