In 2011 this watch is really cool. In 2003 when this watch first came out… it was really cool. This is the Tag Heuer Monaco Vintage Replica Automatic Sixty Nine. It was like a futuristic Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso as Tag Heuer transformed the Monaco case into something that flipped around. It does this while the watch is still on your wrist – which is probably the best part.
The case is about 42mm wide in steel (and there are a lot of pushers on it). It is also 18mm thick – which is a bit on the hefty side, but the watch does have two sides which means that an 18mm thickness is excusable. Essentially the watch is analog one side and digital on the other.
The analog size is simple and easy to read. Just the time with a subsidiary seconds dials – and it is super elegant. Really love this dial for combining what I like about the Monaco dial, Tag Heuer sportiness, and attention to function that I appreciate in the brand. This side is powered by a mechanical movement which is cool. The down side is that it has a manually-wound movement (Tag Heuer Calibre 2). I get that Tag Heuer used this because an automatic would have likely been too thick, but I still yearn for this to have an automatic movement in it.
What is more is that McQueen left the filming of LeMans not completely thrilled about his connection with Don Nunley or Heuer itself. Heuer had quickly delivered the watches to France without appropriate import paperwork. That means it would be difficult to get them back into Switzerland without paying high fees. Nunley chose to simply give the watches away to key members of the film crew, with Jack’s agreement. It was this reason that we know of around six different Monacos that might have valid ties to the filming of LeMans. When McQueen watched Heuers all over the crew-members, he promptly assumed there was some type of deal set up he was oblivious of, also accused Nunley of misusing his title. Nunley responded by saying it wasn’t accurate, and that the members of this team had purchased the watches at special discounted rates. Still, in Jack’s biography, he also admits that McQueen was not a close ally of Heuer at the conclusion of filming, or might he be again. The now signature case layout of the Monaco design itself was not a Heuer conception in any way. The square case came to Heuer one afternoon in 1968 from the maker Piquerez. An individual has to remember that even more then than now, a little group of suppliers provided EVERYTHING into EVERYONE. That is the reason you watch Hamiltons, Heuers, and Breitlings with all but indistinguishable appearances, and Speedmasters that discuss instances with Universal Geneves, and Carreras which are basically the same as Daytonas. But, Heuer watched the potential of this oversize, watertight square case, also secured a deal with Piquerez to be the only client to that it might be marketed, there by supplying Heuer using a brand new “avante garde” layout to establish the Caliber 11. While Heuer was cooperating with Breiting and Hamilton in the progression of the movement, they were competitions, and Heuer thought the square Monaco instance would give it an advantage over the others who would be using the same innovative movement.
Flip the watch over and you get a digital movement. Digital in that Tag Heuer style that they made popular in the early 2000s with the Microtimer all digital watch. The digital side is slick looking and clearly powered by a quartz movement. It has another time zone, 1/1000 of a second chronograph (with all the fancy functions), perpetual calendar, alarm, and backlight. You know me, I love functionality, I love gadgets, and I love options. I also like all those things contained in a nice looking non-nerdy package. That is why I loved the Chopard Monaco Historique Time Attack MF, and that is why I am fond of the Tag Heuer Monaco Automatic Sixty Nine watch as well. Price was about $7,000 brand new, and under $5,000 when you can find them today. Check out one of these Tag Heuer Monaco Automatic Sixty Nine watches available on James List here.