As the engines roared last weekend in France, at the 24-hours of Le Mans, TAG Heuer took the stage to launch a very special version of the Monaco. This model rose to fame in part because it was on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the 1971 cult-classic ‘Le Mans’. At an exclusive event, TAG Heuer treated their guests at a screening of this movie, at the place where it was shot. Among them was Steve McQueen’s son Chad McQueen, but also brand ambassador Patrick Dempsey, Formula E champion Jean-Éric Vergne and Derek Bell, who not only won Le Mans five times but also drove one of the race cars in the movie.
This Monaco is the second of five limited-edition Monaco timepieces which TAG-Heuer is releasing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this iconic watch. Each of them is inspired by a decade of the history of the watch, this one covering 1979 – 1989. In terms of design, it is the deep red sunray dial that commands immediate attention. The beauty is that while such a color could have easily overpowered the design TAG Heuer balanced it out by making the subdials rhodium-plated. Also, the strap adds to making this watch a well-tuned creation as it is crafted from black calfskin, which is perforated with holes for that race-style look, yet the inside of those holes are coated with red lacquer. Subtle details like this really make this watch a captivating creation.
It was not only the Monaco itself that made history, also its movement did. Calibre 11 was among the very first automatic chronograph movements when it was presented to the world on March 3rd, 1969. A signature treat was that the crown of the watch was placed on the left side of the case, while the chronograph pushers sit on the right side. The Monaco 1979-1989 Limited Edition also has this feature, and is presented in a special box that also looks like it could have been designed in the decade this watch is dedicated to. At $6.550,- this TAG Heuer is even quite competitively priced, considering not only its unique looks but also the fact that there will only be 169 pieces made.