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WATCH REVIEW TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph

Editor's opinion
70.5 / 100
The Monaco Chronograph, a classic item of Heuer reedited in 1998, seduces thanks to its well-finished and original-designed case. This new version has just evolved slightly. I have tested it for you.
Straight to the Point

TAG Heuer Monaco Chronographe

Ref.: CAW2110.FC6177
$3,800.00 US retail price October 6th, 2010
  • the finishing of the case
  • the distinguishing design of the watch
  • the work on the sapphire glass
  • a transparent back that does not allow seeing a lot
  • the imperfections of the chronograph
  • an angular case that marks easily
Brand TAG Heuer
Model name
Monaco Chronograph
Case material
Case diameter (without crown)
39 mm x 39 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
39 mm x 42,28 mm
Movement type
TAG Heuer calibre 12
Base Caliber
ETA 2892-2 + Dubois Depraz module
Dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
22,01 mm
Length from lug to lug
47,23 mm
Case thickness
14,44 mm
Strap material
Clasp type
Deployment clasp
Clasp material
Total weight
122 grammes
Retail price USA at October 6th, 2010
Comfort (/15) 14
Movement (/20) 9.5
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 2
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 4
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 1.5
Finishing (/20) 15
Dial finishing (/6) 4
Case finishing (/6) 5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 4
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 1
Functionality (/20) 15
Diurnal legibility (/5) 4.5
Night legibility (/4) 2
Water resistance (/3) 1
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3.5
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 4
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 0
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 13
When to wear it ? To drink a White Russian after work!
Users opinion
like this watch
Do you like this watch?

TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph

Presented in 1969 with the automatic chronograph “caliber 11” movement produced by Dubois-Depraz and Buren (for Breitling, Hamilton and Heuer-Leonidas), the Monaco remained in the Heuer catalog during a part of the 1970’s.
Then it was put aside, as many of its competitors.

TAG Heuer launched again this model in 1998 and has quite largely declined it since.
The range has been renewed two years ago.

This is the case with the tested model: a “full-dressed Monaco”, with its black dial and its leather strap of the same shade.

A flattering design

The preservation of the Monaco line, which successfully distinguishes it from its competitors, does not preclude a well-conceived work on the details.

The basis of the case benefits a rounded chamfer that lightens it.
The dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating is similarly chamfered.

With the alternations of polished/brushed finishing and the faceted hands and markers, the whole is flattering.

TAG Heuer has preserved the system of a folding buckle by pinching.
When the strap is well-adjusted, the Monaco, of a reasonable size, can easily be forgotten.


The movement

The calibers 11, 12 and 15, developed in the late 1960’s and at the beginning of the 1970’s, even if they were not “great watch making”, were interesting thanks to their architecture (a chronograph’s module set to a Buren micro-rotor automatic movement) and their novelty.

The actual movement of the Monaco claims filiations with its ancestors by taking over the name “caliber 12”. And indeed, it is also a Dubois-Depraz module, set on an automatic movement, namely an ETA 2892-2.

Born in the 1970's as a chronograph evocative of the race, the Monaco remains, in this “smart” version, a serious competitor on the market of “sport/smart” watches.


The comparison ends here. The actual module is installed differently and does not benefit the aura attached to the novelty of its 40-year-old predecessor.

As for the 2894-2 supplied by ETA between 1998 and 2009, the complication plate Dubois-Depraz, set on the 2892-2 suffers several flaws: slight jump of the seconds hand of the chronograph when starting it, shuffling hand for the minutes counter and firm push-buttons.

The Steve Mc Queen’s fans willing to measure the length of their coffee’s percolation or the average speed of the bus between home and work might thus be disappointed.

All the more that this Monaco does not include a tachymeter.

Conversely, the manual winding and the time and date setting are very comfortable.

Lastly, this new Monaco is waterproof up to 100 meters depth.
So you can fearlessly take a bath with it – provided that you change the strap first.
But you will not be able anymore to polish the glass of your TAG Heuer with toothpaste, such as it was possible in the past, the plexiglas being replaced on this version by a beautiful sapphire glass.


What to remember

Born in the 1970’s as a chronograph evocative of the race, the Monaco remains, in this “smart” version, a serious competitor on the market of “sport/smart” watches.

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