It’s been 48 years since Steve McQueen famously wore the Heuer Monaco in the movie Le Mans. Today, Le Mans is not only an immortal celluloid feature but an annual fixture of high octane, high performance vehicles of which Heuer, McQueen and the very name Le Mans forever shares an association. Lest someone is mistaken and limits TAG Heuer’s credibility to cinematic drivers (however iconic), it’s noteworthy to recall their relationships with some of the seminal F1 drivers of the 60s (Nikki Lauder, Jo Siffert, et al) and their partnership with Ferrari in the 1970s.
When it comes to key market segments, the brand’s high energy, high adrenaline positioning is telegraphed with equally provocative partners – consider Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin. Hence, the TAG Heuer Monaco 1979 – 1989 Limited Edition not only pays homage to its iconic role in McQueen’s arguably most famous role but also to the red hot racing world, neatly encapsulated with its sunray red dial and rhodium-plated subdials. Eschewing the crown, pusher right-sided alignment of modern TAG Heuer Monaco chronographs for the heritage left crown, right pushers, positioning, the Monaco 1979 – 1989 Limited Edition carries the proud tradition of the original square chronographs across the decades – its unconventional positioning has distinguished the Monaco over the past 50 years.
Launched at an exclusive event in Le Mans, TAG Heuer presented the second of five limited-edition 50th anniversary Monaco timepieces to mark the momentous milestone. Attended by Steve McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen; five-time winner of Le Mans and driver in the movie Le Mans, Derek Bell; actor, race car driver and brand ambassador Patrick Dempsey; and race car driver, Formula E Champion 2017–18 and brand ambassador Jean-Éric Vergne, the 50th birthday celebration took place in its “cultural birthplace” – Le Mans, France.
The world’s first water-resistant square watch with an automatic-winding chronograph calibre, the TAG Heuer Monaco 1979 – 1989 Limited Edition is the second of five limited edition collections to be successively revealed throughout the year, each inspired by a key decade from 1969 to 2019 and paying tribute to key themes of the era, an analogous reference to the Monaco’s timeless design and TAG Heuer’s constant innovation.
TAG Heuer Monaco 1979 – 1989 Limited Edition, red hot like the modern day schemes of the new Porsche 919’s, a descendant of the legendary Porsche 917 driven by McQueen in the film. The hot-blooded machismo of the Limited Edition Monaco is matched with a black calfskin strap punctured with holes lined in red, capturing both look and feel of the style and aggression of the Monaco’s high performance decade.
The caseback of this 1980s-inspired wristwatch is engraved with the “Monaco Heuer” logo as well as “1979-1989 Special Edition” and “One of 169”. Sporting a design inspired by the original model, the stainless-steel caseback has vertical and circular brushed patterns. The case houses the renowned Calibre 11, a modern version of the automatic-winding chronograph movement that made its debut inside the original Monaco in 1969. This watch has been produced in an edition limited to 169 pieces.
Monaco Limited Edition 1979 – 1989 Price and Specs
Movement Automatic Calibre 11 with 40 hours power reserve
Case 39mm stainless steel with 100 metres water resistance