UPDATE: TAG Heuer 50th anniversary Monaco launches will touch down in Europe, USA and Asia

The original Monaco that launched to little fanfare in 1969. It later became a classic after Hollywood star and racing-obsessive Steve McQueen became a fan.

TAG Heuer will hold events in Europe, the United States and Asia this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Monaco, which first appeared in 1969. 

A new Monaco limited edition will be launched at each event. Details of dates and locations have not been confirmed.

The Monaco (pictured top) was introduced in 1969 to mixed reviews. Every aspect of the watch’s design was radical: the metallic blue dial, the red and light blue hands, the square case and the placement of the crown on the left-hand side.


The then CEO of Heuer, Jack Heuer, has said he was not an instant fan of the Monaco either, but he believed the groundbreaking innovations needed a design that would demand attention.

“We wanted to create an outstanding and innovative product, something avant-garde,” says Mr Heuer, who is now honourary chairman for TAG Heuer. “When I saw the square case, I immediately knew it was something special. Until then, square cases were only used for dress watches because it was not possible to make them water-resistant. We went forward with this unconventional design and negotiated the exclusive use of this revolutionary case for the Monaco wrist chronograph.”

The Monaco’s design made it instantly recognisable, but its advanced technology was more revolutionary. It was the first water-resistant square cased watch and its Calibre 11 was the world’s first automatic-winding chronograph movement. The Calibre 11 was the result of three years of close collaboration between watch brands Heuer, Breitling and Hamilton.

Catherine Eberlé-Devaux, TAG Heuer heritage director, says that the Monaco is often a gateway into fine watch collecting. “To me, the Monaco is a door to the TAG Heuer brand. It’s a piece that catches your eye and invites you in. Many collectors start with the Monaco and are then drawn into our world, eventually finding another collection to focus on, but always cherishing the piece that started it all.”


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