Vintage Heuer Monza: Series Overview
Tracing the lineage of the Monza can be a confusing prospect for new Heuer and TAG Heuer collectors. Most recently, there was the 2011 Heuer Monza Calibre 36, a watch which revived the Heuer/ TAG Heuer Monza that was discontinued in 2006. That model was a “re-edition” of a Heuer design from the 1930s..but that watch was never called Monza.
But there was a Monza in Heuer’s back catalogue- a sporting version of the Carrera from the mid-1970s that looks nothing like any of the watches mentioned above. And in case your head isn’t spinning yet, this Monza was sold in some markets under a different name- the Heuer Modena.As Formula 1 fans will know, Monza is the name of the city that hosts the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix. The origins of the circuit date back to the early 1920s, and while the track has been extensively modified over the years, part of the original banked circuit remains in place today, albeit overgrown by trees and grass.
Monza was home to the dominant Alfa Romeo racing team, which was run in the 1920s by a young man from Modena called Enzo Ferrari. In 1947 Ferrari cut ties with Alfa Romeo and continued with his own cars built in Maranello, a small town close to the City Modena and the place where Ferrari are still based today. In case that’s not enough reason to visit Modena, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani are all based in towns around the City of Modena.
And so the names Modena and Monza are synonymous with both Formula 1 and with the Italian team who sit at the heart of the sport- Ferrari.
Heuer and Ferrari
As Jack Heuer (above shaking hand with Enzo Ferrari) noted earlier this year:
“I decided to go to Ferrari on 7 April, 1971. We met Piero Lardi Ferrari [Enzo's illegitimate son, who was known as Piero Lardi until the death of Enzo's wife in 1978 when he was acknowledged as part of the official family and allowed to use the Ferrari name- DC] at the Maranello factory and offered to equip Ferrari with our products provided that we be allowed to put the red Heuer logo on all of their Formula 1 vehicles, in the front, just under the windshield.
An agreement was concluded immediately and signed by Enzo Ferrari, using his trademark pen with violet ink.”
By the start of the 1975 season, Ferrari had gone 11 long years without powering one of its drivers to the World Championship. Austrian Niki Lauda had joined the Scuderia in 1974 and won two races. For 1975, Ferrari had a new Mauro Forghieri designed car- the 312T (above). From its début in the third race of the season, the car was an instant success, helping Lauda to five wins and to the 1975 title.
To commemorate Lauda’s victory, Heuer decided to launch a special edition watch- the Monza.