Today in New York, TAG Heuer just presented the third of five limited-edition timepieces to mark the Heuer Monaco’s 50th anniversary. We could have expected the brand to come with faithful vintage re-editions, but instead, TAG Heuer will create 5 watches inspired by 5 different decades. After a funky 1970s Green version and a bold, fiery red racing-inspired model for the 1980s, it is time to look at the 1990s, a decade driven by industrial-design and street-style fashion. Meet the TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition and its unprecedented grey-blue design.
50th Anniversary – 5 decades – 5 TAG Heuer Monaco
The Heuer Monaco was presented in 1969. Back then, it was one impressively modern watch, for two reasons. First, the square shape of its case was bold, unprecedented and was matched with an equally bold, brushed blue dial. Second, inside the case was Calibre 11; a movement known as the Chrono-Matic, which was the result of a joint-venture uniting Heuer, Breitling, Hamilton-Buren and chronograph specialist Dubois-Depraz to develop one of the earliest self-winding chronograph movements. Cutting-edge back then, the Heuer Monaco and subsequent TAG Heuer Monaco watches would become some of the most recognizable pieces. Success wasn’t immediate, however – as we were reminded by TAG’s CEO in this video and Patrick Dempsey here. It is mostly when the watch will be re-introduced in the 1990s that it will become an iconic watch.
The 1969 Heuer Monaco Blue Dial ref. 1133B
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Heuer Monaco, which will be celebrated with the introduction of 5 different limited edition watches, all representing a specific decade. The first of these models, inspired by the years 1969 to 1979, was unveiled at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix in May – where we were present, as you can see in our video reports here and here. This Monaco, with a cool stripped green dial, evoked the funky 1970s. You can read our hands-on article with the TAG Heuer Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition here.
The funky 1970s-inspired TAG Heuer Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition
The second limited edition, celebrating the period from 1979 to 1989, was presented in June in Le Mans, France. This model pays tribute to the racing history of TAG Heuer and the Monaco, with a fiery red livery – an ode to what probably was the greatest era of Formula 1, with turbocharged machines, Senna, Prost and many more incredible drivers. You can read our hands-on article with the TAG Heuer Monaco 1979-1989 Limited Edition here.
The racing-red TAG Heuer Monaco 1979-1989 Limited Edition
Today, at an event hosted by TAG Heuer in New York, the brand introduces the third of five limited-edition timepieces to mark the Heuer Monaco’s 50th anniversary. Meet the “industrial-inspired” TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition.
The TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition
As said, the idea with the limited edition Monaco watches for the 50-year celebrations are to bring one watch per decade. For the 1990s, with the Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition, TAG Heuer takes its inspiration “from the themes, styles and trends of the 1990s, with a steely industrial appearance reflecting the straightforward street style characteristic of this beloved decade“. Without going too much into the details of the raison d’être and inspirations, let’s have a look at this rather surprising but no less appealing third edition of the #Monaco50.
Just like other editions so far, the new Monaco 1989-1999 is based on the traditional “Steve McQueen” re-edition Monaco Calibre 11 reference CAW211P. The evolutions are only for colours, straps and dials. This means that once again here, we find back the classic 39mm x 39mm square-shaped case in stainless steel, with brushed and polished surfaces, a bevelled sapphire crystal on top and the signature crown positioned at 9 o’clock – without that, a Monaco wouldn’t really be a Monaco…
Inside the case is the modern TAG Heuer Calibre 11, a movement based on an automatic Sellita SW-300 with inverted Dubois-Depraz chronograph module, ticking at 4Hz and with a 40-hour power reserve. It is hidden behind a closed steel caseback with “1989-1999 Special Edition” and “One of 169” engravings.
What’s new then on this new TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition? Mostly, the dial… and it is quite a surprising dial we have in front of us. Clearly never seen before, the dial of this third watch in the series plays on textures and contrasts to remind of the industrial, street-style of the 1990s.
The base of the dial is deeply grained with a rhodium-plated surface, resulting in a metallic but matte colour. Hands and hour markers remain identical to the 2 previous watches and to the classic McQueen CAW211P. This means typical horizontal, polished, faceted applied indexes, and the “Monaco” hands filled with white Super-LumiNova. Several touches of red on the hands and markers bring the racing spirit.
The sub-dials are here presented in two-tone, with the tracks done in blue, while the centre part is sandblasted and rhodium-plated. To match the dial, the perforated racing strap is made of blue leather with red stitchings and red leather lining. It is secured by a “Heuer-shaped” folding buckle.
Price and availability
TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition reference CAW211X.FC6468 will be produced in 169 pieces only. The 1990s-inspired model is packaged in a dark blue box decorated with the Heuer logo and a horizontal check-pattern stripe. The watch is placed on a red cushion and surrounded by a grey interior – the same colours found on the dial. It will be priced at CHF 6,400 – EUR 5,950 – USD 6,550 and available now on the brand’s website (July 2019).
More details on this watch and the 50th-anniversary collection on TAG Heuer’s dedicated website.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.