TAGH103141_4 (1)

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12

New to the range is this TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12, Ref. CAW2114, which is the first black Monaco with red highlights- the “Black McQueen”.

The hands on this new Monaco are a clear nod to the design of the original Heuer Monaco hands, which had thin slivers of red extending half-way up the hour and minute hand, meeting the lume filler. The new Monaco is available on the traditional crocodile leather strap, as well as a rubber strap, which seems to fit the look of this watch better.

TAG Heuer Monaco CAW2114

Photo by Govberg

TAG Heuer Monaco CAW2114

Photo by Govberg

Upgraded Case

Like all new Calibre 12 TAG Heuer Monaco’s, the watch has a 39mm case (vs. the old Calibre 17 TAG Heuer Monaco at 38mm) and features sapphire crystal rather than plexiglass. While these seem like small changes, when you look at  the watches side-by-side the contrast become more apparent.

Calibre 12 vs. Calibre 17 Movement

Photo by Govberg

Photo by Govberg

All of the new Monaco range have what TAG Heuer are calling a “Calibre 12” movement- and its described as being based on the “Dubois Depraz 2008”- which is a little confusing, as this seems to be a reference to the chronograph module, rather than the base movement itself.

The Calibre 17 as used in the 2-register Monaco is an ETA 2894-A2, while the new Calibre 12 is actually an ETA 2892 with the Dubois Depraz chrono module. Look a little closer and you’ll see that the Calibre 17 is an ETA chronograph movement based on the 2892- so essentially the only difference between the Calibre 12 and the Calibre 17 is that TAG Heuer have replaced an ETA chronograph module with one from Dubois-Depraz. For more information on these movements, read more at this link.

Monaco Calibre 12 Photos

Below are three Calibre 17 Monaco models, along with the new Calibre 12 Monaco. From left to right The TAG “McQueen” Monaco (CW2113), The TAG Heuer “Python” Monaco (CW2114), the Calibre 12 Black McQueen (CAW2114) and the Limited Edition TAG Heuer Vintage (CW2118)- thanks to Johan for the photo of his great collection

Here is another photo comparing the Calibre 17 (left) with the Calibre 12 (right)- the larger case size and profile of the new crystal are more apparent

Monaco Calibre 12 vs. Monaco LS

While the Calibre 12 Monaco is a subtle change from the Calibre 17, the same can’t be said for the new Monaco LS, which also uses a Calibre 12 movement, but takes its more radical looks from the Monaco V4. You can really appreciate the difference in size between the two watches from these photos. The case itself is a similar size, but its the unique raised crystal that wraps into the case that makes the difference.

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Photos:

1) and 2) Johan Billow

3)-6) With courtesy of Topper Fine Jewelers. www.topperjewelers.com originally posted here at WatchUseek

  • Richardc

    Oh dear, im really not a fan of this version! I think the details just look wrong in comparison to the originals. Either a direct copy such as the new Silverstone or a totally new design like prototype Monacos for me…

  • DC

    I didn't like the sound of the black McQueen when I heard about it- but I have to admit that I think it looks good. Yes, I would like to keep the "re-edition" Monaco to only a couple of colours…and the use the modern LS case to showcase new colours/ dials/ movements.

  • Steve

    It looks really good. Probably too flashy for me to actually want to wear. What do you guys think?

  • Hank

    I like the idea of sapphire glass which I believe is more scratch proof. But sure, a direct replica in every way would've been better. But is that poosible using sapphire instead of plexi crystal? Do the materials have individual properties that makes sapphire unfit for the kind of crystal that the original McQueen had? I don't know. Btw, I love the Monaco but it's a bit sad that people nowadays don't appreciate them as much. Now there's so many watches in the square format and a lot of cheap crap that looks big and blingy. People don't know the difference between premium watches and crap. But at least we do, right?

  • DC

    Hank, I'd agree that the sapphire is scratch resistant, but not scratch-proof. Its true that some people don't like the plexiglass, believing that its cheap to have plastic on an expensive watch. I however like the plexi on the Monaco.

