TAG Heuer just released a super cool new version of its truly iconic Monaco chronograph, a watch that is arguably more associated with motorsport than any other. As the Titan name suggests, the major change for this new model is the addition of a super light titanium case.
The Grade 2 titanium here is displayed in an almost industrial light. Instead of something like the relatively light, highly-polished Grand Seiko alloy of titanium, TAG Heuer is wearing its titanium less as a lightweight alternative to steel and more as a distinct look. Its comparatively dark color has a rough, ostensibly sand-blasted, surface that exudes toughness.
One of my favorite things about this dial is that it just says Heuer, not TAG Heuer, giving it a vintage touch. The silver sunburst dial also complements the gray case nicely. The sparse, but nonetheless prominent, red accents at 12:00 and on the seconds hand give the watch just enough visual flair. I don’t even dislike the date complication for once; the shape and position go very well with the subdials and balance the dial against the Monaco and Heuer logo.
You might have already noticed the cool left-hand crown layout of the watch, again, a lovely vintage throwback. That’s thanks to the Cal. 11 movement, which is, at heart, an SW300-1 with a chronograph module.
That’s really my only concern with this watch. By using the Cal. 11, you do get this cool vintage pusher/crown layout, but you miss out on the genuinely impressive Heuer 02 found in many other Monacos now. That’s not to say it’s a bad movement, but you miss out on some of the advantages of next-gen TAG Heuer movements. For instance, the power reserve is much greater and the movement far more attractive (at least to me) in the 02. That’s something that Monaco fans are going to have to balance: a super cool case, and indeed a case that is really only feasible using this movement, versus other Monacos with next-gen movements.
The Titan is arguably the best looking Monaco since the Gulf re-release (another Cal. 11 model that has a simple Heuer logo on it) and I can see it being very desirable. You do pay a considerable premium for the titanium, however, at $7,900, making it nearly $1,400 more than the very similar, and also cool, Gulf model, or almost $1,300 more than comparable Heuer 02-powered steel watches.
As a result, choosing it is a bit complex; I do think it’s the best looking Monaco available today, but it’s hard to accept the price increase without that corresponding next-gen movement. With some sort of reconfigured Heuer 02 to allow for the LHD layout, I would say it’d be a no-brainer, but as it stands, the Monaco fan must seriously consider the alternatives, including Cal. 11 alternatives, before getting this one. Nonetheless, I welcome the addition of such a great looking watch as an option, one I think many people will find worth the price increase. Click here to learn more.