TAG Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen Boutique Edition
Raffaella, editorialist for Horbiter, is from Rome and rarely comes to Naples for a visit; but this summer, with the complicity of a historical regatta and a close friendship with the undersigned, she made an exception to the rule. A vintage watch collector, fashion blogger, and manager, she promised we wouldn’t have talked, at least for a week-end, about the passion we have in common that has pushed us in this ambitious project.
Unfortunately, we have both surrendered; accomplice were the beautiful boutiques in town and the fatal attraction that any wristwatch has on us, we were captured by the windows of a renowned and traditional Neapolitan watch boutique, Errico Gioielli, located on the Vomero hill. In particular, we were attracted by the TAG Heuer Monaco, an icon in the luxury watch world. Thanks to the boutique staff’s kindness and affability, we were able to have a 30 minutes “hands-on” review of not “any” Monaco (nevertheless beautiful) but the TAG Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen Boutique Edition. Yes, you heard it: 30 minutes on the wrist. For we believe it takes that long to convince someone they like a product and purchase it, not a week; unless we are dealing with watches that are particularly elaborate and oversized, we would walk into a boutique with very clear ideas.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen Boutique Edition is a very balanced watch, the TAG Heuer’s flagship; on the market since 1969, it is associated to one of the most fascinating pilot-actor in history, Steve McQueen. Nowadays, it is highly valued in its original version also on international auctions. Renewed in 2009, it gained 1 mm in the case that went from 38 to 39 mm ( the first square waterproof case in the world in 1969) and the sapphire crystal that replaced the plexiglass from the previous version.
Powered by an improved calibre, internally known as Calibre 12 that is based on the renowned ETA 2892 base module, but unlike its predecessor, the Calibre 17, it incorporates a chronographic module of Dubois-Depraz’s origin.
Here comes the fun: shortly after the collection renewal, TAG Heuer has awaken the appetite of the purists by launching an entire range with only the Heuer logo (the very first being the 40 years anniversary edition) and a winding crown placed on the left side.
This version is the third in a chronological order after the first two presented respectively with grey and silver dial (with orange hands) which have now become extremely sought after. We're talking about that version of the TAG Heuer Monaco closest to the original: logo Heuer on the dial, winding crown, folding clasp on the perforated leather strap and finally, winding rotor visible through the sapphire caseback.
On the wrist, an example of comfort and class, only the part of the crown internal to wrist could be slightly annoying, but these are just tiny details. It is powered by the Calibre 11, as written on the white and blue dial, which distinguishes itself from the Calibre 12 for a different version of the chronographic module that allows mounting the movement with the inverted crown.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen Boutique Edition is a must-have for collectors of the limited edition versions of the TAG Heuer Monaco. What could we desire more? Icing on the cake: a in-house movement, but we believe it is just a matter of time since this road has already been taken. Probably, the in-house calibres available for lay-out and dimensions (1887) cannot actually fit the TAG Heuer Monaco’s case.
(Photo credit: Google; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®