The “Dark Lord” timepiece has once again made an appearance, this time through the updated version of the Tag Heuer Monaco special edition. This latest timepiece was created by TAG Heuer to mark the legendary Monaco Grand Prix. This watch comes with modern materials while staying faithful to Monaco’s historic lineage, embedding itself as a model for eternity.
Ever since Monaco’s introduction in 1969, it was faced tough opposition to watchmaking ideologies and current trends. It was released during a time when circular cases and hand-wound chronographs were the norms. Bring along an automatic chronograph with a unique case design and TAG Heuer was able to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack pretty quickly.
The release of first Monaco, which had a blue dial (where the norm at the time was black and white dials), white contrasting hour indices, and red accents throughout the watch, saw the birth of an icon and an everlasting desire for the square-shaped formula one themed timepiece.
During the 1970s, TAG Heuer updated Monaco with an entirely different look. This watch came with a dial that had bright orange and white accents, along with a matte black case. This new appearance for Monaco earned the watch’s signature name the “Dark Lord”. Now almost 50 years since the birth of the “Dark Lord”, it’s back again to make Monaco into something truly special.
This latest version of Monaco comes with a 39mm square case that’s made of Grade 2 titanium and coated with DLC. Titanium for Monaco models has only been used once before, on the Titan model which was offered as a Limited Edition in 2021. This 2022 version, however, is the first time that black-coated titanium has been used for the Monaco chronograph timepiece. Different finishings from the case to the dial give reference to the iconic Grand Prix race as well.
The circle in the square design is iconic to the Monaco timepiece, and it is made up of two separate pieces with different finishes. Firstly, the circle on the centre of the dial has a satin-brushed circular finish, which represents the speed and smoothness of racing. The second component, the exterior has a contrast to the dial circle’s finishing in that it has been sandblasted to create a grained-like finish. This grained finish is supposed to represent the grip of tyres and the road surface of the track. The two different finishing of the dial is supposed to harmoniously work together to represent the racing on the track.
The chronograph counters at 3 o’clock (30-minute indicator), 6 o’clock (constant seconds indicator), and 9 o’clock (12-hour indicator) have an opaline finish, which gives way for a direct contrast between the white inscriptions and red hands on the counters. 18k 5N rose gold-plated hour indices and hands have also been used, which gives this latest “Dark Lord” an iconic look to last.
The engine inside this latest Monaco special edition is TAG Heuer’s own in-house Heuer 02 movement. The Heuer 02 movement offers improved performance over previous Monaco models created throughout the decades, with this latest edition offering approximately 80-hours of power reserve. The watch comes with an open case back in which the Heuer 02 movement can be seen and appreciated. The rotor has been skeletonised to make viewing of the movement easier, while also being rose gold-plated to match the rose gold on the front of the dial.
TAG Heuer offers this latest Monaco in a black alligator strap with black DLC titanium grade 2 folding clasp, to complete the overall black look of the “Dark Lord”. It was 50 years ago that the first Black TAG Heuer Monaco was created, and now the 2022 rebirth of the icon has sparked new life into the watch that captures the essence of racing watches with modern materials and timeless style.
- Case: 39 mm
- Case Material: Black DLC titanium grade 2 sandblasted case
- Dial: Two-tone: Black circular brushed & grained finishing
- Crystal: Domed, bevelled sapphire crystal
- Water resistance:100 meters
- Movement: Calibre HEUER02 Automatic
- Power reserve: 80 Hours
- Strap: Black alligator strap; Black DLC titanium grade 2 folding clasp with double safety push buttons