For the first time since the mid-1970s we have the famous blue-dial Monaco with an in-house movement, with the launch today of the Monaco Heuer 02, replacing the Calibre 12 powered model that has been part of the TAG Heuer range since 2009.
We heard rumours that a CH-80 (the former name of the Heuer 02 movement) Monaco was planned for the 2015 collection, but that idea was ultimately put on hold when the CH-80 movement was delayed. But finally we have what collectors have been wanting for the last four years- TAG Heuer’s own chronograph movement inside TAG Heuer’s most iconic watch.
The arrival of the Heuer 02 Monaco marks the end of the line for the Calibre 12 Monaco series, with the blue-dial Calibre 11 Monaco to continue alongside the Heuer 02 newcomer.
History of the Blue Dial Monaco Re-Edition
Despite the Monaco being brought back into the TAG Heuer collection in 1997, it took until 2003 for the iconic blue dial/ white sub-dial colour combination to be relaunched, with the CW2113. Like the original re-edition, the 2003 Monaco McQueen came with a 38mm case, a plexi crystal and a Calibre 17 movement.
The sunburst blue dial of the CW2113 was based on the very first Chronomatic Calibre 11 Monaco from 1969, which later softened from a deep metallic blue to the pale blue we saw on Steve McQueen’s wrist in 1971.
The Calibre 17 series was upgraded in 2009 when the Calibre 12 arrived: One millimetre larger at 39mm, a sapphire crystal and a see-through caseback set the new series apart. And the Calibre 12 series continued right through to 2019 unchanged, selling alongside the Calibre 11 Monaco (CAW211P).
If the case looks familiar on the new Monaco it should- this is in essence the same case as the Calibre 12 Monaco, with some modifications to the inside of the case to better fit the Heuer 02 movement (the Calibre 12 movement has a 30mm diameter compared to 31mm for the Heuer 02). The diameter is unchanged at 39mm, despite early speculation that the new Monaco family would grow to 40mm.
But while the sunburst blue dial with white registers is carried over to the Monaco Heuer 02, the design of the sub-dials is new. Not only do we have revised markings (12 -hour chronograph counter at 9 o’clock, sweeping seconds at 6 o’clock and 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock), but rather than the flat look of the Calibre 17 and 12 models, the new Heuer 02 features stepped edges, giving the registers greater depth and a more three-dimensional look.
And speaking of registers, the new Monaco features three registers rather than two, even if the 6 o’clock register is de-emphasised, offering a stylistic nod to the sweeping seconds counter of the Calibre 15 Monaco from the early 1970s with its crosshair marking.
We would have gone in another direction design-wise and either used the same white register at 6 o’clock to give the watch a distinct look from its Calibre 12 and 17 predecessors, or opted for a two-register version of the Heuer 02, as offered in the Autavia Viceroy re-edition. Using three white registers would also help differentiate the newcomer from the Calibre 11 Monaco, which of course offers only two registers.
While the blue alligator strap may look similar to the one offered on the Calibre 12 Monaco, the Monaco Heuer 02 strap carries a different reference number (FC6453 new vs. FC6183 on the Calibre 12). At this stage there is no bracelet option- nor are there any other dial colours offered, but we expect that this will change over time.
Caseback and Movement
The star of the show with the new Monaco is the movement, which while familiar to Carrera and Autavia owners, looks fantastic nestled inside the square Monaco case thanks to its black and red accents.
The Heuer 02 movement is a modern integrated chronograph- designed and manufactured by TAG Heuer- with an 80 hour power-reserve, approximately double what you would get from the Calibre 12 movement.
Price and Availability
The TAG Heuer Monaco Heuer 02 Chronograph is on sale immediately, with a price of CHF5,800, and increase over the CHF5,200 Calibre 12.
This is the first Monaco release this year that is not a limited edition, and we expect the Heuer 02 Monaco to be a prominent part of the Monaco collection for many years, with more variants hopefully following.
TAG Heuer Monaco Heuer 02 Chronograph Specifications
|Model Name||TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer 02|
|Year of Launch||2019|
|Production Type||Standard Production|
|Watch Reference Number||CBL2111|
|Strap Reference Code||FC6453|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Case Diameter||39mm x 39mm|
|Movement||Calibre Heuer 02|