I love me a good vintage re-issue watch, especially when things are done right. A favorite from (very) recent memory is the new Heuer Monza Chronograph. Officially launched at Baselworld last week, this retro looking throw-back was created in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original edition of the same name. More on this watch’s fabled history after the jump but for now just take a moment to marvel at that ‘70’s-era cool oozing out of this bad boy.
The Heuer Monza Chronograph
For those not overly familiar with this model a quick history lesson is in order. Back in the 1970’s Heuer (or Tag Heuer as its known today) was the official timekeeper for the Ferrari Scuderia Formula 1 Team. In 1975, as luck would have it, Ferrari driver (and all round bad ass) Niki Lauda achieved his first world championship title with the team.
Being that Heuer was the team’s official timekeeper (and also given that there wasn’t much else to celebrate in the midst of the quartz crisis) a suitable watch was of course required to mark the occasion. And thus the Heuer Monza Chronograph was born from the fertile mind of Jack Heuer, the great grandson of the brand’s founder and launched in 1976.
The watch created quite an impression at the time thanks to its bold, sporty looks. Presented in an all-black, coussin-shapped case inspired by an earlier Heuer model from 1925 complete with contrasting red indicies and counters the Heuer Monza Chronograph was instantly recognizable on the wrist.
Its 39mm steel case housed a chronograph equipped movement complete with a pulsometer and a tachymeter scale, thus ensuring its racing pedigree was above reproach. This was also the first time the word MONZA had appeared on the dial of a watch. To call it a trendsetter at the time is probably a gross understatement.
Forty years on and the original watch is still as stylish now as it was then, which is why Tag Heuer has stayed so true to its design. With some notable upgrades of course. First of all that iconic coussin-shaped case has been beefed up to 42mm and its now made from grade 5 titanium instead of steel. Likewise a generous coating of titanium carbide gives it that mean-looking matt black appearance.
Significantly the new Heuer Monza Chronograph also features a pulsometer and tachymeter scale, important elements which were left off of previous reissues. The dial also looks remarkably like that iconic model from 1976 and even features the same font. Ditto for the color scheme, which is pretty much unchanged as well as the use of the original Heuer logo and of course the Monza script.
Inside the Heuer Monza Chronograph is 17 automatic calibre, a chronograph with two chronograph counters at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, as well as a date function. The screw-on back is numbered and features the historic HEUER logo engraved with red lacquer finish.
Finishing the look is a “super racing” strap in full-grain black calfskin with top-stitching that, according to Tag Heuer, evokes the design of the three-spoke steering wheel on the racing cars of the time. Whatever the case it looks damn cool.
The new Heuer Monza Chronograph will be produced in a limited run of 2,000 pieces and should be available for purchase later this year. Price is set at CHF4,900.
For more information please visit www.tagheuer.com.