The infamous Tag Heuer Monaco was first introduced in 1969 and made its fame in the iconic 70’s film ‘Le Mans’. This exposure allowed the square shaped watch to sky rocket in popularity – paving the wave for new designs and models to be created in similar fashion, from various luxury watch brands all over the world.
The Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph is a stunning watch, which has been designed in many different ways, but the most well known and famous one is the vintage Monaco… being worn by Steve McQueen probably helped that happen, and if you want to be as cool as him, then just wear this watch… well maybe not as cool.
TAG HEUER VINTAGE MONACO 39MM MENS WATCH
Why has this watch made it onto Watch of the Week?
This stunning Tag Heuer Monaco Vintage has made it onto watch of the week, mainly down to the fact it has a really cool story, and was worn by a really cool actor. Although, in saying this, we haven’t just added it because of the ‘coolness’, but also due to the heritage and history in which it holds.
The watch was a revolutionary breakthrough, because of it’s achievements for being the first automatic chronograph which happened to style the square case too. It’s an important one to remember and honour, because we don’t see breakthroughs like this so often anymore – needless to say there’s of course new developments and advancements, but not in this manner, and that’s why its good to appreciate the history in which follows us.
Being driven by performance, it plays its role in ‘Le Mans’ perfectly, and links into the idea of the racing cars and the speed and precision they needed in order to win the race.
What are the 3 best features it includes?
First of all, is the 100m water resistant depth it comes equipped with – perfect for the sporty and adventurous man who likes to test the limits once in a while. Having this resistance depth to water, also ensures you of the durability in which it holds, allowing for longevity to prosper.
It holds an automatic calibre 11 movement which allows you to always be on the go – a bit like those racing drivers in the 24 hour ‘Le Mans’ race. This movement was also the first of its kind inside a chronograph timepiece.
Lastly, is the 40 hour power reserve, allowing you to continue with your journeys and explorations without the hassle of winding your watch.
WHO IS STEVE MCQUEEN?
Steve McQueen was born on March 24th 1930, and unfortunately died on November 7th 1980. Considered to be one of the greatest leading men actors of those times, down to the fact of his incredible performances in the likes of ‘The Great Escape’, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and of course the iconic film ‘Le Mans’ – in which this watch gained the popularity it deserves.
He went to a reform school in the early years of his life, and after he finished, he joined the Marine Corps where he received training on how to be a tank diver. Serving from 1947-1950, he was then enrolled in the neighbourhood Playhouse acting troupe. This was the start of what was going to be his flourishing career.
An image of Steve McQueen wearing the Tag Heuer Monaco
The fitting nature of this watch within the film and its fast paced action allowed for the popularity of the square style design to propel. Additionally, the watch according to timeandwatches.com featured in the film for a total of 15 minutes which is an impressive feat since the film lasts for 1hr 48 minutes. This isn’t like the usual 20 second cameo other watches get – this is a proper display of horological art and advancements within the industry, and is most likely the reason of it’s popular and ever-growing success.
Not only that, but the logo ‘Chronograph Heuer’ is located on the right side of McQueen’s jumpsuit, further advertising the watch brand. The original watch worn by McQueen himself, sold for a staggering £1,596,125.44 or $2,208,000 in an auction in New York City.
WHAT IS THE ‘LE MANS’ RACE?
24 hours of Le Mans is the oldest active sports car race which is all about endurance – hence the name ’24 hours’. It is held each year, and has been going on since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France.
Being considered one of the most prestigious races in the world – has definitely impacted the way in which racing is looked at upon today. Unlike Formula 1, it’s all about endurance and the ability to push their cars to the absolute limits for 24 hours. Whoever completes the race after 24 hours with the greatest distance covered, wins!
The idea behind the race was not for these companies to create the fastest car, but to build a car with great functionalities and with the utmost reliability and durability held within, for the limits to be pushed to the absolute brink. Not everyone completes the race due to mechanical failures etc. and that’s what makes it so prestigious and enjoyable to watch – a thrilling display of automobiles. No wonder the Tag Heuer Monaco became so popular.