1969 must’ve been a great year for chronographs. It was the year that a chronograph went to the moon and back. It was the year when the first automatic chronograph movement was announced. Though, as to which brand or consortium was the first to make the announcement, remains debatable. However, we can say for certain that the other standout chronograph from 1969 has to be the now iconic, square chronograph we know simply as, the Monaco.

A square, angular, shaped wrist watch the likes of the Monaco had never been seen prior to its introduction. Add to this the fact that the case was made such that the chronograph was water-resistant and that it housed the revolutionary new self-winding Calibre 11. Calibre 11 is what Heuer (TAG was not yet part of the company name at the time) called the movement, but it might be better known to some as the Chronomatic, which was the self-winding chronograph that came from the consortium formed by Breitling, Buren, Hamilton, Heuer and Dubois-Depraz.

The Monaco’s ultimate claim to fame came when brand ambassador and racing driver Jo Siffert was seen wearing the watch, and then later on the silver screen on the wrist of the king of cool, Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans.

Steve McQueen wearing the Heuer Monaco in a scene from Le Mans (1971).
Steve McQueen wearing the Heuer Monaco in a scene from Le Mans (1971).
The Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition next to the original 1969 Monaco Chronograph
Closeup on the dial of the Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition
Casebackof the Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition

Marking the 50th birthday of this horological icon, TAG Heuer has announced that they will be producing five special Monaco watches and roll them out progressively over the course of the year. The first of these five, is being unveiled this weekend at, where else, but at Monaco with the Monaco Forumla 1 Grand Prix forming a most appropriate backdrop.

Called the Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition, the watch comes in the classical Monaco case in stainless steel with a green dial that’s decorated with vertical Côtes de Genève. The colors of all the five pieces will take inspiration from the decade of the 1970s. The subsidiary dials are sunray black gold plated with brown and yellow accents used to finish off the hands and indexes.

The Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition (Image © Revolution)

The movement used for the timepiece is the modern-day TAG Heuer Automatic Calibre 11 with 40 hours of juice that enables the date, chronograph and time functions.

TAG Heuer will produce only 169 pieces of the Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition, which will reach their happy owners in a specially designed presentation case, to fit the commemorative time piece.

Technical Specifications

Movement

Self-winding TAG Heuer Calibre 11, hours, minuets and small running seconds; chronograph with 30-minute totalizer; 40-hour power reserve

Case

39mm stainless steel case; water-resistant to 100m

Strap

Brown calfskin leather strap, polished folding clasp in stainless steel

Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition