The Tag Heuer Monaco was released by Jack Heuer in 1969. Upon its release, it showcased the brand's industry-leading, technological advances. The first Monaco, reference 1133, fitted with the Calibre 11 movement was the world's first water resistant, square-cased timepiece with an automatic chronograph movement.
Aside from its cutting-edge technology the Monaco brought a breath of fresh air to a market that was dominated by the round and simplistic dials of other watch brands' offerings.
Having been worn on the wrist of famous actor, Steve McQueen and has a long-running connection to motorsport, the watch has become an icon and is instantly recognised the world over.
The model was reintroduced into the brand's core range in the late 1990s and has since continued to be a popular part of the Tag Heuer collection, with most modern pieces now being powered by the in-house Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic Chronograph movement.



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Possibly one of the most instantly recognisable watches in the world, let alone in the Tag Heuer brand collection, the Monaco and its iconic square case stands out in the crowd.
Released in 1969, the Monaco with its striking square case and blue dial, burst into the watch world and stood alone in taking on a market filled with simplistic round cased designs that were prevalent at the time.
The watch model was named in honour of the famous Monaco Grand Prix and delivered just as many thrills.
The Tag Heuer Monaco held the accolade of being at the leading edge of advances in watchmaking and was quite frankly a technical triumph for the brand. Upon its release, the Monaco was the world’s first water-resistant square-cased watch, with an automatic chronograph movement. The iconic watch (ref 1133) was fitted with the Calibre 11 automatic movement, a domed glass for that ultra-edgy design and a crown fitted to the left side of the case to emphasise the fact that this watch did not need to be manually wound, unlike most other mechanical watches at this time.
Just one year after Heuer originally released the Monaco, in 1970 the legendary actor Steve McQueen was filming the ‘Le Mans’ movie. McQueen was being coached for his role by renowned Swiss race driver Jo Siffert, who was Heuer’s very first ‘ambassador'. The actor wanted to wear the racing suit that the driver wore, which was emblazoned with the Heuer name, drive the car himself under the racers guidance and even wear the watch that he wore. Jack Heuer offered the actor the new Monaco to wear during the making of the movie, this pairing is now one of the most iconic in the watch world.
The Blue dial automatic chronograph Tag Heuer Monaco, with white inner dials and red accents, is still available in the modern collection, most of which are now fitted with an in-house Heuer 02 movement. A modern Calibre 11 piece is still available and is very much in the style of the original, with the crown on the left side of the case, this timepiece is often referred to as ‘The Steve McQueen’ Monaco by watch enthusiasts.
In 1998 the watch brand introduced a collection of Monaco watches, reminiscent of the originals. They proved to be so popular, that Tag Heuer decided to reintroduce the Monaco to its core range.
2011 saw Tag Heuer become an official partner of the Monaco Grand Prix, solidifying its link to the race, whose track famously weaves through the streets of Monaco.
When Tag Heuer celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original release of the Monaco in 2019, they added their own in-house Heuer 02 movement to their core range in place of the ETA-based movements. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the brand released anniversary models with five limited edition pieces, each representing a decade in the Monaco history. All pieces maintained the 39mm, stainless steel case with varying dial colours and features, all watches were limited to 1696 pieces per ‘year’.



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