TAG Heuer has taken the wraps off the second 50th Anniversary TAG Heuer Monaco watch, appropriately unveiling the newcomer this evening at Le Mans, where the Monaco first shot to mainstream prominence back in 1971 on the wrist of Steve McQueen. The second edition, which reflects design themes from the 1979-1989 period, is not one that you’ll miss or confuse with any other Monaco, thanks to its headline-grabbing red metallic dial.
Putting aside whether there is anything about the dial that makes this watch representative of the 1980s (was it a particularly red decade?), we love the look of the latest Monaco. It’s true that we’ve become conditioned recently to the Monaco being a “Re-edition” series, but from the first two 50th Anniversary watches it’s clear that the new design team at TAG Heuer has very different intentions. Heritage yes…straight re-edition, no.
As with the first 50th Anniversary edition (Reference CAW211V), the second watch in the series features a 39mm stainless steel dial and a Calibre 11 movement with the crown on the left-hand side, the same combination offered on the Monaco CAW211P. So that’s what stays the same, but what sets this watch apart are the dial, the hands and the strap.
When it comes to the new watch, it’s all about that dial- a brilliant, bold, star-burst red that draws inspiration from two watches in the TAG Heuer back catalogue- the Heuer Temporada and the TAG Heuer Silverstone Re-edition. We haven’t yet see the dial in person, but the similarities with the special one-off Silverstone re-edition (below right) from 2010 seem striking.
Complementing the dial are black lume plots and highlights on the hour and minute hands and white lettering for the Monaco script, Heuer shield and other text. And speaking of the dial lettering, the “Monaco” font on the dial uses the same vintage-style serif font as found on the first 50th Anniversary edition rather than the sans-serif font on the current Monaco series.
The other unique feature is the chronograph sub-dial design, which are rhodium-plated with an unusual shape. Rather than being a perfect square rounded at the sides, the registers instead have a curved shape- much like the sub-dials on the Temporada (above left).
These take a while to sink in as we’re so familiar with the classic register shape, which are almost as much a part of the classic Monaco silhouette as the square case. It’s another brave choice and one that is well executed- notice how the elapsed seconds markers on the 3 o’clock register are shaped to leave a circle in the negative white space? It’s a similar visual effect to the circular minuterie ring on the dial that sits inside the Square case.
So does this bold dial choice work? We think it does. This is likely to be a design that some love and some hate- not unlike the outrageous design of the original Monaco. And we’re firmly in the love camp. This could well be the most special of the five-watch anniversary series, maybe not today but more likely when we look back in ten years’ time.
Finally, the strap is bespoke to this watch- a black calf-skin strap with black stitching, red lining and the standard Monaco Heuer-branded deployant clasp. The strap is the same basic design as offered on the first 50th Anniversary watch, but with a different finish and colours.
Monaco 50th Anniversary Series
Here is the second member of the 50th Anniversary family- we’ll update the collection as the other models are unveiled over the coming months. Note that TAG Heuer has not yet confirmed that all five editions will use the Calibre 11 movement with the crown on the left- the above image is ours.
Some fantastic live photos here of the new red Monaco from our friends at Monochrome Watches who have kindly allowed us to repost their images here.
Price and Availability
The 2019 Monaco 50th Anniversary 1978-1989 Chronograph is the same price as the 1969-1979 edition. In fact, we expect each of the five series to be priced the same, but we’ll have to wait to confirm that’s the case. As a reminder, that means prices as follows across key markets:
- Switzerland: CHF 6,400
- Europe: EUR 5,950
- UK: GBP 5,350
- USA: $6,550
- Japan: JPY 705,000
- Hong Kong: $52,700
Expect watches to be in stores imminently- and for a short time. With only 169 watches worldwide, you’ll need to move fast.
TAG Heuer Monaco 50th Anniversary Calibre 11 Specifications
|Model Name||TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph 50th Anniversary Edition 2: 1979-1989|
|Year of Launch||2019|
|Production Type||Limited Edition of 169, each watch individually numbered|
|Watch Reference Number||CAW211W|
|Strap Reference Code||FC6467|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel/ Fine-brushed and polished|
|Case Diameter||39mm x 39mm|
|Movement||Calibre 11 (Sellita/ Dubois-Depraz)|