Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary ‘McQueen’
(TAG) Heuer Monaco 40th ‘McQueen’ LE of 1000, Model no. CAW211A, Modern Calibre 11. 2009.
This is one of those unexpected watches that half fell into my lap. I wasn’t actively hunting for one, but it just happened to pop up at the right time and place.
I’m sure that some may be wondering why I didn’t go for a vintage or ‘proper’ Monaco, as some might say.. well I was lucky enough to add a 1970’s 1133G to the collection last year, and as lovely as it was, I was a little uncomfortable wearing it. I always felt that it was a touch too delicate, something that is not based in fact, I’m sure it’s just as tough as any other vintage Heuer – they were designed as ‘sports’ watches after all. It was more my feelings towards it, in short, I felt I needed to pamper it, be ultra careful when wearing it. Because of that, I eventually moved it on to another collector. The thought of getting a blue 1133B did cross my mind, but that’s a lot of coin to shell out, and I would feel even more protective about it.
So, how to fill that Monaco hole?.. well this is the ultimate choice for me.. it’s the most accurate Monaco, in terms of honoring the original that TAG Heuer have made. Released as a limited edition of 1000 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Monaco’s release in 1969 and Steve McQueen’s involvement as its original ambassador. At first glance, you may think it looks like every other TAG Heuer ‘McQueen’ Blue Monaco, but look a little longer, and they are very different. The similarities to the original are evident – the left hand Heuer signed crown, the (hand) applied metal hour batons at right-angles, the black sub-dial pins. Even the ‘Swiss’ text above the date window, red inserts in the hour and minute hands.. and so on.. not forgetting the lack of ‘TAG’ on the dial.
This example is by no means mint, it has clearly seen some life since it’s release in 2009, and that is just fine with me… it’s a ‘wear everyday’ watch that doesn’t need wrapping in cotton wool, and for that reason, I will enjoy it, probably more than I would a true vintage piece.
It has TAG Heuers modern take on the original Cal. 11 (and 12) movement.. called the ‘Caliber 11’ – the same movement that they fitted in the Autavia re-issue pieces. It is a base ETA 2892 Calibre Dubois Depraz 2022, with continuous seconds running on the right sub dial and a chrono minute counter on the left (different from the original Cal. 11, white had chrono hours on the left, and chrono minutes on the right – no continuous seconds). The case is 38mm with anti-reflective curved sapphire crystal glass. It has a water resistance of 50m, and the blurb says that the hour batons are ‘hand applied’. A nice touch is the caseback, which features an engraved Heuer logo, Jack Heuer’s signature, the LE number X of 1000, and the message “In tribute to Steve McQueen 40th Anniversary – Limited Edition”. If you want that vintage look, but with everyday usage, this is probably the best you can get. In my opinion, TAG Heuer did a wonderful job, and to me, it is an honorary Heuer, and sits proudly next to its vintage brothers.