Launched in 1969, the Heuer Monaco was the first watch ever that sported a square water resistant case. It was equipped, along with new versions of the Heuer Carrera and Heuer Autavia, with the famed Caliber 11 — the world’s first Chronomatic automatic chronograph movement. Thus, this trio of Heuer watches was the very first family of automatic chronograph wristwatches. The Monaco’s square case measured 39mm with the pair of pushers on the right side of the case while the crown was on the left side. The dynamic square dial featured a circular track, two registers at 3 and 9 o’clock, and a date window at 6 o’clock. The Heuer Monaco reference 1133’s distinct look garnered some attention when it was released, but just two short years later, it would be propelled into iconic status.
In 1971, Steve McQueen stared in the film Le Mans about the famous endurance auto race, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Playing a racecar driver, McQueen modeled his appearance on camera after Jo Siffert, a top racecar driver during the time and a Heuer ambassador. As such, McQueen dressed the part by slipping on a white tracksuit with the Heuer logo and strapping the Heuer Monaco 1133 on his wrist. This fateful wardrobe choice has forever associated the Monaco with the legendary actor and motorsports in general. The Heuer Monaco eventually disappeared from the Heuer’s catalog in the mid 1970s only to be later revived by TAG Heuer.
Modern TAG Heuer Monaco Watches
TAG Heuer brought back the Monaco watch in 1997 with the limited edition Monaco CS2110. Interestingly, the logo used on this particular watch was the old Heuer logo rather than the new TAG Heuer one. After a few years, the Monaco switched to TAG Heuer logo and the collection was fleshed out with a number of new models. In 2004, the automobile engine-inspired Monaco V4 was released where a caliber’s traditional wheels and pinions was replaced by belts and ball bearings. The Monaco 24 was introduced in 2009 in honor of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, which was clearly illustrated in the watch’s Gulf Oil racing colors. And in 2015, TAG Heuer unveiled the Monaco Caliber 11 “Steve McQueen” ref. CAW211P as a tribute to the celebrated watch in the film. The Monaco Grande Date collection, exclusively for ladies, is sized at 37mm with the option of diamonds.
Buying Pre-Owned TAG Heuer Monaco Watches
With a rich heritage infused with watch innovations, celebrity status, and exciting motorsports, the TAG Heuer Monaco is not only a unique looking sports watch, but also one that is relevant in both pop culture and watchmaking history. An interesting addition to any collection, vintage Heuer Monaco chronographs, secondhand TAG Heuer Monaco Caliber 11 watches, and used Monaco Grande Date for ladies can all be had in the secondary market at great prices.