TAG Heuer this week launched the third of five limited-edition tributes to the Monaco’s 50th anniversary. The new Monaco 1989-1999 Monaco Limited Edition takes its inspiration from the styles and trends of the 1990s with its grained gray dial (meant to recall industry and concrete) and sandblasted subdials featuring blue counters.
You might recall that to celebrate the Monaco’s anniversary, TAG Heuer is launching five new Monaco watches throughout the year, each inspired by the different decades from 1969 to 2019. The first of these models, inspired by the years 1969 to 1979, was unveiled at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix in May, while the second limited edition, draped in racing red and celebrating the period from 1979 to 1989, was presented in June in Le Mans, France.
During that red-dialed model’s debut in France, Jack Heuer himself favored the watch and placed it on his wrist. He then surprised those who gathered for the event by proclaiming the action as the first time he’d actually worn a Monaco, according to Catherine Eberlé-Devaux, TAG Heuer heritage director.
“The shape was always a bit too Avant Garde for his taste,” she explains. Regardless of whether he ever wore it, it was Heuer who led the Monaco’s development and marketing in 1969.
This new model is decidedly not red, though its does have red indexes, a red central seconds, red-tipped hands and a red logo frame in the dial’s center. The blue of the Heuer logo and minute and second counters contrast with the various red accents. The color scheme continues with the blue perforated calfskin strap with red stitching. Inside is Caliber 11, the modernized version (with a Sellita base and Dubois-Dépraz module) of the historic automatic chronograph movement Heuer built in 1969 with Hamilton and Breitling.
Right to left
As with the original, the pushers here are on the right of the case while the crown is on the left. According to Eberlé-Devaux, there are two stories told over the past five decades that purport to explain the left-side crown. One has it that the winding gears in the initial models are closer to the crown on the left, which is technically more efficient.
The other story notes that by placing the crown on the left Heuer was emphasizing its groundbreaking automatic chronograph movement, differentiating the Monaco from traditional manual-wind chronographs with right-side crowns. In fact, the move of the crown from right to left was highlighted in Monaco advertisements of the era.
The latter story of course seems to be a logical marketing angle that explains a built-in technical feature of the premiere Caliber 11. Later Monaco models utilized right-side crowns, and several current versions fit with Sellita-based Caliber 12 still do.
MONACO 1989–1999 LIMITED EDITION, Reference CAW211X.FC6468
MOVEMENT: TAG Heuer Automatic Calibre 11 (Sellita base, Dubois-Dépraz module), diameter 30 mm, 59 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 40-hour power reserve
FUNCTIONS: Chronograph with seconds and minutes; date, hours, minutes and small second at 3 o’clock; chronograph minutes counter at 9 o’clock; central chronograph seconds hand
CASE: Diameter 39 mm, case in stainless steel, fixed bezel in stainless steel, sapphire crystal, polished stainless-steel crown at 9 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar), stainless-steel caseback with “1989-1999 Special Edition” and “One of 169” engravings
DIAL: Grey grained rhodium-plated dial, sandblasted rhodium- plated and blue counters, red on hands and indexes, luminescent hour and minute hands and indexes
STRAP: Blue calfskin leather strap, polished folding clasp in stainless steel
Limited to 169 watches
SPECIAL PACKAGING: Like the watch itself, the watch box is also inspired by the original. Each of the special-edition models comes in a box with colors that match the watch and the decade it represents. The 1990s-inspired model is packaged in a dark blue box decorated with the Heuer logo and a horizontal check-pattern stripe. The watch is placed on a red cushion and surrounded by a grey interior – the same colors found on the dial.