TAG Heuer continues to celebrate the Monaco’s 50th anniversary with the best watch annoucement to date. Christened the Monaco Piece d’Art, the timepiece is a Monaco taken from the TAG Heuer museum, powered by the original automatic Calibre 11 that was introduced in 1969, now restored in the most interesting way imaginable.
Speaking on the occasion of the announcement of the Monaco Piece d’Art, TAG Heuer Heritage Director Catherine Eberlé-Devaux shared, “In the lead up to this significant milestone, the Heritage department wondered what gift it could offer the Monaco for its 50th anniversary. We decided to create a one-piece edition: a work of art that commemorates our icon and pays tribute to its uniqueness. We have taken original components and decorated them — something that has never been done.”
In the hands of TAG Heuer’s in-house talents at the Vintage After-Sales department, we can see how expertly the watch’s case, dial and even its original bracelet, has been reinvigorated.
But the true surprise remains to be seen when you turn the watch over. Now this being a watch from the earliest days of the Monaco, you would be right to point that the watch shouldn’t have a see-through caseback. In the hands of skilled individuals, TAG Heuer has had a cut out made into the back of the museum specimen in order to fit a sapphire caseback.
This they have done with good reason. Inside of the watch, the Calibre 11 that once was, has been lovingly refurbished and hand decorated to mark 50 years of the Monaco and that of the Calibre 11’s.
The decorations include hand bevelled edges on all components, straight graining, mirror polishing on functional surfaces and screw heads, and much more. But the centre of attention, no doubt, falls on the two hand engraved bridges.
These two bridges had to be freshly forged as the ones in the 1969 movement wouldn’t have been able to withstand the engraving process. The other part of the movement that was replaced is the date disc, which now bears red numerals instead of the black that would’ve been there.
Given that a museum grade artifact had to be used in order to create an art piece of such immense impact, needless to say, the Monaco Piece d’Art will remain a one off creation.
Doubling up on the value of the Monaco Piece d’Art, the timepiece will not be made available for sale over the counter. Rather TAG Heuer has entrusted the precious creation into the hands of renowned auction house, Phillips Watches.
Phillips Watches will auction the timepiece off at the upcoming December 10, Game Changers watch auction in New York. Proceeds from the sale of the Monaco Piece d’Art have been marked for the US charity United Way of New York City’s ReadNYC education campaign.
Heuer original Automatic Calibre 11; hours and minutes; chronograph with centre seconds, minute and hour totalizer; 38-hour power reserve
39 mm in stainless steel, fixed bezel in stainless steel, acrylic crystal, polished stainless-steel crown at 9 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, stainless-steel caseback with sapphire crystal opening