Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf In A Nutshell
Monaco is a watch dear to my heart, both because of the Steve McQueen connection and given I own the LE 1950-69 Heuer Monaco from 2019. But this is not about my preferences. There is more at play when it comes to the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf. There is that legacy since 1969. There is that contemporary Heuer 02 movement. There is that iconic square case. There is that Gulf partnership. There is that burst of vivid blue, turquoise, and orange colours. And there is that McQueen connection. Need I say more?
Just in case you aren’t aware, the original Monaco had come about as a result of the race between three watch brands — Seiko, Zenith, and a partnership between Breitling, Heuer and Hamilton-Buren — that wanted to be the first ones to introduce to the world an automatic chronograph. Then in 1969, Jack Heuer gave the world its first square-shaped automatic chronograph watch. We also know how in 1971 the watch became a cult icon when it was worn by none other than Steve McQueen, the King of Cool, in the movie Le Mans; and the rest is history.
Besides the bright blue colour of the main dial, I really love that the 12’o clock index has been replaced by the polished and rhodium plated appliqué “60” as a nod to the racing number on the Porsche Gulf racing cars.
The 5W1H Of The New TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf
The new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf features a 100m water-resistant 39 x 39mm square case and only 14.3mm thick stainless steel case with a lug-to-lug spacing of 48mm and interhorn spacing of 22mm. It replaces the outgoing TAG Heuer Gulf ref. CAW211R.FC6401 with an RRP of 9’500 AUD and bearing the calibre 11 movement.
The Monaco watch, even though universally acknowledged as a square watch — 39mmx39mm — is in fact not a complete square. It is the raised sapphire crystal glass that is almost a perfect square (even though it’s got a slight inwards curve at the 6 and 12’o clock sides) and visually lends most of the square look from a distance. But if look carefully, the case that is basically one monolithic chunk of stainless steel that houses the movement is actually an irregular quadrilateral. These curved sides of the Monaco bring a certain fluidity to the case, instead of a fixed & rigid perfect square.
Retailing for 10’250 AUD, the non-limited special edition is announced today on 30 March 2022 as part of the Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon).
Traditionally, TAG Heuer Monaco used to feature the Calibre 11 which 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.
But inside the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf reference CBL2115.FC6494 ticks the calibre Heuer 02. This automatic manufacture chronograph movement measures 31mm in diameter, is comprised 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 provides an impressive 80-hour power reserve.
“Of course, the design continues to be based on the three iconic colours of Gulf but this time in a more contemporary colour combinations: the special dark blue, turquoise, and orange. With these new elements and a little twist, this new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf version becomes all the more unique and features more refined Gulf touches”.Press Release
To find out more about the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy ©TAG Heuer. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties here.