TAG Heuer have launched two new models to commemorate its partnership with the Automobile Club de Monaco (“ACM”)- the organisers of the famous Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The first of the watches is the Carrera Day-Date Calibre 16 “Monaco Grand Prix” Edition, a variation of the popular 43mm Day-Date range that sports its own unique dial. While the standard Day-Date model has a two-digit numeral at each 5-minute interval (“05”, “10” etc.), the Monaco GP Edition uses more traditional applied markers which take up less space on the dial and give the watch a more “open”, spacious look.
To further distinguish the new Carrera, the watch also gets a special external tachymetre bezel with the words "Monaco Grand Prix".
The watch uses the TAG Heuer Calibre 16 Chronograph movement, which is visible through a bespoke sapphire case back that is is decorated with the official logo of the Monaco Grand Prix. Another special feature exclusive to this model is the option of a rubber strap that is patterned like a racing tyre, with a stainless steel bracelet also available.
Appropriately, the second of the Monaco-themed Chronographs is the TAG Heuer Monaco ACM Calibre 12. Based on the black-dial Monaco, the ACM Edition adds flashes of Orange to give the watch a unique look. The central Chronograph hand and the hands on two sub-dials are Orange, as is the stitching on the Black leather strap. Hidden away is another splash of Orange- the reverse side of the strap is coated in a soft rubberised finish, which is a really nice touch.
The finishing touch is the logo of the Automobile Club de Monaco that sits above the date window at the 6 o’clock position.
Just like the Carrera Monaco Grand Prix Edition, the ACM Monaco has a sapphire case-back, which shows off the Calibre 12 movement. One of the benefits of the trend towards Sapphire case-backs in the watch industry is that it has forced brands, including TAG Heuer, to significantly improve the quality of the finishing on the movements. Previously, movements were only seen by watchmakers, but now that they are highlighted so clearly, finishes such as Perlage (the small circular patterns used on the plates) and Côtes de Genève (the vertical striping finish on the rotor) are becoming more common.
The two Monaco Chronographs are Limited Editions, with 3,000 Carrera “Monaco Grand Prix Edition” being available and only 1, 200 Monaco ACM Chronographs. TAG Heuer now release a number of special editions to commemorate various races in the Formula 1 Grand Prix season, but generally these are only available in a single country. It's appropriate given the worldwide reputation of the Monaco Grand Prix that these two Chronographs are available globally.
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