The Monaco is one of Tag Heuer’s most iconic and recognizable models. The Monaco has been a hit since 1969, and has been their showpiece ever since.
Why is this watch so important for Tag Heuer? Is it just the special shape, or is there more to this story? Let’s find out!
The Monaco was introduced by Heuer in 1969 in honor of the Monaco Grand Prix. Back then, the Monaco was seen as revolutionary, because it was the first square cased chronograph. When Steve McQueen wore the watch in the 1971 classic ‘Le Mans’, the Monaco was instantly brought to a legendary status. 50 years later and decades after McQueen’s death, the Monaco is still linked to McQueen, and McQueen is still linked to the Monaco.
Heuer discontinued the Monaco in the mid 1970’s. When McQueen was gaining renewed popularity in the 1990’s (even though he died in 1980), Heuer decided to re-introduce the watch in 1998.
The Monaco has had countless variations and different editions, but always with the same recognizable DNA.
The incredibly popular design of the Monaco didn’t mean that Tag Heuer would just sit around and rake in the profits. They have always invested in improving the movement and experimenting with complications, without affecting the aesthetic too much.
In 2007, Tag Heuer even won the ‘iF Product Design Award’ for the Monaco caliber 360 LS Concept Chronograph. Over 2.200 watches competed, but the new Monaco caliber took home the prize.
Most complicated Monaco
Tag Heuer released the Monaco V4, a true horological marvel, in 2004 at Baselworld.
The V4 was a way for Tag Heuer to flex with their craftsmanship and skill, and show the world what they were capable of making. The Monaco V4 had an exceptional belt-driven movement. In 2014, the engineers at Tag Heuer out-did themselves again, and released an updated Monaco V4, the first watch in the world that featured a belt driven tourbillon.