Red Fury: The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition

Red Fury: The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition

Introducing the new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition.

Jack Lenor Larsen, the inimitable American textile designer and author once said: “Of all the hues, reds have the most potency. If there is one electric blue, a dozen reds are so charged. Use them to punctuate white, burn into bronzes, or dynamite black.”

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition is almost an embodiment of this quote. The charged red on the dial has been beautifully punctuated by the use of silvery white on the dial. Visually stunning, this is one piece that will not go unnoticed.

Meet the new Monaco, bold and beautiful.

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition | Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The Who (is this new watch)

I gotta be honest; a new limited edition Monaco is not something that falls under the disruptive category. After all, it was only last year that the brand released 5 different iterations to celebrate the iconic watch’s 50th anniversary.  Or even closer to date, the brand also released a new Monaco that boasted of a new appearance — introduction of a permanent seconds sub-dial at 6’o clock — and also a technological first for the brand in terms of an in-house manufacture movement, the calibre Heuer 02. As a matter of fact I have one of the former releases personally, the green coloured 1969 to 1979 Edition, reference CAW211V.FC6466.

But even then, despite the multitude of Monacos out there, when I looked at this new release for the first time, my heart leaped a little with joy. 

There is just something visually and architecturally stunning about the legendary chronograph. The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition in red and silvery-white is no exception. 

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The Where (is this inspired from)

The new model has been released to mark the appointment of TAG Heuer as the official sponsor and timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique by the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM). The Swiss brand already has the privilege of being the Official Watch of the Monaco Grand Prix and the Official Watch Partner of the Monaco Top Cars Collection museum. 

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The Why (is this being launched)

The biannual Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend is one of the highlights of the classic-car racing calendar, and its passionate community of owners, drivers and spectators relish the spectacle of historic grand prix racing and love the warm spirit and camaraderie around the circuit. More than 200 grand prix cars representing 50 different car makers enter each event. Selected for their historical value and degree of originality, they compete in seven series spanning the periods from the 1930s to the 1970s. Drivers from more than 21 countries took part in the 2018 edition.

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition is being launched to mark the collaboration and these races. 

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The How (is this different)

The most striking and different part of this release from the 2019 50th anniversary iterations is the use of permanent seconds hand on the dial. Not saying this doesn’t have a precedence but compare to the last year’s models, this sub-dial counter at 6’o clock makes for the biggest difference. Another difference like we mentioned earlier would be the use of an in-house movement calibre Heuer 02 rather the iconic calibre 11. 

In terms of difference between this new release and the existing blue version featuring the calibre Heuer 02, there is an added nod to the watch’s link in this collaboration in the form of a small silver historic car logo of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique at the 1’o clock. The power reserve on these new watches is double of that of the calibre 11. Lastly the new model features a display caseback while the last year’s versions were all closed back.

Of-course there is also the difference in the location of the crown between calibre 11 and Heuer 02 but that’s something which is obvious given Heuer 02 is replacing calibre 12. 

This new model is produced in a limited edition of 1,000 watches, each of which is engraved with its unique number and the words “One of 1000” compared to the 169 pieces of last year’s run. 

One annoying aspect that both the last year and this new model share is the absence of “xx/1000” and the inclusion of “One of 1000”. We talked about this is our review of the 1969 Monaco and how for collectors it’s important to have a specific number. 

Another gripe is the use of TAG Heuer and not simply Heuer at 12’o clock. I am sure the purists will agree that the branding of only Heuer like on the 50th anniversary versions would have been a much better choice. While we are nitpicking let me also say that even though having a display case-back compared to the 50th anniversary release is much more welcome, the back would have done without substantial branding that unfortunately covers up most of the prime real estate.

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Case-back of the new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition | Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The What (are the tech specs: calibre Heuer 02 vs calibre 11 vs calibre 12) 

The reference CBL2114.FC6486 features the TAG Heuer Automatic Calibre Heuer 02 automatic manufacture chronograph movement. The movement measures 31mm in diameter, comprises of 33 jewels and 168 individual components including a column wheel and a vertical clutch, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), and is encased inside a fine-brushed and polished 39mm diameter steel case. The watch offers an impressive 80-hour power reserve and a 100m (10 ATM) water-resistance. The watch face shows the functions of central hour and minutes, a permanent second indicator and date aperture at 6’o clock, and a red central chronograph seconds hand.

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Calibre Heuer 02 | Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

Since we are looking at the Monaco’s in general, let’s briefly look at calibre 11 and see how it is different. Calibre 11 is an automatic chronograph movement based on a Sellita SW300-1 with a Dubois-Depraz — the original movement partners on this watch — module on top. Like the original 1133B, the modern Heuer Calibre 11 rotates the base movement 180-degrees to achieve that unique look of the pushers being on right and the crown on the left. The calibre 11 movement comprises of 59 jewels & beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’000 A/h) allowing for a decent standard of 40 hour power reserve.

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Calibre Heuer 02 | Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The outgoing Calibre 12 movement that this Heuer 02 replaces has been used apparently for the last time in a limited edition watch of 1000 pieces. It is available in a new colour segue, grey. This calibre 12 movement comprised of 33 jewels, 168 components & beat at the same frequency of 4Hz (28’000 A/h) allowing for an impressive 80-hour power reserve. The specifications between the new in-house movement Heuer 02 and calibre 12 are essentially the same. 

The When (is it being released)

Launching on July 27th, 2020.

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

Watch Ya Gonna Do About It

Featuring the new in-house movement and stellar looks, the new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition is indeed a handsome sports watch. Classically built in the now iconic Monaco architectural code, it’s new colour coding of red and silvery-white resembles the colouring of some of the sports car.

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

The rhodium-plated red sun-ray brushed dial is not only viably appealing but also provides for as a legible backdrop to the rhodium-plated indexes and hour and minute hands with white Super-LumiNova®. The red lacquered central hand and the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique logo at 1’o clock are added details that introduce more funk to the dial. Also, as a nod to the historic Heuer watch box, the new model is packaged in a red watch box that is decorated with a chequered racing flag. 

new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
Courtesy ©TAG Heuer

Overall, it’s another great looking watch from TAG Heuer, and is certainly one of the better looking Monacos out there. I have said this before in my previous Monaco review and I will harp on it again, that the size of 39x39mm might come off as bit big especially for anyone under 16.5cm wrist size, yet I would recommend first trying out any Monaco watch in person before saying no to it. There is a certain charm and unique personality to these and that’s very hard to resist. 

To find out more about the new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition and other TAG Heuer watches, please head here