This year, TAG Heuer serves up a nod to its motorsports history, blending one of its most iconic models with an iconic racing livery. The all-new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf returns the turquoise and orange colours of the JW Automotive Engineering racing team to the spotlight once more, cased in the instantly recognisable square case that Steve McQueen made so famous in the film Le Mans.
TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf: What is it?
The square cased Monaco design is one that was first released by the Heuer brand (before the addition of TAG) back in 1969, and was successful thanks to its distinctive shape, finding fans in Hollywood heroes and motorsports fans alike. As a result, the Monaco is one of TAG Heuer’s most collectible models, with new editions such as this Monaco Gulf Special Edition generally being well received by the collecting community.
It was back in 2007 that TAG Heuer first released a Gulf edition Monaco and now more than a decade later, the classic blue and orange returns, with a slightly more refined case, new movement and a redesigned dial.
The satin-brushed and polished stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf measures 39mm from side to side, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a small watch. From corner to corner, the watch measures a whopping 55mm, offering a lot more wrist presence than the spec sheet might suggest.
Featuring a heavily domed piece of sapphire crystal covering the dial, it stands tall off the wrist too, with another piece of sapphire crystal in the caseback offering a relatively uninterrupted view of the movement within. Secured with a quartet of screws, the caseback guarantees the watch 100m of water resistance.
The dial of the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf boasts a trio of subdials, two of which are for the chronograph function and stand out significantly more thanks to their contrasting white colour and slightly stepped profile. The third subdial at 6 o’clock indicates the running seconds, sitting just below the “GULF” logo near the middle of the dial.
Apart from the subdials and a pair of orange and turquoise stripes on the righthand side, the dial is an attractive navy blue, with a sunburst finishing that is sure to play with the light well. The chronograph hands are orange, while the hour and minute hands are steel with luminous material to read in the dark.
For the first time in a Monaco Gulf edition, TAG Heuer has used their in-house Heuer 02 movement to power the timepiece, which is a calibre we’re seeing more and more of from the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based brand. With a specially engraved automatic rotor and coloured column wheel. Ticking away at 28,800 and offering an impressive power reserve of 80 hours, you can understand why TAG Heuer is picking the Heuer 02 calibre more and more.
The watch arrives on a sporty blue calfskin leather strap, with an orange lining and perforations to keep you cool while behind the wheel. The strap is secured with a steel folding clasp that matches the case of the watch.
Verdict & Price
All in all, it’s an example of TAG Heuer not reinventing the wheel, but simply refining and perfecting what has already proven itself as a successful formula for the brand. With an updated movement, a case with more articulately refined finishing and a dial that simply screams the ‘70s, there’s a lot to like. The TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf is set to be available from March 2022 both online and in boutiques, with an RRP of $10,250.