First Look: Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 “McQueen” Chronograph

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.

MonacoBut 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.

Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211PApart from the various developments of the Monaco V4 it has been a quiet couple of years for new Monaco models, so it’s pleasing to see that the model is still a key part of TAG Heuer’s plans.

2009 Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary- CAW211A

Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 40th Anniversary

Photo by Abel Court

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.

Case Back- Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary

Photo by Abel Court

2015 Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P

Heuer Monaco 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

Monaco Calibre 11Perhaps 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.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P

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 Monaco Calibre 11 McQueenTAG 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

CAW211P.FC6356 2015

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.

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Live Monaco CAW211P Photos by Time+Tide Images

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  • C David

    Clever way to squeeze out a bit more money from the fans eh! Obviously (I see now) why my three year old blue face was deliberately not a true reflection. Sigh.

    • calibre11

      Well, they played a long game…the Blue Monaco has looked the same way for 13 years, so it’s not like it was changed after only a couple.

      Which one do you have? The Blue Calibre 12?

      • Anna

        Hey I am sorry to interrupt but I am struggling to find a value for my watch that I am trying to sell can you steer me in the right direction. It’s a TAG Heuer CN2100-0 automatic Aquaracer

        • calibre11

          Don’t think that one is genuine Anna

      • C David

        Yes- good marketing ploy. I’d love to have an exact “replica” of the original but wont be forking out a few grand extra for one. Not sure which calibre I have. Will check.

    • Anna

      It’s this. I may have got the wrong one.

      • C David

        Yup wrong one Anna

        • Anna

          Sorry hey. Did you see the pics I posted at all? Do you know anything about it?

        • Anna

          Sorry hey. I posted a pic of it above.

          • C David

            Hi yes saw pic but I’m no expert. Many here who know FAR more than me. I just know a Steve McQueen when I know one as I own that and a Grand Carrera. Someone will know what’s what.

  • Anna

    This is the back

  • Munir Metassan

    Thank you TH. will be forking out some hard earned cash for this. I have the Cal 17 version and was priced out of the 2009 re-edition. This I possibly can afford

  • Philmo

    Lovely – will sit well with and be a great alternative to the 211B and C 🙂

  • This is a great post. Thanks for your wonderful article! I think this is valuable and useful to us.

    ————————————————–
    ceasuri de mana, ceasuri barbatesti, ceasuri dama, ceasuri ieftine

  • Dan

    Am I the only one who wishes Tag Heuer would put a 12 hour chronograph in this? I actually use the chrono feature in my watches and don’t think a 30 minute timer is either useful, nor historically accurate.

  • Eduardo Walser

    square and blue, love that combination. the design isnt so radical, but why so many holes? i know it’s for sweat release at least but thier too many. nitpicking at it’s finest here.. 😀

    • calibre11

      I’ve been using the same strap on my Calibre 17 Monaco for a couple of years now- I love it. You don’t really notice the holes when you’re wearing it…certainly not the way you do with those large-hole rally straps from the ’70s.

  • neo lidon

    Thank you for detailed article.
    I really look forward to seeing it in korea(south).
    Original Monaco will be complete my TH collection 🙂

  • happy heuer

    it’s arrived, folks!

    i’m still trying to arrive at an amicable price with my AD — 😐

  • Heuer without TAG

    Interesting article, thanks for pointing out the differences between the 40yr anniversary and the brand new blue Monaco.
    I own the 40th anniversary, outfitted with an original 70s blue corfoam strap and a Heuer pin buckle, and a CAW211B-FC6241-Limited-Ediction (bought before I stumbled across the 40th anniversary), both flawless, the latter unworn. Am debating whether to sell these two and get the new one as a watch to wear every day- not sure what to do though..any comments?

  • Jon L

    Hi Calibre 11 – great article and love your instagram too. I have an original 1133b monaco but keep getting told not to wear it every day. So looking to get one of the modern monacos – have been offered the 2009 40th anniversary and obviously there is the new 2015 model which is same size as current watch. Really torn which one to get! The 2015 obviously retains the 39mm size I am used to or should I go for the limited edition 2009? Would love your advice. Regards, Jon.

    • Hi Jon, nah, you should wear the 1133B! These are no good sitting in a safe 😉

      I’d love to buy a 2009 re-edition…but not sure I could justify paying much more than the 2015 edition. Yes, I think they should get a premium, but maybe 20-30%…not 100%!

      If money doesn’t matter, then go for the 2009. Drop by the forum if you want more opinions- there are owners of both watches there- http://forums.calibre11.com/forums/tag-heuer-discussion.42/

  • Christian Castaneda

    I just purchased this timepiece. It’s phenomenal. Love it! I was saving up for when a good condition CAW211A came up for sale when this model finally convinced me. And with a factory warranty and an additional 3 yr warranty that I purchased from an authorized dealer, I’m going to wear this baby every chance I get. Now I can join the Cal 11 club! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ac145cbb0e006e8e2b58556dbf60abf61143806fea73f9064ba95eab101ef9b.jpg

  • Marco villa

    Hola, tengo un heuer Mónaco, calibre 11, edición limitada 40° aniversario, quién sabe cual es su valor actual, dado que solo salieron en el mundo 1.000 unidades.

    • Current market price seems to be around $7000-$8500

  • Edward

    What am I missing here? From what I can see, the problem has always been, and apparently still is, that the re-editions have never faithfully reproduced the original McQueen version. They get better, but there are still three remaining glaring mistakes: (1) the number markings on the left subdial should read 2, 4, 6, 8… (2) the number markings on the right subdial should read 5, 10, 15, 20… (3) the blue color of the main dial. All three of those items are easily fixed. Why can’t, or won’t, they fix them and issue an honest re-edition?

    • Hi Edward,

      If we take the CAW211P model shown above, the biggest difference between the vintage model and the current one is the case. The original is less square than the new one, with the sides bulging out a little. Then there is the pusher design, which has always been different.

      Regarding the sub-dial markings, there isn’t much choice here. The Calibre 11/ 12 vintage movement does not have a moving seconds hand (Chrono only), which would be a turn-off for modern buyers. The Calibre 11/ 12 vintage movement has a 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock and an hour counter at 9 o’clock. The modern movement has sweeping seconds at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock. The movement is the reason that you can’t have the same sub-dial markings.

      Not sure I agree on the blue shade either- the CAW211P above is very, very similar to the post-1970 1133B. The earlier Calibre 17 Monaco has a metallic dial based on the first Chronomatic 1133B

      dc

  • Klouse

    Hello all!
    I’ve just purchased a Calibre 11, waited in all day and as usual it arrives at the end of the day. I was keen to unwrap it as had confirmed with the seller that it was in the official Steve McQueen Box. When it arrived sadly it was in a brown HEUER version not the blue Steve McQueen one.
    Is this the correct box?
    Was it updated from the brown to the blue at some point?
    Does this also de-value it?

    Either way i have contacted them and am waiting a response but I have not received what I was led to believe I had paid for.

    Would appreciate any knowledge from anyone, thanks.

    • Hi Klouse,

      You could try and post some photos here and we can take a look for you:

      https://forums.calibre11.com/forums/tag-heuer-discussion.42/

      I believe that the brown Heuer box is for the Autavia- but that would need to be confirmed. You are right that usually the watch comes with the blue McQueen box. Does it de-value it? Maybe at the margin.

      At a minimum, I would ask the question of the dealer to try and get the other box….and see how you go

      dc