A mean, green, classic-car-ready machine…
Now that the fanfare of Watches & Wonders has well and truly subsided, I think we can say comfortably that the big ‘theme’ of this year’s various and sundry presentations was green. Whether for its fiscal connotations or how it viscerally suggests the appeal of the great outdoors, a lot of brands this year launched timepieces shaded in Kermit’s favourite colour — from Piaget’s impossibly thin ‘Tribute to La Côte-aux-Fées’ to the lagoon-inspired Moser Mega Cool. Not one to go quietly into the proverbial woods, TAG Heuer released their own green machine earlier this week — a limited edition Monaco that commemorates the 12th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.
Otherwise known as the GP Historique, the race is an annual classic car competition (organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco) that usually takes place before the beginning of the city’s F1 Grand Prix. As official timekeeper, TAG have the perfect pretext for launching a new release — one that just so happens to be on-trend for 2021; and yet a complete outlier in the Monaco collection.
Like its regular production brethren, the Monaco ‘Green Dial’ makes use of a striking square geometry — a defining characteristic for the design since 1969, in the earliest days of this model. The density of the case and flared chronograph pushers lend the Monaco a presence that goes beyond its stated 39mm dimensions (ideal if you enjoy wearing largish timepieces), though that in turn is tempered by a dial that’s largely classic and historically faithful in execution. Considering its size and origin within the motorsport community, it’s the sort of chronograph I could see enthusiasts wearing if they’re into the whole ‘green over tan’ aesthetic.
Naturally, the biggest talking point of this release is the green dial — a surefire choice in 2021 that’s likely to age gracefully thanks to its associations with nature and vintage bodywork. Combining the visual sensibilities of fumé with sunburst finishing, TAG’s watchmakers have succeeded in crafting a colour gradient that’s just the right mixture of smoky and metallic. Up-close, you can really discern the transition from moss to pale green, with this contrast reportedly being inspired (according to TAG itself) by “the famous covered portion of the Monaco Grand Prix track”. Creative licence aside, the effect is a handsome one — particularly when you take into consideration the watch’s sub-$90,000 price tag.
Turning our attention to the movement for one moment, TAG enthusiasts will likely note that this Monaco’s crown is in-line with the chronograph pushers (this is to distinguish it from left-hand crown versions that are all powered by calibres sourced from ETA and Sellita). This iteration is fitted with TAG’s Heuer 02: a column-wheel, vertical clutch movement that excels in the arena of performance. A beefy power reserve (80 hours) and 4hz beat rate shall make this suitable for the needs of most amateur racers.
The TAG Heuer Monaco ‘Green Dial’ chronograph is now available, in a limited edition of 500 pieces. Priced at HK$53,550. To learn more, visit TAG Heuer online.
This article first appeared in Prestige Online Hong Kong.