TAG Heuer Monaco: The Birth of an Icon

The Rake takes a closer look at the TAG Heuer Monaco.

The story of the Heuer Monaco began in 1969 with the introduction of a square cased watch, which was water-resistant to 100 meters. Powered by Calibre 11, another great name from the 20th-century history of watchmaking, the Monaco with its peculiar shape and aura was all set to become an icon in the world of sports watches.

Technically, it was not short of revolutionary. A monocoque caseback embedded the movement and had four notches on the outsides at 12 and six o’clock. The top-case held a square glass with a rubber seal underneath. The two pieces clicked in place and made the unusual construction waterproof. Heuer called the new Monaco in their period advertising materials with a Swiss sense for understatement simply: “Avant-garde. Le seul cronographe automatique carre du monde!” (Translation: “Avant-garde! The only square, automatic chronograph in the world!”) Aligned to the name and very promising was the second tagline: “Monaco — partout a sa place: aussi bien au volant d’une voiture de course formule 1 qu’a la soiree de gala du Casino!” (Translation: “Monaco — has a place both at the wheel of a Formula 1 race car and a gala evening at the casino!”)

Published

July 2021

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