Contrary to popular opinion, TAG Heuer’s revived Monaco CS2110 in 1997 was not a true re-edition. Yes, it was the first time since the mid-1970s that the square Monaco was part of the TAG Heuer range, but rather than reproducing a facsimile of a specific historic Monaco model, TAG Heuer instead chose to develop a new dial design for the relaunched series.
Even when the “McQueen” Blue dial model was launched in 2003, we had the “right” colour scheme, but as you can see below, the small details (including placement of the hour markers, lack of red 5-minute hash marks, red rather than black sub-dial hands, crown on the right rather than left) were different- and with watches, it’s the details that matter.
But the 2015 Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph ticks all the boxes to be considered a true re-edition of the 1969 Monaco 1133B, with only the case and pusher design differing from the famous original. This is not the first time that TAG Heuer has faithfully reproduced the 1133B, as owners of the 2009 40th Anniversary Monaco will attest. But it is the first time that a true McQueen re-edition has been part of the regular production range, and at a very sharp price.
2009 Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary- CAW211A
The simplest way to think about the new Monaco is that it’ s a production version of the limited edition Monaco 40th anniversary model from 2009. The 40th Anniversary Monaco is a true modern classic, with only 1000 produced at a premium price of USD10,000 when it was new. For that price, you also received a special presentation box and a Steve McQueen book. Despite its high price, the watch sold out instantly, and even today it’s a difficult one to find on the second-hand market.
This was the first Monaco to feature a sapphire crystal, and while the revised Calibre 12 Monaco range from 2010 also adopted the sapphire, they had a new, 39mm case. The 40th Anniversary model is the only 38mm Monaco with sapphire.
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P
So what are the differences between the 2009 Monaco and the 2015 release?
- Case: 39mm for the CAW211P vs. 38mm for CAW211A
- Caseback: Sapphire caseback for CAW211P vs. Steel caseback with engraved signature for CAW211A
- Date Window: White printed outline for CAW211P vs. Silver frame for CAW211A
- Movement: Sellita base for CAW211P vs. ETA base for CAW211A
Perhaps the shades of blue on the dial are different- it’s too hard to tell from these photos, but the 40th Anniversary model appears to have more the pale blue offered on later 1133B Monacos, while the new model seems a little darker.
So why are the two watches so close in looks? The story that we hear is that when this watch was first conceived it was intended to have the Calibre CH-80. Having dropped that movement, it was decided to still go ahead with the watch, but with the Calibre 11 movement supplied by Dubois-Depraz.
TAG Heuer obviously believes that a gap of six years between the two watches is reasonable, although buyers of the original will probably think differently. Still, the watch itself is stunning- probably the best of the modern Monaco models, which were first launched back in 1997. The sapphire crystal on the more recent models helps to elevate the prestige of the watch, while the iconic Monaco case looks as good as ever, as does the beautiful blue dial. If you don’t own the 40th anniversary Monaco, then you will love this watch.
Price & Availability- Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph CAW211P
The new Monaco comes with a new price- USD5,500 in the US, which is significantly less than the price of other Calibre 11 equipped Monacos and half the price of the 2009 Limited Edition- good news!
Expect the new Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P in stores from October 2015.
Live Monaco CAW211P Photos by Time+Tide Images