After a limited release last year, the Monaco Calibre 11 Gulf Special Edition is now available worldwide in 2018, following the announcement of a new global licensing deal between Gulf Oil and TAG Heuer and is the latest in a long line of Gulf-branded and themed Monacos, with the promise of more Gulf editions to come following this week’s partnership announcement. While there are no differences between the model launched in the US in 2017 and the worldwide 2018 release, there is a second 2018 model (Reference CAW211T), which is a limited edition of 50…and we’ll show you shortly how this differs from the standard watch.
The new Gulf watch is based on the 39mm stainless steel Monaco CAW211P, which uses the left-hand crown Calibre 11 movement, a modern Sellita base with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module. The classic Monaco is in its 49th year, and we’re anxiously waiting to see what next year’s 50th Anniversary will bring.
TAG Heuer and Gulf
As major sponsors of motorsports in the 1970s, Heuer and Gulf were often seen together, even if there was no formal link between the two brands. There is of course the famous image of Steve McQueen (above) showing him wearing his Gulf-sponsored white racing overalls on the set of the 1971 movie Le Mans. Also present and correct are the Heuer Chronograph badge and of course the Heuer Monaco 1133B.
Gulf’s racing colours are light blue and orange (technically, 3707 Zenith Blue and 3957 Tangerine with a separating line- 3748 Navy Blue- between the two colours), most famously worn by the Ford GT40 in 1968 and 1969. The official Ford team was not the first to race a GT40 in Gulf colours, with Gulf Oil executive Grady Davis racing the livery in 1967. So why is the “Gulf” colour scheme one of racing’s most famous? We loved this perspective from graphic designer Wade Johnson, in his post The Colour of Gulf Racing.
For me, when I think about what is from a design perspective that makes Gulf racing cars work, it is a combination of things; First there is the intense color pallet which was different from any other at the time it was introduced. Then there are the classic sweeping lines of the Le Mans cars. Long low to the ground, sinuous sweeping arcs that visually scream speed. Then there is a consistent shape that is used across all the cars in the livery. Oh, and that three prong stripe that runs along the bottom edges of the car, gathers at the nose and sweeps backward to the rear of the car.
The stripe might vary slightly in shape, but it is always recognizable across all of the cars throughout Gulf’s racing heritage starting in the mid 1960′s. No matter what car this color and graphic scheme is applied to, it always reads Gulf Racing. It is an unmistakable color and design combination even almost 40 years after being introduced.
You can read the full history of the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf series here.
2018 Monaco Gulf 50th Anniversary Edition- CAW211T
In June 2018, TAG Heuer launched a limited edition Gulf Monaco, this time to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first Gulf Racing Victory at Le Mans in 1968. The 50th Anniversary Gulf, reference CAW211T is the same watch as the standard Gulf watch, but with the following changes:
- Light blue stripe on the dial rather than dark blue
- Black leather strap (rather than the blue strap)
- Gulf 50th Anniversary case back
- Numbered Editions XX/50
2018 CAW211R- Live Shots
The 2018 Monaco Calibre 11 Gulf Edition is the fourth Gulf-branded Monaco that has been produced over the last 12 or so years, and the first new Gulf Monaco since 2009. This is the first Heuer- branded Gulf LE, the first to use the Calibre 11 movement and the first to feature a blue dial. The dial is dominated by the traditional blue and orange Gulf stripes, the colours of which are also used for the wonderful bespoke leather strap..we love this strap design.
Price and Availability- Monaco Calibre 11 Gulf Edition
The CAW211R Gulf Monaco was first launched as a US-only model in September 2017 with a price of US$5,900. The good news now is that the watch is available worldwide, following the signing of a global brand licencing agreement with Gulf Oil International.