    Firstly, the original Monaco had the plexi and that did its legacy no harm. Sapphire has the issue of Anti-reflective coating- something that I don't really like as it gives the watch a blue-ish hue. Plexi also has the benefit of being easy to buff out small scratches.

    Do people not appreciate the Monaco as much as they used to? Not so sure about that. I agree with you on the bling-factor, but this era is coming to an end. Take a look at the new watches coming out at SIHH in Geneva- AP have released a mid-sized men's Royal Oak (37mm)…and others are doing the same.

    cheers

    David

  • Justin

    I agree with Hank that lesser people are appreciative of premium watches primarily due to the market being flooded with counterfeits and since the invention of digital watches and mobile phones, it continues to dwindle. Many settle on the fact that both show the time and never skip a beat (until they run out of juice).

    Mass production of counterfeits indirectly de-value the genuine article, and as a result, many hesitate to buy a geniune in fear of people (without the ability to decipher it from a geniune or a counterfeit) possibly accusing them of having purchased a counterfeit item.

    Bling in my personal opinion cater for the shallow, pretetious, and the rich and insecure. It is thankfully coming to an era, but there will unfortunately always be a market place for bling and major companies will always exploit it if there is money to be made.

    Finally, in my personal opinion; people today simply do not understand the amount of attention to detail required, time, effort and accuracy to manufacture one of these premium time pieces. My wife for one is one that couldnt justify my obsession with Heuer Monaco’s and once we had the following conversation (she never asked again after this):

    Wife: “why do you want something that’s ancient, large and doesnt keep time as accurately as your mobile phone or a $20 digital watch?”
    Me: “why have you spent so much money on all your Louis V bags, wallets, agendas, keyring and pens? Other brands make the same thing for a fraction of the price, so why not buy those instead?
    Wife: “they use quality materials, and they are carefully handcrafted by artisans…”
    Me : “same as the watch”

  • Cat

    Some women get it. Like me…I wear a Steve McQueen Monaco current Cal. 12. I originally got a Breitling, and had a metric ton of trouble with it. Returned it to the jeweler for the Monaco because it's very readable and it makes my hands look small (haha). And I thought it was a V7750 derivative. I like the crocodile strap and the big sapphire crystal, too. Plus, it's brush finish and those wear better, and I like the blue/white/red colors on the dial and hands. And it has a date I can easily read. Then I got home and looked closer at it…it's a 2892A2 with the Dubois Depraz piggyback! It has 55 jewels, and that might not be a big deal to some but I think it's darn cool. And that combination has a history of reliability and accuracy. Plus, it goes with most of my suits for work. What's not to like?

  • DC

    Hi Cat,

    Men's watches can look very cool on women- especially a Monaco. Anyway, I'd better keep this post from my wife else my Monaco might go missing…

    dc

  • Tom

    I just returned a Grand Carrera with Calibre 17 because the second dial and the chrono second hand had a jerky motion. I read that's because the C17 is running at 4Hz and since the second dial has much more mass, it looks jerky (even though the movement kept time). But for a watch that costs thousands of dollars, you'd think that it would run buttery smooth. So my question is, since C12 is based on the same movement as C17, would the second movement be just as jerky?

  • Hi Tom. Very interesting question you ask.

    Actually, what you are seeing is your eye playing tricks. The Calibre 17/ 12 movement both vibrate at 4hz, which is 28,800 bph- the same as the vast majority of mechanical watch movements. At this rate of vibration you don't get a smooth "sweeping" hand, but you also don't get the action of a quartz.

    On a normal watch, you only see this vibration on the second hand, which is maybe 1mm wide, so its very hard to see the impact. Replace that 1mm hand with a disc and the vibration is much clearer to see. You are not the first person to complain about the "jerky" movement of the Grand Carrera. In other words, the Monaco will be fine, not because of the different movement, but because it uses a conventional hand.

    So, buttery smooth? You won't get this even with a top of the line Calibre 36 movement that beats at 36,000 bph (but it will be "smoother" than 28,800)- that's just how mechanical movements are. The defined "tick" from one second to the next is very much a quartz trait, not one that you'll see with a mechanical movement.

    Hope this helps

    dc

  • Nicode70

    This is may grail. The blue McQueen will be mine someday