Opinion: TAG Heuer’s Monaco has always been a driving force
As far as TAG Heuer’s luxury watches are concerned, you won’t find many more iconic than the TAG Heuer Monaco. Jack Heuer himself probably couldn’t have imagined the legendary status that his creation would ultimately achieve, as the Monaco paved the way for luxury watches that followed in so many ways. From its innovative technological advancements, to being sported by some of the most famous faces in Hollywood history, the TAG Heuer Monaco has more than earned its prestigious reputation. We’re honoured to be suppliers of this legendary wristwatch here at Leonard Dews.
A brief history of the Monaco
The Monaco was first introduced in 1969, turning heads with its unique square cased design, and water-resistance up to 100 metres. But the real draw came in the form of the Monaco’s Calibre 11 power source, which was one of the first automatic chronograph calibres made available to the public. With its groundbreaking power source and distinctive shape, the Monaco was all set to become a TAG Heuer icon.
But how exactly did this exceptional timepiece come to be? Well it all began when Jack Heuer, in association with Breitling, Hamilton-Buren and Dubois-Depraz, unveiled the final version of what was called the “Project 99”: the Chronomatic/Calibre 11 automatic chronograph movement (the Monaco’s power source). Originally, Jack Heuer planned to launch the Calibre 11 in the brand’s famous Carrera and Autavia collections but he decided against this, instead opting to make a far more significant impact with his new movement.
He ultimately decided to pool resources with Erwin Piquerez, a Swiss case manufacturer, who developed the Monaco’s water-resistant square case. Finally, on March 3rd 1969, Heuer introduced the world to the Monaco 1133B, and thus the first chapter of its illustrious history was written.
Before the release of Heuer’s Calibre 11 watches, Jack established a commercial deal with his close friend and Formula 1 driving ace, Jo Siffert. Siffert is credited as being the brand’s first ambassador, and started a long tradition of association between TAG Heuer watchers and motorsport. Siffert went on to serve as a producer on the 1970 movie ‘Le Mans’, which is where he met the king of cool himself, Steve McQueen. McQueen was inspired to play the role of Michael Delaney in the film thanks to Siffert himself, and took a shining to the strange, square shaped watch which Siffert sported while on set.
As a result, McQueen chose the Monaco 1133B for its unique and unconventional appearance, and wore it throughout the production of the film. From there, the sky was the limit for the Monaco. Nowadays, this trend of Hollywood ambassadors has continued into the modern day for TAG Heuer, with both Ryan Gosling, Patrick Dempsey, and Jacob Elordi carrying on the legacy started by McQueen back in 1971.
Aged to perfection
Since then, the Monaco has aged like a fine wine. In 2009, on the watch’s 40th anniversary, TAG Heuer introduced the CAW211A. This particular model was only limited to 1,000 pieces, and was presented in the classic “McQueen” colour scheme, consisting of a blue dial with white subdials. Since then, the formula for the reissued Monaco Calibre 11 has remained the same to this day, and continues to hold its own unique place in the upper echelons of luxury watch history.
This is a watch that epitomises class and boasts a rich history, and we’re proud to able to provide it to you, right here at Leonard Dews. TAG Heuer is known worldwide for its precision, performance and heritage, and you can explore our exquisite collection of TAG Heuer Monaco watches right here on our site
Whatever your luxury watch desires, we’ve got a diverse mix of automatic, manual and quartz luxury watches in our Blackpool showroom, including collections from high-quality brands like OMEGA, Longines and Patek Philippe. So, whatever you want for your personal collection, you can be sure that we’ll have plenty of options to suit you. And if you’ve ever got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask one of our friendly team. We’ve been established since 1877, giving us more than 140 years of experience to draw upon, so if you ever need any advice, you can count on us to help!