TAG Heuer Introduces the Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch

The brand's first rattrapante wristwatch.

Continuing from the unique piece made for the previous edition of Only Watch, TAG Heuer again experiments with its racing model for the upcoming charity auction. The Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch is the brand’s first-ever mechanical split-seconds chronograph, and channels strong avant-garde styling.

Initial thoughts

Finally adding a mechanical split second chronograph to the brand’s capabilities is a significant step for a TAG Heuer, who stand on their history of producing sporting chronographs.

In contrast to the Monaco Carbon from 2021, the watch exhibits a significantly bolder aesthetic, aligning more closely with what one would expect from Richard Mille. However, unlike its counterpart, TAG Heuer’s approach to skeletonisation is tastefully restrained, focusing on a minimalist display rather than an overtly flashy appearance.

One potential drawback of this release is the auction estimate, which ranges from CHF150,000 to CHF300,000. The inclusion of the new calibre and the utilisation of premium materials can justify the higher price.

However, it is worth noting that the price point is consistent with what last year’s model achieved, which was CHF290,000, despite only having an estimate of between CHF50,000 to CHF100,000. 

The winning bidder of this watch will also get a VIP experience of the Monaco Grand Prix next year, with access to the TAG Heuer hospitality suite, among other experiences over the weekend. 

Avant-garde design

Expertly merging avant-garde design with the complex split-seconds chronograph complication, this Monaco features an open worked dial with an anthracite finish achieved through sandblasting and vertical brushing.

Positioned atop the movement’s bridges are the minute and hour registers of the chronograph, accentuated by red lacquered hands. At the six o’clock position is a silvered seconds sub-dial that is accompanied by a polished rhodium-plated hand.

It is housed in a square-shaped case that measures 41 mm in diameter and 15.2 mm high, which is 2 mm larger than the standard production model. The case is crafted out of crystallised titanium (officially referred to as “texturised titanium”), in which the material undergoes a controlled process which produces a crystallised effect on the surface and improves resistance to scratches. 

At its core lies the TH81-00 movement which is constructed entirely from titanium. This automatic calibre has been given an artisanal touch, showcasing a graté damier pattern executed by artisans from Artime and a hand-painted oscillating weight in a rainbow hue by dial artist André Martinez. 

The TH81-00

Key facts and price

TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch
Ref. CBW2180.FC8321 

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 15.2 mm
Material: Crystallised titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: TH81-00
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and rattrapante
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Calf leather with folding clasp

Limited edition: Piece unique
Availability: To be sold at Only Watch on November 5, 2023
Estimate: CHF150,000 – 300,000 

For more information, visit Onlywatch.com.


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