TAG Heuer Announced MONACO LS Chronograph Calibre 12
Once upon a time on the Le Mans circuit, Steve McQueen was at the wheel of his Porsche 917. On his wrist the MONACO - an automatic, square, blue chronograph that suddenly caused mayhem in the orderly world of the small, round, white timepiece… A stone had been thrown into the watchmaking pond that is still making waves 40 years later. That beautiful stranger, which met with such enormous and lasting success and became an icon, deserved an offspring worthy of the same degree of popularity. Now TAG Heuer is launching the MONACO LS Chronograph Calibre 12 so that the legendary collection can have a fresh opportunity to reveal its DNA.
Tag Heuer Monaco LS
One word that springs to mind when thinking of the MONACO is Audacity: the audacity of the first square automatic chronograph on the market; the audacity of a design that mocked the established rules; the audacity of associating it with a rebel actor at a time when the Ambassador concept did not exist. The MONACO LS Chronograph Calibre 12 does justice to its sire: the movement, the look and design detail all turn received ideas upside down and flout convention: this timepiece is other-worldly.
One word that springs to mind when thinking of the MONACO is Audacity: the audacity of the first square automatic chronograph on the market; the audacity of a design that mocked the established rules; the audacity of associating it with a rebel actor at a time when the Ambassador concept did not exist.
The movement is a basic Dubois Depraz calibre so that the seconds, shown in a linear date opening, can be read linearly from the tip of a double red rhodium hand. The dial, inspired by the MONACO 360 Concept Chronograph, the polished bridges, the translucent embossed numerals, the chronograph dials and the angled date opening are voice and counter-voice in a black, deliberately hi-tech song sheet. The 40.5 mm case, waterproof down to 100 m, simply had to be made of polished or brushed stainless steel, and its ergonomic shape is achieved thanks to the generously curved and bevelled sapphire glass. The spirit of the MONACO V4 is palpable… The bracelet in black alligator with a folding clasp adds a classically elegant gloss to the avant-garde look whilst the stainless steel strap, with its unique micro-adjustment device, underlines the definitely futuristic bent of this Ode to Otherness.
TAG Heuer certainly knows how to give a new lease of life to a watchmaking legend. Resuscitating Steve McQueen is more complicated. An actor, but more than anything a racing driver, he used to say: « Racing is life… everything before or after is just waiting ». A phrase that Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula 1 World Champion, could have made his own since, aged just 10, he used to pull Ron Dennis’s sleeve saying «One day I shall drive a McLaren». Thanks to the magic of film, TAG Heuer made the impossible encounter of the Hollywood idol and the virtuoso of the racing circuit possible. For the length of a film, they bandied words, challenged each other and crossed swords. On the actor’s wrist the original MONACO, on the champion's the MONACO LS. A modern duel dramatising one of the great driving forces throughout history: the spirit of competition. The same spirit that drives the technicians and watchmakers of TAG Heuer when, day after day, they face the challenge of surpassing their own achievements, of doing more to innovate and reinvent themselves. This is how today we shape the timepieces of the future.
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