TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition
Cars & motorsport

On The Grid With The New TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the TAG Heuer Monaco, the brand has released the first (of five) limited edition pieces.  

By Josh Shanks

First held April 14, 1929, the legendary Monaco Grand Prix has played host to some of Formula One's most iconic moments. From Ayrton Senna's six wins to Graham Hill's dominance in the 1960s which earned him the title "Mr. Monaco." Timing has always been a key element at Monaco, and TAG Heuer has been a timing partner for decades. Monaco ended up being so important that in 1969 the brand released a unique square cased chronograph earning the name, Monaco.

In the ensuing decade after the Monaco's release, the sport of Formula One underwent a sort of modernization which saw engines move to the rear of the car, aerodynamics added, and drivers like Jackie Steward and James Hunt bringing style and personality to the track. On the wrist of most of these gents? A TAG Heuer timepiece, usually an Autavia or better still, a Monaco.

As the official watch of the Monaco Grand Prix (since 2011), TAG Heuer is no doubt intrinsically linked with one of the world's oldest and most prestigious street races. At this year's race, TAG Heuer hosted a glittering yacht party to celebrate 50 years of Monaco. On-hand was Red Bull Racing's star driver Max Verstappen, actor turned racer Patrick Dempsey, the always lovely Bella Hadid, and a bevy of VIP guests. TAG Heuer knows how to throw a party and there's perhaps no better place to host a fete of this caliber than Monaco. And there's no better watch to wear to such an event as the TAG Heuer Monaco.

Introducing The TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition

Many consider the TAG Heuer Monaco to be one of the most emblematic watches to come out of TAG Heuer's workshops. It's got style, ingenuity, and most of all, a sporty look which looks just as good under a cuff as it does over a racer's fire suit. When we realized earlier this year that TAG Heuer would be celebrating 50 years of Monaco, I assumed this would culminate in one splendid re-issue or a single series of pieces to commemorate. TAG Heuer has taken the exact opposite approach and has announced they are releasing FIVE individual watches, each celebrating a decade of Monaco.

First up is the decade which started with men landing on the moon and ended with Apple releasing their first personal computer. On track at Monaco, we saw Graham Hill win the last of his five Monaco Grand Prix in 1969 and capped the decade with Jody Scheckter navigating his blocky Ferrari to victory at the iconic 2.074-mile circuit. To put the decade into perspective from a timing standpoint, the fastest lap in 1969 was clocked by Jackie Stewart at 1:24.6, which the ensuing decade didn't see much change on the timing clocks, the 2019 pole position was just timed at 1:10.166. The timing clock in 1969? A HEUER stopwatch. The timing clock in 2019? A TAG Heuer digital stopwatch. 

The first Monaco model celebrating 50 years of Monaco has been dubbed the 1969–1979 Limited Edition. This 39mm square cased stainless steel piece arrives which a rich green motif with unique Côtes de Genève patterned dial. Powering the watch is the TAG Heuer Calibre 11 automatic movement, the same movement which powered the original Monaco.

The TAG Heuer Monaco has long held the distinction as being the first automatic chronograph. It's something that TAG Heuer has now introduced in a variety of references, but collectors still herald the Monaco as the first of its kind. It's quintessentially cool thanks to Steve McQueen wearing it in his 1971 film Le Mans and to this day, it remains a classic in TAG Heuer's collection. The TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition will be produced in a limited series of just 169 pieces and each watch will receive a caseback engraving which signifying the 1969-1979 era.

50 Years Of Monaco With Jack Heuer

At the helm of TAG Heuer in 1969 (then called simply Heuer) was Jack Heuer, the grandson of founder Edouard Heuer. The then CEO of Heuer heralded the innovative design and groundbreaking nature of the automatic chronograph. Now 87, Jack Heuer is Honorary Chairman of TAG Heuer and still plays an active role in research and development. 

In the Seventies, Heuer wasn't the billion dollar company it is today. The humble brand produced straightforward purpose driven chronographs for weekend warriors and hardened racers. While the Monaco enjoyed much fanfare upon its release, it was Steve McQueen who put the watch on the map. To this day, many simply refer to the Monaco as 'the Steve McQueen watch.' A fitting nickname which should make Mr. Heuer proud.

In TAG Heuer's archives, we discovered some incredible pictures of Jack Heuer at the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix. That year's race was won by Jackie Stewart, the last of Stewart's three victories on the Rock of Monaco. Pictured with Heuer is fellow drive Jacky Ickx. On the wrist? A TAG Heuer Monaco. 

The TAG Heuer Monaco is now cemented into the annals of racing legend. It's fitting that TAG Heuer will honor the 50th anniversary throughout 2019. While the 1969–1979 Limited Edition is a fitting start, I'm looking forward to seeing what else our friends from Le Locle have up their sleves. Perhaps a Dark Lord is on the way?

Video: The Reveal Of The TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition

TAG Heuer has released a teaser video of the new Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition. We felt it fitting to include here as it gives a nice energy to the new release.

77th Monaco Grand Prix

2018 saw former TAG Heuer Ambassador Daniel Ricciardo take the coveted win for Red Bull Racing at Monaco. Ricciardo moved to Renault for the 2019 season, so TAG Heuer will now be counting on Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly to take the honors and make the iconic walk to the Royal Box. 

The TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition is the first of five Limited pieces celebrating 50 years of Monaco. Dedicated to the Seventies, this automatic chronograph boasts a 40-hour power reserve and a stunning green motif throughout. Limited to just 169 pieces, the watch will be delivered in a display case reminiscent of the original Monaco. Priced at $6,550 USD and soon available from TAG Heuer retailers and the brand's official e-shop. For more information, click HERE. Now let's go racing!

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TAG Heuer Monaco 1969–1979 Limited Edition