One To Watch | TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition
Designed to celebrate 50 years since the start of Gulf Racing and their characteristic blue and orange stripes, the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition not only pays tribute to this historical racing partnership, but also to the origins of the iconic TAG Heuer Monaco itself.
A genuine revolution in both aesthetics and technical prowess, the TAG Heuer Monaco is a legendary timepiece which literally changed the face of watchmaking. Not only was the Monaco powered by the Calibre 11, which was one of the first automatic chronograph movements, it also made watchmaking history by becoming the first ever waterproof automatic chronograph with a square case.
The King of Cool
Originally launched in 1969, the Monaco became a cult classic almost overnight when King of Cool, Steve McQueen wore it in his 1971 racing film Le Mans. In the film, McQueen’s character was sponsored by Gulf Oil, sporting the distinctive blue and orange stripes on his white livery.
Taking on the aesthetic codes of Gulf for this special edition, the classic Monaco style is firmly rooted in motorsports. It’s a watch that talks directly to our inner petrolhead.
The Calibre 11 Movement
Fourth in the collection of Monaco Gulf Oil Special Edition watches, this particular Monaco Gulf is a stylish update of the 2015 TAG Heuer Monaco ‘Steve McQueen’ and brandishes some special design firsts for the Gulf series.
An ode to the original Monaco, the 2018 Monaco Gulf is the first of the series to be powered by the iconic Calibre 11 automatic movement. Although we’ve recently seen Monacos with Calibre 12 and even quartz movements, the Calibre 11, with its characteristic placement of the crown on the left of the case, is as indelibly linked to the Monaco series as the Calibre 1861 is to the Speedmaster.
An Ode to the Original
We also see a return of the Heuer logo in this edition, along with a dark blue sunray dial which makes the off-centred blue and orange Gulf stripes seem even more distinctive.
Other homages to the original include the horizontal hour markers, the distinctive red hands and the highly domed sapphire crystal which initially helped the watch to be waterproof. Today’s version is waterproof to 100m - even with its exhibition case back.
Hip to be Square
Fastened with a spectacular blue calfskin leather racing strap with Gulf stitching, it might surprise you to learn that the imposing case is quite modest at just 39mm, although its iconic square shape means it feels much larger than an equivalent round dial.
Combining exquisite heritage with distinctive team branding, it goes without saying that the TAG Heuer Gulf Monaco isn’t the most discrete wristwatch you’ll ever come across but, let’s be honest, why would you ever want a Monaco to be discreet?
A watch for collectors and motorsport fanatics alike, the TAG Heuer Gulf Monaco Special Edition is available for £4,750 or £89.06 per month with interest free credit.
Things We Like
✔ The iconic square case
✔ The bold styling
✔ The Steve McQueen connection
✔ A watch that’s a little bit out of the ordinary
✔ Monaco fans
✔ Having a really cool talking point in the pub