On the opening day of the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, TAG Heuer takes the covers off the Heuer Monaco Special Edition, which takes its cues from the Monaco ref. 74033N, the all-black model from the 1970s nicknamed the “Dark Lord”. While it might look like a reissue at a glance, the new Monaco ticks all the right boxes in terms of vintage-inspired design without being a remake.
While TAG Heuer frequently turned to vintage remakes in recent years, the brand has now pivoted towards contemporary designs and concepts, a move exemplified by the Carbon Monaco and Carrera Plasma. The new Monaco Special Edition continues that – but at an affordable price point.
The original “Dark Lord” is an attractive watch – the all-black look goes well with the square case and 1970s feel – and so the new Monaco is as well. But the new model is appealing because it is not a one-for-one remake, which would have been an easy to pull off but less interesting.
The special edition manages to channel the feel of the vintage original by using rose gold accents on the dial, along with the textured outer section that brings to mind vintage synthetic leather straps.
But it is entirely modern in materials and mechanics. The case is coated titanium, while the movement is the in-house Heuer 02. And this costs only US$300 more than a Monaco powered by an ETA movement, making it an easy choice for anyone who likes the model.
Once the most valuable vintage Heuer chronograph, the Monaco “Dark Lord” serves as inspiration for the new launch, which has a smartly designed dial in colours that evoke the vintage Monaco without being explicitly vintage elements. Most obvious are the rose gold-plated hands and indices that recall the aged tritium on the vintage original.
The dial is made up of two parts: a concentrically-brushed centre along with an unusually textured outer section that’s been stamped to give it a granular surface inspired by tyres and asphalt.
The case is traditional Monaco in both style and dimensions, measuring 39 mm by 39 mm with the angular, flat surfaces that define the model.
Finished with a matte, blasted finish, the case is titanium that’s been coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC), a hard-wearing coating that gives it a muted finish with only the slightest tiny of gloss. Though TAG Heuer has utilised DLC-coated titanium for other models, it’s been applied for the first time to the Monaco.
Unlike the classical Monaco, however, this has the crown at the conventional, three o’clock position as a result of the in-house movement within.
In contrast to the most recent iteration of the Monaco that also had a titanium case, this is equipped with the Calibre Heuer 02, an in-house calibre with an 80 hour power reserve. It’s a solid, industrial chronograph movement with a column wheel and vertical clutch.
Key facts and price
TAG Heuer Monaco Special Edition 2022 Monaco Grand Prix
Diameter: 39 mm
Material: Titanium with DLC coating
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: Calibre Heuer 02
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours
Strap: Alligator with folding clasp
Limited edition: No
Availability: From May 2022 at TAG Heuer’s online shop and boutiques
For more, visit tagheuer.com.
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