New From TAG Heuer: The 2023 Monaco Chronograph French Racing Blue 39mm
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New From TAG Heuer: The 2023 Monaco Chronograph French Racing Blue 39mm

New From TAG Heuer: The 2023 Monaco Chronograph French Racing Blue 39mm


At A Glance


  • A mainstay in the collection since 1969 with the last watch produced around 1978, the new TAG Heuer Monaco Racing Blue 39mm is a symbol of racing endurance, automotive spirit and Hollywood glamour thanks to pop culture icon Steve McQueen.
  • Taking its cue from the early motorsport era where colours were linked to national flags, such as British racing green and Italian Rosso red, the new Monaco plays on this racing lineage via its French Racing Blue accent.
  • Sporty, cool and fit for the modern wearer, this timeless novelty enjoys a new colour yet remains true to its horological roots and design featuring its square shaped case and calibre 11, equipped with Dubois-Depraz chronograph module.
  • Full of energy, this classic model has a titanium case, sunburst silver dial, vibrant azure and crown positioned on the left with striking satin blue subdials.
  • Oozing charisma, the matt finish and titanium hue ensures the TAG Heuer Monaco Racing Blue 39mm is a forward thinking timepiece.
  • The splash of blue colour predominantly seen on the supple calfskin leather strap is an ode to the official tone of the 1920’s French national motorsport team.


The Influence Of The Monaco


For more than 50 years, the Monaco has been tearing up the horological track like a Formula 1 racing driver. Yes it may have kicked off in March 1969 but what catapulted this watch into the horological limelight was of course the “Easy Rider” himself Steve McQueen.


Steve McQueen, Source: TH

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Captured in the 1971 cult movie “Le Mans” McQueen was often seen showing off his wrist flex in the shape of the Monaco. A speed freak, this close association with the timepiece ensured this was to become as big of a cultural phenomenon as the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Why was the Monaco so legendary? Like the X Factor final, it’s time for the dramatic big reveal. This was not only down to Steve McQueen but it just so happened to offer enthusiasts something that had never been seen or done before. 

That is to say a square shaped case featuring a waterproof automatic chronograph. As groundbreaking as Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing with the Omega Speedmaster, the calibre 11 was revolutionary which was seen on early sports chronograph watches


Richard Nixon’s First Address As US President, Source: Los Angeles Times

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This cemented its timekeeping flag firmly in the minds and hearts of many enthusiasts who were obsessed with matters of horology. But 1969 was not just the year when Apollo 11 returned to earth, Richard Nixon became the 37th US President and the Monaco was launched. 

No, there was another race going on involving the first one to create the first ever self-winding chronograph featuring Zenith, Seiko and the Chronomatic/project 99 group. This brought together Heuer-Léonidas SA, Léon Breitling SA, Hamilton-Büren as well as chronograph expert Dépraz & Co. Gentlemen, this was the inception of what we now know as the Calibre 11.

Cometh the hour, cometh the men. 


Which Celebrity Wears TAG Heuer?

Chris Hemsworth, Source: Pinterest

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In spite of its uncommon shape and characteristics, there have been a myriad of famous TAG Heuer Monaco wearers over the course of time. These include;

  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Twenty Four McQueen taking inspiration from Mcqueen’s striped racing livery as seen in “Le Mans” equipped with blue dial)
  • Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers star has previously flexed the 2015 Calibre 11 and Twenty Four edition)
  • Tom Holland (sported the Titan Special Edition made from Grade 2 titanium)
  • Al Pacino (wearing a Monaco chronograph in a scene from the 2007 movie 88 minutes. 


Personality Of The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph French Racing Blue 39mm


Following on from the skeleton dial version, marking 80 years of the Monaco Grand Prix comes the latest rendition of this instantly recognisable novelty. And we doth our horological hat to this new watch evoking what this historic timepiece is all about.


Source: TH

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Measuring 39mm, the grade 2 sandblasted titanium case is everything a watch connoisseur could fawn over. From its sleek lines, bevelled edges and svelte curves, the 9 o’ clock location of the crown ensures a very much vintage feel of those old-time watches that enthusiasts adore. 

The beautiful square dial incorporates a sunray-brushed grey finish with two satin blue almost squircle subdials located at 3 o’ clock and 9 o’ clock. These correlate to the running seconds and minutes counter for the chronograph setting.

Timeless, elegant and bringing contemporary vibes to a much loved retro novelty, it is cool and edgy…a bit like Steve McQueen himself! Impeccably produced and freshened up for 2023, this lineup has demonstrated for more than five decades why many want to buy a TAG Heuer Monaco.


Source: TH

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Observe the hands and indexes which boast a very modern lime-yellow hue as does the chronograph second hand while the hour and minute hands are rhodium plated and daubed with a generous coating of Super-Luminova. Other glowing tributes to this wonderfully poignant model include a dozen luminous blue dots surrounding the minute ring which represent the intervals around the dial. 


