TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12
The TAG Heuer Monaco series comes in two collections: one with the Heuer aesthetics, Calibre 11, and a faithful reproduction of the original model dating to 1969, the other a more modern Monaco with chrono push buttons and winding crown located on the right, calibre 12 and TAG Heuer logo. We wrote about the former (click here for article) some time ago. As for the latter, and without considering the numerous limited editions, there are three versions: blue dial, black dial and the very latest, a watch that we believe exudes the most powerful racing spirit:
The signs are unmistakable: central hand of the chronometer, hours and minutes (partially) in red. As are the seconds hand at 3 o’clock and the chrono minutes hand at 9 o’clock. If you line up the three versions, this version of the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12 is a synthesis of the first two: taking the dial from the super classic black version and the red hands from the blue one (a homage to Steve McQueen):
With the writing “Calibre 12” at 6 o’clock in the same vibrant red as the pointers. Proof of how such a tiny detail can endow a watch with its own personality, in this case the aura of sports car racing, in one simple stroke. Because it immediately reminds you, especially if you’re a fan of car racing, of the badges on GTs. And since you can only tell the differences from direct comparison, and even though one of the two is not a chrono, observe the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12 dial side by side with the Monaco Sixty Nine (here). Equal (in concept), yet different:
Everything else is familiar and the word “Monaco!” immediately comes to mind, even without the logo on the dial to remind you. And it plays on the symmetry of the dial. The chrono push pieces are inclined, the two counters, typically 70's style, both have four digits. The date is at 6 o’clock. And a contribution is also made by the design of the lugs, so inclined that they almost disappear from sight if viewed from above, with the result that the leather bracelet almost seems to be “swallowed” by the case:
Lovers of mechanics who don’t have a Monaco in their collection can admire the movement through the sapphire crystal on the case back, secured by four screws. And if you want to know a little more, it’s an ETA 2892 with the addition of a Dubois-Depraz module for chronograph functions. A precise and reliable movement that TAG Heuer has personalized with a Côtes de Genéve decoration on the winding rotor. The final effect is given by the hours and minutes hands and by the rhodium plated markers that, thanks to a lightly curved, glare-proof sapphire crystal, provide a clear, bright view of this beautiful dial. What else would I like? Another limited edition with the three counters dial, if driven by the new 1969 in-house caliber.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®