WatchTime New York, America’s largest watch show, has returned to Manhattan’s Gotham Hall this weekend, and for the first time, Swiss sports-watch specialist TAG Heuer is among the sponsoring brands. Making its official U.S. debut at the event is the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition.
The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic blue-and-orange Gulf Racing stripes, the logo that famously adorned Steve McQueen’s Porsche 917 racing car and livery in the 1971 film Le Mans. Portraying driver Michael Delaney in the movie, McQueen — channeling the style of Swiss Formula One legend Jo Siffert — wore on his wrist a Heuer Monaco Ref. 1133B, launched in 1969 and outfitted with Heuer Caliber 11, one of the first automatic chronograph movements ever developed and the first to reach the market.
The new watch is a modern descendant of the original, which was also notable for being the first Swiss-made automatic chronograph that was both square-shaped and waterproof, as well as the first with a left-side winding crown. The stainless steel case of the Monaco Gulf Special Edition measures 39 mm and features alternating brushed and polished finishes. The sapphire crystal over the dial is domed and beveled. Water-resistant to 100 meters, it has chronograph pushers and 2 and 4 o’clock.
The blue sunray-finished dial of this special edition is decorated with the Gulf racing stripes on the left side, and also features a Gulf logo above the date window at 6 o’clock and a vintage “Heuer” logo (in place of the modern TAG Heuer logo) under the “Monaco” text at 12 o’clock. The Monaco’s hallmark squared subdials (running seconds at 3 o’clock, 30-minute chronograph counter at 9 o’clock) are also in evidence. A red lacquered central hand tallies the chronograph seconds.
Inside the watch, and visible under a screwed sapphire caseback, is the modern version of the self-winding Caliber 11, which features a rapid date correction, a 28,800-vph balance frequency, and a 40-hour power reserve in addition to its integrated chronograph function. The Gulf logo colors also appear on the watch’s strap, made of perforated blue calfskin leather with orange stitching and orange lining.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition will be available only in the U.S., and priced at $5,900.