TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition: Malaysia Price And ReviewWritten by Leong Wong
TAG Heuer’s square icon turns 50.
The Monaco is celebrating its half-century milestone and it’s only natural that the design team at TAG Heuer should be feeling a little nostalgic. To mark the occasion, five watches inspired by five decades are being released in a yearlong series of rollouts. Each one retains the case and movement of the standard Monaco Calibre 11 but differs in terms of aesthetics.
We’ve already seen a groovy green iteration and a Kraftwerk-esque rendering in stark red and black that embody the essence of the 1970s and 1980s respectively. The third drop, presented here, is a 1990s throwback with an industrial, street-style spirit.
The overall design is a play on contrasts and textures. The grey dial is grained and rhodium-plated, resulting in a gritty, metallic surface. This is tempered with two-tone sub-dials whose blue tracks encircle sandblasted and rhodium-plated centres. Meanwhile, vivid red touches, such as the central seconds hand, triangular tips of the hour and minute hands, and hour markers, are both functional and symbolic. The treatment heightens readability and recalls TAG Heuer’s racing ties.
As to be expected, this special edition contains all the elements that make it a Monaco—from the 39mm square case in stainless steel and the bevelled sapphire crystal, to the unconventional placement of the crown and pushers. It also notably has a historically accurate ‘Monaco Heuer’ logo at 12 o’clock.
Beneath the dial lies the automatic Calibre 11, which is composed of two modules. The base movement is a Sellita SW300-1, which replaced the ETA 2892 in 2011, while the chronograph module is from a 2006 Dubois-Depraz design with a 40-hour power reserve. It is hidden behind a solid steel caseback engraved with the words ‘1989-1999 Special Edition’ as well as the piece’s individual number in a series of 169.
The TAG Heuer Monaco was the first water-resistant square case and also housed one of the watch industry’s first self-winding chronograph movements. As impressive as this might have been in 1969, its silhouette divided opinion and it never saw real success until its reintroduction in the 1990s when the world finally caught up with Jack Heuer’s progressive vision. Hence, of the three anniversary pieces launched so far, at the time of writing, the TAG Heuer Monaco 1989-1999 Limited Edition is particularly important because it serves as a poignant reminder that good things come to those who wait.
|39mm stainless steel|
|Grey-grained rhodium-plated, with sandblasted rhodium-plated and blue counters, polished indexes and luminescent hands|
Self-winding Calibre 11
|Blue perforated calfskin leather with red stitching and red leather lining|
|Hours, minutes, continuous seconds, central chronograph seconds, chronograph minutes, date|
Editor, CROWN Malaysia
A familiar face in Malaysia's horological publishing scene, Leong has been involved in lifestyle journalism since the mid-1990s. Besides watches, he takes a keen interest in cars and men's fashion.