Monaco Carbon Fibre

TAG Heuer Monaco Carbon Fibre Edition

TAG Heuer has released this Special Edition Monaco, featuring a carbon-fibre dial, for sale in the United Kingdom.

The idea of developing a low-key special edition for particular markets has been a popular one recently- for example, last year saw TAG release several special editions, including a yellow Grand Carrera RS150 for Europe, a blue Grand Carrera RS150 for the UK and the Black and Green Monaco for the Singapore Grand Prix.

These watches are usually based on an existing mainstream models, but gently tweaked with different dials, straps or hands from the spare parts department. It’s a cost-effective way of giving the local dealer network something unique to sell and offer collectors a chance to own something just that little bit different.

While TAG Heuer release Limited Editions globally in batches of 1000-5000 watches, these national special editions seem to be restricted to around 200 watches, which I assume is the minimum batch size that makes sense for ordering bespoke dials and other parts. Yes, they’re low-volume production runs, but the changes are normally not as substantial as “global” limited editions- the trade-off being that the price premium is a lot lower.

2011 Monaco Carbon Fibre

In essence, the watch takes the standard “Black McQueen” Calibre 12 Monaco (below) and adds a Carbon-fibre-look dial, the red-tipped hands from the Calibre 11 Vintage Monaco and a strap from the Grand Carrera RS2 Ti. So that means, a Calibre 12 movement, Sapphire crystal and the new 39mm case.

The overall effect is a subtle change over the Black McQueen- you can really only see the carbon-fibre pattern from certain angles- for example, on the photo below the dial looks to be plain black.

The new hands are a great change and much more in keeping with the traditional Monaco style.

The watch is  limited to 200 watches, only in the UK and at a price of GBP3,800- that’s compared to GBP3,500 for the standard models.

The History of Monaco Special Editions

Calibre 11 has catalogued most of the Special Edition Monaco’s released over the last few years, such as the watches below- from top to bottom, we have the 2001 Ferret Edition, the Grand Prix of Monaco 1999 watch, the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix edition and finally, the 2010 Porsche Club of America Monaco.

 

 

Photo:

Singapore Grand Prix Monaco: VL Kong, PuristSPro

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  • Justin Chang

    Thanks for the write-up DC. Has this watch become commercially available or soon to be released?

    Might have to put my name down for one – definitely looks the part with the carbon fibre dial and the vintage hour/minute hands (I'm in love, considering I've always been a blue dial advocate)…

  • DC

    Hi Justin,

    Yes, its already on sale in the UK

    Cheers

    David

  • wynonie

    very nice. is it limited to a specific retailer, do you know?

  • Cowboy Bebop

    I'm not feeling it, David, if this was a Carrera maybe… Maybe it's a watch that has to be seen in person to really appreciate what TAG is doing. I just never thought carbon fibre on the old style monaco would actually hit the spot, perhaps they may do this on a titanium case monaco 24 template… I can actually give them credit for this, it would should I say symbolize the use of titanium and carbon fibre in the racing world.

  • fnk

    This watch looks exactly like the LE watch available in UK via goldsmiths but this is limited to 250 units, rather than 200.

    I have seen this watch in person and it looks OK, but I'm not convinced that it's that different from the "Black McQueen" apart from the dial and a different strap.

    Agree with David's comment that the hands are an improvement over the standard model

    I would personally think the The Singapore GP edition has a better contrast of colours with plain black dial on the green highlights.But, I have not seen this watch in the flesh.

    FNK.

    • DC

      Hi Nick,

      Yes, I'm sure its the same watch. Its not unusual for the production numbers to change in between the time that they take the photos of the prototype and the time it goes on sale, so it sounds like its 250.

      I don't know if this is "exclusive" to one retailer, or being used as a general term…

      dc

  • Jon Hughes

    this watch is limited to 250 units, it is available exclusively from Tag Heuer boutiques or Goldsmiths jewellers, no-one else, including authorized Tag dealers can get hold of them

  • For me this new Monaco fails to hit the heights of the original (1533 inspired) re-edition from the late 90s. I think they could do with a total redesign instead of repeating an old theme over and over.

    In that sense the black Monaco 24 appeals more. I also thought it was strange to use flouro orange lume on the recently announced 1533g inspired re-edition, with a normal creamy white lume it would have started to make a nice mini set along with the 2009 blue McQueen re-edition and the recent grey grey with black subs version,

    However i'd be tempted to totally re-design the case to add something a bit special, the original 1970s case had equal billing and i think the modern one is something of a let down in this department.

    Who knows what the future might hold!

    Rich
    http://www.heuermonaco.co.uk

  • I forgot to mention they also need to look at the strap, as DC so often says it has never suited the re edition Monaco.

  • DC

    Thanks for the additional information Jon.

    Rich, agree with you on the Monaco 24. I love the design of the case, but backed out at the last minute on the Gulf version. I quite like the Silver and Orange- but I'm waiting for the McQueen 24.

    And yes, those straps..I like the modern Monaco on a high-grade rubber…Crocodile doesn't work for me

    dc

  • …agree McQueen 24 would look cool, it'll be getting the small details bang on that will be important, like the originals. Even a modern take on a corfam racing strap would work for me, just chunkier.

    I think so far (although havent seen one in the flesh) the new grey with black sub looks the best "re-edition" yet.

    Speak soon

    R

  • wynonie

    Just saw one of these in the flesh while in UK – it looks great. the carbon fibre dial chess board look is only visible in certain light – but it does definitely add something. Also think the strap combo looks good.

    I wasnt really tempted as I have plenty of monaco choices already, but if that werent the case, i'd certainly consider it.

  • DC

    Thanks for the update Wynonie…I figured that this was one that you'd need to see in the flesh to get a real sense of how prominent/ subtle that pattern was.

    dc

  • MC

    Sorry, don't like this edition one single bit. The red accents remind me of Breitlings done-to-death Red Strike/Blacksteel editions. TAG will have a Code Yellow next! Plus, I just can't get excited about this carbon fibre look dial. Whats worse is that it isn't even real carbon fibre. Even my Oris TT3 RG has a real CF dial, and that's a whopping £1800 cheaper!

    Monaco's need to be classy and stylish watches, leave the garish colours for the Formula 1's. 🙂

  • DC

    MC,

    I don't really follow Breitling, so don't know those watches. I agree that read carbon fibre would be better.

    dc