The TAG Heuer Monaco is easily one of the most iconic watches ever made thanks to its bold square case and celebrity co-signs… But its latest incarnation takes boldness to a whole new level, with a rather inspired colour choice.
The racy chronograph, which has been worn by everyone from Mick Jagger and Max Verstappen to Chris Hemsworth and Will Smith, is prototypically endowed with a blue dial. That’s the version Steve McQueen wore in Le Mans, and that’s what people think about when they think of the watch.
Blue dials have been in vogue for ages, and now it seems like green dials are the next big thing. But purple dials? They’re as rare as hen’s teeth… Which is why it’s so out of left field that TAG Heuer has come out with the Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition.
The unexpected colour is actually a subtle nod to the very early Heuer Monaco ref. 1113B and ref. 1533 Calibre 15 of the late ’60s and early 70s. As TAG Heuer explains, these Monacos used a metallic blue dial finish which, over time, has demonstrated a tendency to patinate from blue to a dégradé purple colour, sometimes slightly faded in the centre and darker around the edges.
I had the chance to see the watch in person at Watches & Wonders in Geneva earlier this year, and pictures don’t really do it justice. The dial finish is both brilliant and rather smoky all at once. It’s kind of stealthy – until the light hits the dial in just the right way, and the juicy purple is revealed.
Mounted on a black alligator strap, it’s beautifully retro and eclectic in all the right ways. Big 70s vibes. It’s also one of an increasingly rare breed – how many other luxury watchmakers are coming out with purple watches right now?
A limited-edition of only 500 pieces, it retails for AU$10,400 and can be found at TAG Heuer’s online boutique here. Anyone got a Deep Purple record I can spin?