Source: TH

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These emit a blue sheen in dark conditions promoting first rate visibility as does the hour and minute hands. The neon-like yellow baton marker situated at 12 o’ clock is a nice touch. A colourful spectrum of tonality, 


Source: TH

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Well balanced and enjoying a clear and vibrant palette as displayed on the blue dial, The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue pops more than Nena’s 99 Balloons. For us it stands out just as much as the 2023 skeletonised dial with its first rate texture and simplistic legendary contrasting visuals. 

If you want to buy a race-ready watch with an injection of azure undertones and retro references such as the Heuer shield, this is it. Vintage fans should look out especially for the applied indices and date aperture located at 6 that blend beautifully with flecks of contemporary touches housed within its titanium case. 

A genuine tribute to the classic watches of old, 

Other Specs

  • Reference: CAW218C.FC6548
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Limited Edition: Yes
  • Lug to lug width: 47.4mm
  • Case material: Grade 2 titanium
  • Strap: blue perforated calfskin leather with titanium folding clasp 
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronograph : 1/4 seconds, 30 minutes counter, Date
  • Number of jewels: 59
  • Case diameter: 39mm
  • Caseback: sapphire crystal
  • Indexes: applied
  • Dial: Sunray brushed, grey 
  • Bezel: fixed titanium
  • Clasp style: Deployant 


Calibre 11


Powering the new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue 39mm is the legendary calibre 11. The vintage aesthetic of the crown at 9 o’clock located on the left hand side of the case harks back to the original design of this watch. 


Source: TH

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Utilising a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module, this is originally based on a Sellita SW300-1 movement and pulsates at 28,800Vph (4Hz) with a below par power reserve of wait for it…40 hours. 

Think Jean Van De Velde rather than Scottie Scheffler! Hang on a second, we thought this was one of the most legendary watches around? There is partial visibility inside this new novelty but this is by no means earth shattering to say the least. 


Does The Calibre 11 Live Up To The Hype?


It allows enthusiasts enough of a glimpse to see some of the movement on the caseback. Sadly, like Joe Biden, the calibre 11 is beginning to look its age. 

Sagging as if it needs a timekeeping nip and tuck in terms of lagging behind the competition with similar price points, the Dubois-Depraz module cannot compete we feel with dedicated chronograph movements from watchmaking giants like Breitling and Hublot.

But there’s still lots to admire inside from its wide ranging architecture, Côtes de Genève finishing not to mention its perlage located across elements like the bridges and balance cock. Plus the sapphire crystal porthole design is not too shabby either. “Swiss made since 1860” “Limited edition” and hand engraved “1 of 1000” is displayed proudly on the caseback for good measure.


How Much Does The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph French Racing Blue 39mm Cost?


Launched in July 2023 and limited to 1000 pieces only, buy a TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Racing Blue Limited Edition for £8,050 at the time of writing


What’s Our View?


The ideal alternative to the solid Carrera which has been gaining popularity and press recently thanks to its appearance on the wrist of Ryan Gosling at the new Barbie movie, we have been tickled pink at Chrono Hunter due to its classic yet solid respect in the watch community for its three handed version.

What’s more, it features on the wrist of Danny Moore, played by Orlando Bloom in another summer 2023 blockbuster, Gran Turismo. More pulsating than a Zenith El Primero movement, it is based on one of the most pulsating racing games of all time. 

But everyone knows a Monaco…full stop. Its iconic square case has made it one of the most instantly recognizable timepieces in the world. A respect that has never wavered over time, we see the Calibre 11 being used twice only in titanium. 

And boy was it worth the wait. Once again they have managed to take something so simple, so enduring and give it a twist that ensures their secret potion is a staid path many enthusiasts and collectors will trundle down time and time again.




While we are also a fan of the Titan in titanium, it’s another standout piece where the worlds of vintage watches and modern timekeeping collide perfectly to deliver another first rate iteration.

The bleu de France colour on the leather strap together with grade 2 titanium, bright azure subdials and sunray brushed dial make this a potentially hot investment opportunity. This is coupled with its sporting prowess, motorsport connections and the exclusivity of the watches, limited to just 1,000 pieces. 

As for the pre-owned market, 1960's watches of this nature always do well if you happen to own one where there is excellent resale value. Looking to sell? Other popular watches of note that have good resale value on the pre-owned market include ref. CAW211P.FC6356 from 2015, the Gulf special edition introduced at Baselworld 2018 and the Calibre 12 Steve McQueen unveiled in 2002.

It’s time to head out on the highway again to bring you the next instalment of the newest drops.

Looking to buy a TAG Heuer for your collection? Want to sell your TAG Heuer at the best possible price? You’ve tried the rest. Now it’s time to experience the best and contact ChronoHunter here. Receive multiple offers from our trusted network of luxury retailers and choose which one is right for you. 

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Further Reading: 

12 Of The Best TAG Heuer Watches To Buy Right Now


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