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.
Singapore Grand Prix Monaco: VL Kong, PuristSPro