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TAG Heuer Celebrates Monaco in Racing Red

As part of TAG Heuer’s yearlong celebration of Monaco’s fiftieth anniversary, the Swiss watchmaker last week launched a bright red-dialed edition of the famed racing-inspired, square-cased timepiece.

The new watch is the second of five limited-edition Monaco watches set to debut this year to mark the anniversary. Offered with a black calfskin strap set with matching redlined holes, the limited edition (of 169 pieces) is designed to recall Monaco’s second decade, from 1979 to 1989. The first fiftieth anniversary limited edition, celebrating Monaco’s first decade, features a textured green dial with brown and amber accents.

Like the original watch, this newest edition retains its signature left-side crown and right-side pushers. Inside, TAG Heuer fits the modern version of its historic Caliber 11, now based on a Sellita SW-300 with a Dubois-Dépraz 2006 chronograph module.

TAG Heuer offsets the brilliant red sunray dial with two rhodium-plated subdials with curved edges as well as black and white accents and black-tipped hour and minute hands.

The Monaco’s bona fides are deeply ingrained in collector lore for several reasons. Famed as the first square watch with an automatic chronograph and the first square water-resistant watch, the Monaco was famously seen on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the 1971 movie “Le Mans.”

To further note the commemorative nature of the limited edition, TAG Heuer has engraved the vintage Monaco Heuer logo on the caseback of the new watch alongside “1979-1989 Special Edition” and “One of 169”. Based on the 1980s original models, TAG Heuer has also brushed the caseback with vertical and circular patterns. Price: $6,550.

Specifications: TAG Heuer MONACO 1979–1989 LIMITED EDITION

Movement: TAG Heuer Automatic Caliber 11 (based on a Sellita SW-300 with a Dubois-Dépraz 2006 chronograph module), 40-hour power reserve

Functions: Chronograph with seconds and minutes; date, hours, minutes and small seconds at 3 o’clock

Case: 39mm steel, fixed bezel in stainless steel, sapphire crystal, polished steel crown at 9 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, water-resistant to 100 meters, steel caseback with “1979-1989 Special Edition” and “One of 169” engravings

Dial: Red dial with sunray finishing, fine brushed rhodium-plated counters, polished, facetted indexes, black and white touches on hands and indexes

Strap: Black calfskin leather strap, polished folding clasp in stainless steel

Special Packaging: Each of the special-edition models comes in a box with colors that match the watch and the decade it represents. The 1980s-inspired model is packaged in a dark blue box decorated with the Heuer logo and a horizontal checker-pattern stripe. The watch is placed on a grey cushion and surrounded by a red interior – the same color found on the dial.

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