TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer H02 Ref: CBL2111.FC6453

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer H02 Ref: CBL2111.FC6453

So, everybody instantly recognises a Heuer Monaco, even people who aren’t into “watches”.

And this is particularly true for the “Steve McQueen” Monaco. It’s a combination of the watch’s square architecture and its vivid blue sunburst dial with two white sub-dials which makes it the classic it is and instantly recognisable as such.

It might surprise you to know that there have only been three updates to this watch during its whole lifetime since it was re-introduced to the Heuer stable in 1997.

The fact that the design “hasn’t changed” over the years means, much like the Porsche 911 or Rolex Submariner perhaps, each iteration looks the same and the visual changes are only noticeable when you compare one to another. Subtlety is good when it comes to watch design, evolve, and refine are the watchwords to follow.

What’s changed? I hear you ask.

Well, the dial has been updated to a sunburst blue rather than matt blue finish, and this really adds life to it. It’s a lovely blue and the radial sunburst finish plays with the light so that it’s everchanging.

The two sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock are no longer flat printed white onto the dial. Now, these sub-dials are now recessed, giving the dial added depth and interest, without being overly fussy. The ink used for the sub-dials has a slight metallic sheen to it, which again plays with the light and shadows.

There is a third register at 6 o’clock which you might not have noticed. This shows seconds, but with minimal crosshair quarter markers printed in white and with a silver hand, it fades into the background. It’s only noticeable when you need it.

Instead, it is the date window at 6’oclock which is seen first. Perfect.

The case increases in size, by 1mm, to 39mm but retains its sharp-edged, brushed, and polished surfaces. The pushers have been reshaped and made a little wider too. The watch today feels, and is, thicker but this is mainly because of the crystal.

The crystal is one of the major advances for this “Series 3” Monaco. Gone is the Plexiglass of old, and in comes, what must be very difficult to produce, Saphire Crystal. It sounds strange, but Saphire adds clarity and gives this latest version an extra aura of quality. It’s a clear window through which the dial shines. Brilliant.

Another major change, the beating heart of the Monaco has changed too. The Calibre 12 has been replaced by TAG Herer’s premier in-house movement, the Calibre Heuer 02. This new movement boasts an incredible 80-hour power reserve, which is some feat! This Monaco series is the first Monaco with a fully “in-house” chronograph movement since its 1969 release. The original calibre 11, launched in 1969 was a joint venture between Heuer and multiple other brands!

One benefit from using this integrated, rather than modular movement is that the crown and pushers are aligned for the first time. This is much more pleasing to the eye and adds to the impression of refinement.

Finally, the blue Aligator leather strap is still present, its deep blue matches the dial perfectly.

Undoubtedly, the new TAG Heuer Monaco is an extraordinary timepiece and a significant step up from Series 1 and 2 Monaco’s.

In unworn condition, highly desirable, and instantly recognisable as a Monaco; there’s no doubt about it, this is a future classic.

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