50 Years Of The Tag Heuer Monaco

August 14th—2019

In 1969, Heuer launched the Monaco, an eye-catching timepiece that became famous for its unique design and groundbreaking technology. Fifty years later, TAG Heuer celebrates this iconic model with new limited edition versions of the legendary originaland a new book.


In 1969, this watch was seen as radical, with its metallic blue dial, red and light blue hands, square case and placement of the crown on the left-hand side. TAG Heuer’s Honorary Chairman Jack Heuer, said at the time,“We wanted to create an outstanding and innovative product, something avant-garde. When I saw the square case, I immediately knew it was something special. Until then, square cases were only used for dress watches because it was not possible to make them water-resistant. We went forward with this unconventional design and negotiated the exclusive use of this revolutionary case for the Monaco wrist chronograph.”

Simultaneously, as a result of three years of close collaboration between watch brands Heuer, Breitling and Hamilton, the Calibre 11, the first automatic-winding chronograph movement. Jack Heuer, was not really a fan of the Monaco’s design either, but he believed the groundbreakingCalibre 11 innovation needed a design that would demand attention. The Monaco did exactly that.

Jack Heuer was convinced that motor racing was the right way to promote watches, including the Monaco. He wanted the watches (and dashboard timers) his company produced to be linked to the names and places connected with major races. The Monaco got its name from the glamorous and well-known Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. Additionally, TAG Heuer is the Official Watch of the Monaco Top Cars Collection museum and has close ties to the Automobile Club de Monaco.

In 1971, the Monaco shared the cinematic limelight with Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans and then in the mid-1970s, the Monaco received a makeover. At that time, black was becoming a fashionable color, and so the Monaco was cloaked in a black anodized case. Known as The Dark Lord, this fragile and rare model was enticing and today it is coveted by collectors worldwide. Heuer officially became TAG Heuer in 1985, andin 1998, the Monaco’s story continued with a relaunch model inspired by the original. This time, it was received acclaim and now is viewed as one of the brand’s centerpieces.

To honor the 50th anniversary of the TAG Heuer Monaco, the Swiss watchmaker is releasing a book that captures the history and spirit of the unlikely icon. Paradoxical Superstar documents the lifetime of the Monaco with archive excerpts, never-before-seen pictures, and sketches of the designs and movements. Renowned British journalist Nicholas Foulkes wrote a chapter focusing on the Monaco’s history from 1969 to today. Writer and watch expert Gisbert Brunner authored a chapter about the technical innovation that has played an important role in the Monaco’s success. Famous American writer, editor and watch aficionado Michael Clerizo documents the Monaco’s relationship with Steve McQueen in the third chapter of the book. Underscoring the timepiece’s bond with its namesake city, H. S. H. Prince Albert II of Monaco wrote the book’s foreword.

Experience the brand’s rich history and the new, collectable Monaco Collection at our Diagonal Store in Barcelona, within the TIMEVALÉE boutique.

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