TAG Heuer’s iconic Monaco, one of the most popular chronographs ever made, got a significant update today. It received an attractive new black dial, but more importantly, it’s now offered on a great looking bracelet. This, of course, in addition to its in-house Heuer 02 movement, a sophisticated automatic chronograph.
We’ll begin with the new dial. Naturally, this is not the first time the Monaco has appeared with a black dial, but it is the first time you’ve been able to pair the new Heuer 02 movement with a black dial. It has a subtle sunburst texture to it, and this small touch of sophistication, along with other details, keeps it from becoming something akin to a tool watch. The Monaco is extremely sporty, but it has an air of refinement to it.
The face is accented with two white subdials contrasting against a black backdrop, emphasizing high-legibility. Meanwhile, touches of red throughout bring out the sporty character of the watch.
The biggest news, however, is not the dial, but the bracelet, and again we see that interesting combination of sportiness and sophistication. The tool watch incarnation of this would have simply been brushed, but there’s a nice contrast here between the polished center links and the brushed H-shaped links. Do keep in mind that if you’re not looking for a Monaco on a bracelet but you like this new black dial, it is available with the more conventional leather strap as well.
But I’d probably get the bracelet, and one reason I like it so much is that it does a great job of matching the refined look of the Monaco’s current case, with its alternating brushed and polished motif, and a hint of gem-cut inspiration throughout. The steel watch is fairly restrained, too, at 39mm, making this a plausible everyday sports watch.
The good looks aren’t just skin deep. Inside is the brand’s latest and greatest chronograph (short of the haute horology O2T, anyway), the Heuer 02. This lovely in-house automatic has a very cool industrial finish, and the benefit of all of the usual quality chronograph features, like a column wheel and vertical clutch, in addition to an impressive 80 hour power reserve.
The current lineup of Heuer 02-powered Monacos is that rare example that delivers on every major level that a watch can, combining good looks, history, and an impressive movement into a single package. The addition of a bracelet doesn’t really change that formula much either way, but basically exists to extend the model to people who, like myself, simply have a preference for bracelets. It looks great and really matches the feel of the watch. so for me, spending the extra $400 (this Monaco on the strap costs $6,350, while on bracelet that increases to $6,750) is a no brainer. That said, if you prefer your Monaco a little more traditional, then the leather option remains, as do the blue dial versions. All in all, a noteworthy addition to an increasingly excellent lineup of TAG Heuer over the last few years.
Please click either version of this new Monaco below to be take to their respective pages.