“Monaco Grand Prix” Edition Monaco & Carrera

TAG Heuer celebrated yesterday’s Monaco Grand Prix by unveiling a brace of  watches to mark the brand’s position as the official timing partner of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM). Four watches were launched over the four-day event- two limited edition chronographs made especially for the GP and the general release of two watches previously only available at TAG Heuer boutiques.

Appropriately, three of the models launched are from the Monaco series- the TAG Heuer Monaco ACM Calibre 12 (above), the Heuer Monaco McQueen Calibre 11 and the TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty-Four McQueen Calibre 36.

Joining the posse of Monacos is a single Carrera- a Day-Date Calibre 16 Chronograph (below).

We’ve been lucky enough to grab photos of three of the new watches in the flesh to show you what they look like away from the studio lights.

The Monaco Grand Prix

You don’t have to know anything about motor sport or Formula 1 to have heard of the Monaco Grand Prix. The event is run through the streets of Monte Carlo (well, most of the track sits in Monte Carlo) and has been since 1929.

Truth is, it’s a crazy place to hold a Grand Prix- the narrow street circuit providing few overtaking chances for modern cars. Despite this, the race remains the jewel in the Formula 1 Calendar, and as an event it simply can’t be beaten.

Heuer and TAG Heuer have enjoyed a long association with the Monaco GP, thanks to the success of the Ferrari team in the 1970s and the McLaren team in the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

To further strengthen the relationship, TAG Heuer commenced sponsorship of the ACM in 2011, leading to an increased presence of TAG Heuer signage on the track and now in 2012, a series of Limited Edition watches.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Day Date- Monaco Grand Prix Edition

The first of the new watches is a Limited Edition Carrera Day-Date chronograph (Ref. CV2A1F). The watch is based on the 43mm Carrera Day-Date, but gains a bespoke dial and bezel.

Think of the new Carrera as a hybrid of two existing Carreras- the Carrera Calibre 16 Tachymeter Racing (CV2014) and the Carrera Day-Date (CV2A10).  Take a black Carrera Day-Date, remove the Arabic 5-minute markers, add the red highlights and hour-markers of the Tachymeter racing and garnish with a bespoke bezel- voilà…a special Edition Carrera.

While the standard Day-Date is a good-looking watch, the dial can look busy and cramped. This Carrera tackles the space problem by using conventional hour-markers and removing the “100 Meters” text from the dial.

Also new for this watch is a rubber strap patterned like a Tyre (an intermediate rain tyre rather than a slick from the looks of things). The pattern is similar to the one used on the Chopard Mille Miglia watches. If rubber is not your thing, there is also a stainless steel bracelet.

Overall it’s a nice looking watch, even though it only differs from the standard Day-Date Carrera in a few details- but the sum of these small changes gives the watch its own distinct character.

Complementing the design is a clear caseback with dedicated “Monaco Grand Prix” Script.

The Carrera Day-Date Monaco Grand Prix Edition is Limited to 3,000 watches.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11, Calibre 12 and Calibre 36- Monaco Grand Prix Editions

Monaco Calibre 12 Automobile Club Monaco Edition

The ACM Monaco (Ref. CAW211K) is based on the “Black McQueen” Monaco Calibre 12, but with revised hands and Orange detailing replacing the Red. The most obvious change to the dial is the addition of the ACM logo above the date register, replacing the text “Automatic Chronograph Calibre 12” on the standard model.

Look a little closer and you’ll also see that the “Monaco” and TAG Heuer logo are in a raised silver print, instead of the flat printed dial of the other Calibre 12 models.

The strap has an Orange lining, which has a”soft-touch” finish, and complements the orange stitching on the strap.

At the back of the watch is a clear caseback enabling you to see the Calibre 12 movement- a Sellita base movement with a Dubois-Depraz Chronograph module. The ACM Calibre 12 is a numbered limited edition of 1,200 watches.

On the wrist, the ACM Monaco looks good- of course, not that different to the standard Monaco.

The strap is a real highlight. The standard Monaco Calibre 12 range typically uses a gloss-finish Alligator strap, but the ACM Monaco strap is treated to a matte finish, which looks not only more modern, but also more sporty.

Monaco Calibre 11 McQueen Chronograph

If you think that you’ve seen the Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph (Ref. CAW211D) before, you’d be right: the watch (below) was launched late last year as a Boutique-only special. While the dials appears to be a different share of blue, that’s simply a trick of the photos- it’s the same colour.

What has changed is the hands on the two sub-dials…and the lume hour circles at 12 o’clock have been reduced from two to one.

There is also a new Blue Leather strap to match the dial- a really nice touch that brings back the look of the vintage blue Corfam straps used on the 1970s original.

The Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph is an “ADIS” watch- which means that its a Dealer Special order (read more about what ADIS means here).

Monaco Twenty-Four McQueen Calibre 36

Also now available more broadly is the Monaco McQueen Twenty-Four (Ref. CAL5111) , which is the same watch that went on sale at TAG Heuer boutiques late last year.

Like all Monaco Twenty-Fours (this is the third model), it’s a real “event” watch- with the spectacular wrap-around crystal and floating dial.While the case is quite thick, the watch doesn’t look overly large on the wrist- indeed, the diameter is only 40.5mm.

And of course the party trick of the Monaco Twenty-Four is the rear of the watch with the over-size crystal caseback showing off the Calibre 36 movements and blue shock absorbers- a real piece of horological art.

TAG Heuer releases several Limited Edition watches available in only a single local market for various Grand Prix- for example, special edition watches for the Indian and Singapore Grand Prix. Given the global profile of the Monaco Grand Prix, its appropriate that these are available internationally.

While the Monaco Grand Prix watches are not a significant departure from the equivalent watches in the standard range, they are well executed and different enough to offer collectors something that stands out from the pack.



– Grand Prix Photos courtesy of TAG Heuer and Jean Francois Galeron