Last Updated on May 21, 2021 by Calibre 11
After a COVID- enforced break last year, the Formula 1 cars are back on the streets of sunny Monaco this weekend for F1’s annual glamour race. Also back, but only one month after covers were whipped off the last short-run Monaco, is a limited edition TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph- the 2021 TAG Heuer Monaco Titan Special Edition.
2021 is proving to be a banner year for limited edition heritage-themed TAG Heuers, with two heritage Carrera 39mm watches launched, the 844 Tribute Aquaracer and now, a second Monaco LE to join the popular Green-dial edition launched in late April. The Monaco Titan Special Edition is based on the traditional Calibre 11 Monaco case, but with a twist: for the first time, the classic Monaco case is made from titanium.
And the name? Why Titan? It’s not a typo, but a play on words, as it not only refers to a person of great strength or importance in English, but is also close to the French word for titanium, titane.
The modern Monaco Calibre 11 was first released in 2009, with the 38mm 40th Anniversary Monaco, a limited edition of 1000 watches, which placed the crown on the left-hand side of the Monaco case for the first time since the 1970s. The Calibre 11 Monaco gained a permanent place in the TAG Heuer range in 2015, with the CAW211P model which gained 1mm in diameter from 2009’s CAW211A.
The blue Monaco Calibre 11 has been in the range since 2015, with TAG Heuer supplementing this watch with a series of limited edition Calibre 11s over the years.
While the case design is faithful to the 1998 Monaco re-edition, the 39mm case is made from Grade 2 titanium- Grade 2 meaning that it is pure titanium, unlike Grade 5 Titanium which is an alloy of titanium and aluminium. The main benefits of titanium are its resistance to corrosion and- more relevant in the world of watchmaking- its light weight. We’ve yet to have the chance to sit the Titan on the scales, but the titanium case will make a significant difference, as the standard Monaco in steel is a relatively large and hefty watch.
Interestingly, TAG Heuer has decided to go with a sandblasted finish on the case, which gives the watch a very different look to the standard model. There has been a sandblasted Monaco in the past- one of the 2019 50th Anniversary watches, which we’ll show you shortly.
The dial is something special- a sunburst silver dial, punctuated by the two recessed black registers. The colour scheme extends to the white sub-dial hands and the black detailing on the dial- the outer minuterie track, the date window and the base and tip of the hour and minute hands.
It’s because of this largely monochrome look that the two splashes of red make such an impact- a red central chronograph hand and a flash of red at the 12 o’clock register.
We love this dial- TAG Heuer is on a roll with its sunburst dials of late, and this is one of the very best, bringing back memories of last year’s Carrera 160th Anniversary Silver Edition. Silver is not a common dial colour for the Monaco, with there being only two other steel Silver dials Monacos from the past- the CW2112 from the early 2000s and the 2011 Calibre CAW211C.
The Calibre 11 lives! The Monaco Titan is the first new Calibre 11-powered Monaco to be released since the 2019 50th Anniversary collection, and pleasingly demonstrates that we’ll continue to see the left-crown Calibre 11 models sold alongside the three register Heuer 02 models launched last year. The Calibre 11 shares its name with the original 1969 Monaco movement, but the name is all they share: today’s Calibre 11 is a modular chronograph movement, featuring a Sellita SW300 base movement teamed with a Dubois Dépraz 2006 chronograph module.
The watch has the usual Monaco circular sapphire crystal (mimicking the steel case back of the original 1970s Monaco, which had a circular centre section). The difference this time is the contrast of the polished surfaces of the Calibre 11 movement to the matte finish of the sandblasted caseback.
The red “Heuer” logo is prominent, with the silver and red colour scheme consistent with the colours on the dial.
Strap- Ref. FC6496
The Titan is offered with a single strap- what TAG Heuer call a “rubber look” anthracite alligator leather strap with a titanium folding clasp
The Family Connection
If the Monaco Titan gives you a sense of déjà vu, you might be thinking of the last of the 50th Anniversary Monaco Calibre 11s from 2019, which has a similar case and dial design. Both feature a sandblasted case (steel for the 50th Anniversary watch) and a monochrome dial, with a splash of red on the 12-o’clock marker and the central chronograph hand. These are as close to panda/ reverse panda dial Monaco Chronographs as we’re likely to get for some time.
Price and Availability
The 2021 TAG Heuer Monaco Titan Special Edition goes on sale today (21 May 2021) from tagheuer.com and TAG Heuer boutiques, with 500 examples available. There’s is also a bespoke box for the watch, which we will add to this post as soon as photos are available.
Prices in key markets are as follows:
- Switzerland: CHF7,700
- Europe: €7,450
- North America: US$7,900
- Great Britain: £6,550
- Hong Kong: HKD 63,400