Made famous by Steve McQueen and on the streets of Monaco, the TAG Heuer Monaco timepiece turned ‘50’ in style at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, last weekend. TAG Heuer has been official timekeeper of the Monaco GP since 2011, and the Swiss watchmaker is the official timepiece for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team.
To honor this milestone, TAG Heuer created five editions to symbolize different decades from 1969 to 2019 of the Monaco timepiece. The TAG Heuer Monaco is deemed a daring and iconic watch which is instantly recognizable. Every aspect of the Monaco timepiece design was radical, and went where no other watch had gone before in terms of design and technology. Not only was the TAG Heuer Monaco the first ever water-resistant square watch, it was also the first to feature an automatic-winding chronograph movement.
The TAG Heuer Monaco 50th Anniversary Edition is limited to just 169 timepieces in the world.
How a unique timepiece becomes an Icon
When the Heuer Monaco (TAG was not part of the company name at the time) was introduced at simultaneous press conferences in New York and Geneva on 3 March 1969, journalists and watch aficionados around the world were amazed. Every aspect of the watch’s design was radical, and went where no other watch had gone before in terms of design and technology. The Monaco’s daring and iconic design made it instantly recognizable, with its never-before-seen water-resistant square case.
This was the perfect complement to the advanced technology being presented by the Swiss watchmaker at the time. Developed and commercialized by Heuer, the Caliber 11 was the world’s first automatic-winding chronograph movement.
A year after it was launched, the Monaco was seen on the wrist of brand ambassador and racing driver Jo Siffert, and in 1971 it shared the cinematic limelight with Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans.
TAG Heuer 50th Anniversary Edition Specifications
Movement: TAG Heuer Automatic Calibre 11
Functions: Chronograph with seconds and minutes; date, hours, minutes & small seconds at 3 o’clock
- 39 mm
- Fixed and bezel in stainless steel
- Sapphire crystal
- Polished steel crown at 9 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock
- Water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar)
- Steel caseback with “1969-1979 Special Edition” and “One of 169” engravings
- Green dial with Côtes de Genève
- Sunray black gold plated small counters, polished
- Facetted indexes, brown and yellow touches on hands and indexes
Strap: Brown calfskin leather strap, polished folding clasp in stainless steel
- Each of the special-edition models comes in a box with colors that match the watch and the decade it represents
- The watch is placed on a yellow cushion and surrounded by a green interior – the same colour found on the dial.