Hands on Review- TAG Heuer Monaco LS Calibre 12

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   28 July 2012   |   14 Comments  

For many collectors, the TAG Heuer Monaco is all about heritage. It’s about Steve McQueen and that iconic blue square dial that gives off a 1970s motor racing vibe. And since 2003, you have been able to buy a modern TAG Heuer version of McQueen’s Monaco, a watch that is very faithful to the 1970s original.

But the Monaco series is more than just a retro-design, because since 2004 TAG Heuer has set about adapting the Monaco shape into something modern…as modern today as the Heuer Monaco 1133B was in 1969. The “new generation” Monaco series comprises the V4, the Twenty-Four and this watch- the TAG Heuer Monaco LS Calibre 12.

The LS Calibre 12 is a radical departure from the traditional Monaco look, with a complex, technical dial that uses a variety of sub-dials and TAG Heuer’s innovative “Linear System” (“LS”). Combined with a modern case that re-interprets the original square case, the Monaco LS Calibre 12 is one of the more distinctive models in today’s TAG Heuer’s line-up, despite having been on the market since 2009.

Monaco LS 360 Concept

The Monaco Calibre 360 LS Concept watch was first shown at the Basel watch fair in 2006.  This was the third model (after the Vanquish and Carrera) to get TAG Heuer’s Calibre 360 movement, the world’s first 1/ 100th second movement.

The 360 LS brought together three key elements that TAG Heuer was working on- the Calibre 360 movement, the LS system and the “new generation” Monaco case borrowed from the Monaco V4.Let’s take a look at the dial of the 360 LS. At the 6 o’clock position is the 1/ 100th second Chronograph register, with a 30-minute Chronograph register at 9 o’clock, a power-reserve at 12 o’clock and running seconds at 3 o’clock.

The Monaco 360 LS was the first TAG Heuer to use the LS system, which explores new ways of displaying timing information that you’d normally get from a traditional dial. The Grand Carrera was the first production series to use both the LS and “Rotating Disc” systems, but the idea came from the Monaco 360LS.

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