This year was always going to be about big watch anniversary editions. We’ve already seen the 50th anniversary editions from Zenith and Omega. And now TAG Heuer has unveiled the second (of the planned five) limited edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic square-shaped chronograph in June.
The first limited edition was introduced during the Monaco Grand Prix in May. The new TAG Heuer Monaco 1979-1989 Limited Edition was introduced in the French city that played an integral role in building the status of the Monaco in the world of watch collecting: Le Mans during an event last week.
The original Heuer Monaco was introduced in 1969 as one of the world’s first chronographs with a self-winding movement. In 1971, the actor Steve McQueen wore a Heuer Monaco while acting in the cult film Le Mans. The Monaco of 1969 followed the design codes of the late ’60s and early ’70s: colorful dial, subdials in contrasting colors and a case that wasn’t round.
The case was eye-catching not only because of its rectangular shape but also because the crown was placed on the left side – a peculiarity of automatic Caliber 11, which Heuer developed in conjunction with Breitling, Hamilton-Buren, and Dubois Dépraz.
The watch that was unveiled in Le Mans is dedicated to the second decade of the Monaco’s production life, from the years 1979 to 1989. The stainless-steel timepiece is limited to a total of 169 pieces, the same amount as the first limited release, and features a bright red dial that stands out compared to the cool blue design historically affiliated with the Monaco.
Contrasting with the sunray dial layout is the two rhodium-plated subdials with curved edges that differ from the square registers seen on the typical production Monaco. The rest of the dial features black and white accents that effectively complement the black-tipped hour and minute hands. These hands are coated with a heaping of Super-LumiNova.
On the caseback, the new watch is engraved with the period-appropriate Monaco Heuer logo. It’s also worth mentioning that the branding on the watch’s dial is sans TAG as well in a nod to the design’s archival authenticity. Inside the watch is the modern take on the original Heuer Caliber 11 with a quick-change date, 28,800-vph balance frequency, and a 40-hour power reserve in addition to its integrated chronograph function. The TAG Heuer Monaco 1979-1989 Limited Edition is placed on black calfskin leather strap punctuated with holes in red. It’s priced at $6,550.