Regardless of being the model’s most iconic design and garnering a trendy, modernist status amongst fans over the past 5 many years, the TAG Heuer Monaco collection has all the time felt like a product of its period on some stage. Since its introduction in 1969, the Monaco has all the time been dramatic, eye-catching, and counter-cultural, however in a approach that just about all the time reveals the design’s late ‘60s stylistic roots. Making a Monaco that feels really up to date in 2021, one that actually steps previous the romantic notions of Steve McQueen and basic rock to create a contemporary id, is one thing of a problem. The limited-edition TAG Heuer Monaco Titan solutions this design problem handsomely, holding the spirit of the Calibre 11 Monaco design intact whereas creating a much more up to date look with solely a handful of visible modifications.
TAG Heuer itself clearly has excessive artistic religion within the venture, unveiling the Monaco Titan amid the fanfare of the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, and showcasing the watch often on the wrists of each Components 1 title challenger Max Verstappen and model CEO Frédric Arnault since its introduction. With that in thoughts, what’s it that units the Monaco Titan other than the remainder of the present left-hand-crown Monaco vary and provides this ‘60s icon a extra fashionable character? At its core, the reply comes right down to supplies and ending.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Titan will not be technically the primary Monaco design in titanium, with that honor going to 2004’s haute horlogerie Monaco V4 with its experimental belt-driven motion. Nevertheless, that is the primary time the basic 39mm Monaco case has been rendered within the light-weight and sturdy metallic, in addition to the primary titanium left-hand-crown Monaco, and the primary titanium Monaco chronograph. Whereas it is probably not the very first of its sort, the usage of darkish Grade 2 titanium drastically alters the appear and feel of the Monaco on the wrist. The Monaco case is a daring, planar design nearly by definition, however the full sandblasted matte end and deeper tone in comparison with chrome steel give the Monaco Titan an opportunity to showcase the fantastic particulars of the fashionable Monaco type. The present Calibre 11 Monaco case could share its 39mm dimensions with the ‘60s and ‘70s originals, however the present case design is extra rounded, advanced, and dynamic than the square-cut unique. Curving chamfers throughout the tops and bottoms of the case sides give form to the squared-off type, whereas additionally making a definitive raised bezel across the tall field sapphire crystal. The unique’s octagonal piston-style pushers are gone, changed by a set of wedge-like angular rectangular pushers that combine easily into the general design language. With out a mixture of brushing, sprucing, and brighter surfaces to take care of, the sharpness and nuance of the Monaco Titan’s case type comes extra clearly to the fore on the wrist and leaves a markedly completely different visible impression. The lightness of titanium additionally helps to enhance the sporting expertise of the Monaco Titan, making this one of the vital comfy watches within the present Monaco vary. That is nonetheless a Monaco on the wrist, nevertheless, and most of the identical traits of the chrome steel fashions shine by means of within the sporting expertise. The sq. design leads this to hold far more wrist presence than the 39mm diameter may counsel, and because of an almost flat sapphire show caseback, vertical case sides, and a high-rise sapphire crystal, the Monaco Titan feels each iota of its 15mm thickness on the wrist. That stated, the Monaco has by no means been a watch to slip demurely below one’s cuff, and on this approach, the Titan carries on the road’s daring and attention-grabbing character. In step with the sporty fashionable spirit, the Monaco Titan provides a fairly athletic 100 meters of water resistance.
Just like the case, the dial of the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan takes the acquainted types of the usual Calibre 11 mannequin however offers these parts a extra futuristic new character. The core of this new character largely comes right down to the dial floor itself. Sunburst dials are one of the vital widespread dial finishes throughout the trade, showing in almost each possible shade, end, and stage of high quality. The silver sunburst end that varieties the bottom of the Monaco Titan is a real standout, nevertheless, with a powerful stage of element and a dynamic character that invitations lengthy, shut stares. Transitioning from almost pure white to a steely medium grey in altering gentle, the sunburst sample carries a deep and complicated grainy texture that imbues the dial with a myriad of tiny shifting highlights. The black dial printing can be crisp and glorious whereas establishing a extra ethereal modernist character than the basic white-on-blue Monaco look. The subdials at three o’clock and 9 o’clock observe the basic Monaco sample however distinction the complexity of the silver dial floor with a clear matte-black end. The stark panda dial look is rare for the Monaco line however fits the Titan nicely, subtly reinforcing the visible themes of lightness and ease. TAG Heuer retains the central chronograph seconds hand and the 12 o’clock utilized index in vibrant flame crimson as a visible spotlight, however the remainder of the colorway is pared again and monochrome. The opposite nice visible departure for the Monaco Titan’s dial comes by means of its handset and the collection’ signature horizontal utilized indices. The darkish polished titanium used within the dial units it other than metal at a look, showing nearly black from sure angles. The added little bit of distinction and novelty right here goes a powerful approach towards establishing the Monaco Titan’s general really feel and vastly aids legibility over the intense silver dial. Low-light legibility, nevertheless, would be the Monaco Titan’s Achilles heel, with small lume plots and a dim glow.
Contained in the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan beats the Sellita SW300-1 primarily based Calibre 11 computerized chronograph motion. The present Calibre 11 carries on the modular design legacy of the ‘60s unique with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module, however the structure of the present design is general way more typical than the almost experimental micro-rotor structure of the unique motion. The present Calibre 11 has been a staple of TAG Heuer’s lineup for a number of years however nonetheless provides good-looking ending by means of the sapphire caseback together with a sharply striped rotor and tight perlage throughout the motion bridges and steadiness cock. One facet the place the present Calibre 11 feels lower than cutting-edge is efficiency, nevertheless. Our check instance averaged round +10 seconds per day over the overview interval, and the facility reserve sits at solely 40 hours at a 28,800 bph beat charge.
TAG Heuer appears to replace the character of the Monaco Titan by means of its strap alternative, as nicely. The matte-black alligator leather-based the model makes use of right here splits the distinction between sporty and refined, with an nearly rubbery texture that considerably clothes down the in any other case quite formal materials. Using black in opposition to the monochrome titanium backdrop works nicely right here, but it surely’s simple to think about the Monaco Titan working equally nicely or higher with a black calfskin rally strap or a extra up to date rubber strap.
Though the bottom design could date again to 1969, the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan’s distinctive supplies, finishes, and monochrome colorway make this one really feel really at house as a luxurious assertion piece in 2021. Whereas this will likely solely be a restricted version, the potential of this informing future-production Monaco fashions is undeniably thrilling. Solely 500 examples of the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan will likely be made, and the watch is out there now by means of approved sellers at an MSRP of $7,900. For extra data, please go to the brand’s website.
>Model: TAG Heuer
>Mannequin: Monaco Titan
>Measurement: 39mm-wide, 15mm-thick
>When reviewer would personally put on it: As a short-sleeve assertion piece or as a companion for automotive occasions.
>Buddy we’d advocate it to first: A seasoned Heuer fanatic, or a luxurious watch purchaser searching for a big-name design that also stands out in a crowd.
>Finest attribute of watch: Spectacular dial ending, distinct character from the usual Monaco, light-weight and cozy titanium case.
>Worst attribute of watch: The present Calibre 11 motion is beginning to present its age in efficiency, pricing is considerably dramatic, and the rubbery alligator leather-based strap is a possible stylistic mismatch.