TAG Heuer Monaco Heuer 02 Gulf Special Edition: Revving Up With A Bold Color Scheme
In terms of bold color, 2022 has been a good year so far. We have already seen a plethora of cool colorways in new watch models and variations of existing ones. While blue and green continue to be strong – the latter being the favorite of my dear colleague Martin Green, who has already picked some lovely examples introduced so far in 2022 – more daring hues such as red and yellow freshen the looks of perennial bestsellers, including those we saw in the recently released Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra models.
Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann introduced the 2022 lineup with the words, “We have many watches to present in an impressive range of colors and materials.” My personal favorite of the new Omega releases is the Speedmaster ’57 with burgundy dial, which highlights the refined vintage aura of this state-of-the art chronograph.
Moritz Grossmann’s latest iteration of the Central Second and Czapek & Cie.’s Purple Panda limited edition of the Faubourg de Cravocie chronograph collection seem to be in tune with the Pantone color of the year called Very Peri.
However, they are much more radiant and expressive than the more lavender-like tint of Very Peri, which I personally find a little uninspiring at least for the watch world. While the Central Second’s purple dial is highlighted by the minimalist beauty of a sunray brushing, the Purple Panda’s sophisticated guilloche dial with intersecting circular lines applied by a rose engine is even more impressive thanks to the bold colorway. Both have stunning appearances.
Color has come a long way in luxury watchmaking
While today colorful watches are no longer a brave marketing strategy, this wasn’t always the case. One pioneer here is the TAG Heuer Monaco, which, as enthusiasts know when it premiered in 1969 was not only on the forefront in terms of color with its intense blue dial, but was also one of the first automatic chronographs and one of the first timepieces in a water-resistant square case.
At least since Steve McQueen brought it to fame on the silver screen in Le Mans in the 1970s the Monaco been one of the best known and sought-after watches of all times. Until today, the Monaco is associated with the golden era of racing and considered a true free spirit.
On the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary in 2019, TAG Heuer embarked on a journey through five decades with five limited editions that were introduced throughout the year. Each of them reflected the special design, colors, and zeitgeist of its respective decade. The highlight of the “Monaco year” was the Monaco Calibre Heuer 02 powered by the manufacture movement TAG Heuer had introduced two years earlier.
This automatic chronograph with a power reserve of 80 hours features a column wheel and a vertical clutch. The new movement also meant that the Monaco had its crown on the right side for the first time in its history, even if its subsidiary seconds indication remained at 6 o’clock.
While there was not much news from the TAG Heuer Monaco in 2021, Watches and Wonders 2022 marked the advent of the Monaco Heuer 02 Gulf Special Edition, which is all about the detail of color. It harks back to an episode in the chronograph’s 1970s history when American oil company Gulf and Heuer were both major sponsors of Formula 1 teams – like the John Wyer Automotive team, which saw the creation of the now-iconic Gulf livery and the connection between the two brands. In honor of this partnership and banking on the famous colors, TAG Heuer introduced a special Monaco collection in 2007 with some limited editions that became sought-after collection pieces.
Fifteen years later, TAG Heuer unveils a new special edition Monaco, now equipped with the Heuer 02 caliber, which is – surprisingly – unlimited. Gulf’s signature powder blue and bright orange corporate colors dominate the right side of this watch’s dial in a combination that is even more intense and radiant than in the past.
The familiar dark blue background is enhanced by a sunray finish, the powder blue is lighter, and the orange is bolder. And for the first time, these two “Gulf accents” appear in the minute counter at 3 o’clock.
Another premiere is the Gulf logo pad-printed in white above the subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock. As a nod to the racing number of the historic Porsche Gulf racing cars, the 12 o’clock index is replaced by the number “60” – painstakingly polished and rhodium plated like a race car’s body.
To complete the eye-catching look of the watch, the strap is made of perforated blue calfskin leather with orange stitching on the inside. Although it has the typical perforation conceived especially for the Monaco Gulf editions, the holes now have different sizes, a nod to the design originally fitted to Monaco models of the 1970s.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Heuer 02 Gulf Special Edition is ready to hit the racetrack in May 2022.
For more information, please visit www.tagheuer.com/fr/en/collection-monaco/collection-Monaco.
Quick Facts TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition
Case: 39 x 39 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber Heuer 02, 28,800 vph/4 Hz, 80-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; date, chronograph
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I have never understood why this model is so expensive. It has appeal, but it seems too much of a “Fashion watch”, as well as significantly overpriced