Following its recent run of strikingly modern iterations of the classic Monaco, like the Skeleton Dial and the one-of-a-kind Only Watch split-seconds chronograph, TAG Heuer debuts the Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition alongside the side of the 2023 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.
Dressed in shades of grey during the day, the Night Driver transforms into something else altogether at night. It retains the outlines of the vintage original in terms of design, but the Night Driver gets a luminescent chapter ring and sub-dials for nighttime legibility – a nod to the Singapore Grand Prix’s status as the first-ever Formula 1 night race.
After the recent Monaco models that were very contemporary, the more traditional looks of the Night Driver are a positive development. And even then the Night Driver incorporates an intriguing twist, making it more than just a vintage-ish watch.
The Night Driver has a dial that uses Super-Luminova as a key element of the design, bringing to mind the Monza Flyback Chronometer. But here the lume is even more generously applied than on the Monza. Moreover, the grey tones of anthracite, grey opaline, and case coated in diamond-like carbon (DLC), complement the lume well, creating a vintage feel that evokes faded “ghost” dials while still being a modern watch.
Like other titanium Monaco models, the Night Driver is light in hand and on the wrist, despite the relatively large case. The thickness of the case, a consequence of the tall in-house movement inside, is arguably the only downside of the design.
The Night Driver priced at CHF9,300, a modest CHF500 hike over last’s year Monaco “Dark Lord”, which was identical in material terms but decidedly more vintage in style. This does cost more than the Monaco models utilises the ETA-based Calibre 11, but the in-house calibre here helps justify the price.
The Night Driver has a two part dial: a concentrically brushed central disc in anthracite with a chapter ring in Super-Luminova that is pale grey in the light and a vivid blue at night. The luminous chapter ring boosts nighttime legibility since the applied hour markers stand out in stark contrast against the blue lume.
Also luminous are the twin registers at three and nine, both square in form just like the vintage Monaco. At six o’clock is a “ghost” constant seconds register that is just crosshairs, improving the symmetry of the dial at a distance since the seconds register is barely there.
The case adheres to the traditional Monaco style dimensions, square, 39 mm in diameter, and 14.7 m high. It also features the characteristic angular, flat surfaces that are emblematic of the model. But it is rendered in lightweight titanium and finished with a matte sandblasting along with a coating of diamond-like carbon (DLC) that gives it a dark grey, faintly glossy appearance.
Unlike the vintage Monaco, the Night Driver has the crown at three due to the in-house Heuer 02 inside. The Heuer 02 is the brand’s workhorse in-house chronograph that has an 80-hour power reserve along with a column wheel and vertical clutch. It’s a solid performer, albeit quite thick, explaining the height of the watch case.
Key facts and price
TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition
Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 14.7 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: 90 hours
Strap: Calf leather with folding clasp
Limited edition: 600 pieces
Availability: At TAG Heuer boutiques, retailers and on Tagheuer.com starting October 2023
For more information, visit Tagheuer.com.
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