TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty Four Concept

By Florian Matrion - January 10, 2011
Monaco Twenty Four Concept Diaporama
Suspended case, 36,000 VPH, let's review the Monaco Twenty Four Concept Chronograph, a racing car variation of the Monaco. Put your seat straps on, and get ready for testing this fast-racing watch!
Exclusive! review of the Monaco Twenty Four Concept. Manufacturer data, photos, editor's opinion and watch retail price on thewatchobserver.co.uk
Editor's opinion
70/100
Users' rating
75/100

Slideshow = 18 photos to see this watch from every angle

 

Special thanks to Tempoinverso.com for entrusting us with the tested TAG Heuer

 

Foreword

In lineal descent from the Monaco Sixty Nine (double-sided dial), the V4 (belt-driven movement) and the 360 LS (tenth-seconds accurate readability), the Monaco Twenty Four Concept is the latest iteration in a series of "special" Monaco watches, and was first presented during BaselWorld 2009, as a celebration of its Monaco little sister's 40th birthday. 

This rather futuristic Monaco Concept results of the assembling of more or less obvious references to GT racing, both in design and manufacturing.

 

High-tech design

The most impressive feature is the movement being "suspended" within the case.
It almost floats on four arms having a 'composite shock absorber' (according to TAG Heuer).
Although crash testing the genuine input such a shock-absorbing technology would really bring was obviously not possible with the watch we had, it still gives it a very successful, see-through "high-tech" look.

This architecture obviously echoes technical solutions used in professional motor sports.

 

The polished black PVD-coated case is nicely finished, and reminds of the Monaco V4 case, with its beveled sapphire glass jutting out on the edge.

Weightless movement

Another feature is the Calibre 36 Movement... nothing less than the famous Zenith El Primero.

This world-acclaimed movement, is the only chronograph movement beating at 36,000 beats per hour, which gives it an amazing accuracy, together with the possibility of tenth-seconds measuring.

The adornment and design conducted by TAG Heuer have been very neatly manufactured.
They're visible through a very wide and pleasant sapphire crystal caseback, with its GT mag-shaped, rim-like oscillating weight and orange colors, although we're still in an industrial finishing process here.

 

A genuine racing car watch

The Twenty Four Concept complements its technical features with a few aesthetic references to the automobile racing world: a hulking "24" at 12 o'clock on the dial (as an homage to the 24 Heures du Mans racing), "blue/orange" stripes (just like on Steve McQueen's "Gulf" Porsche in the film "Le Mans")...

TAG Heuer could have used a little more subtlety in the look of this watch!
But we can't deny the overall successful design of it all.

 

The adornment and design of the movement, visible through a very wide and pleasant sapphire crystal caseback, have been very neatly manufactured.

Beautiful finishing

The polished black PVD-coated case is nicely finished, and reminds of the Monaco V4 case, with its beveled sapphire glass jutting out on the edge.

With its nice depth, the dial's finishing is very pleasant too.

The only "incongruity" comes from the titanium buckle: its color does not go together well with the black PVD-coated case, or with the push-pieces and steel fastenings...

It perfectly sits on the wrist, thanks to the "millimeter scale" fit of the wristlet's length.

 


The case's thickness is surprising but it unquestionably contributes to the 'concept' look of this timepiece.
On the other hand, watch out for shocks on this prominent PVD case!

It gets a little more complicated with the chronograph's readability: the half dial used for the chrono (at 3 o'clock) doesn't help in intuitively reading time.
Displaying 1 to 15, it forces us in watching the hand's color and starting mental arithmetic.
If it's orange, time is read directly. But if it's white, one must add 15 minutes to the time told.
Not an easy exercise when driving at 150 mph in the middle of two bends...

 

Conclusions

With this latest version of the Monaco, TAG Heuer brings us a chronograph with many qualities.
You'll enjoy the racing car style design, the beautiful manufacturing, as well as its bold and unique attitude – not mentioning this "bay-window" and its view on the movement!

 

The +:

  • its original, groundbreaking architecture
  • a pleasant design
  • the quality of its movement

 

The –:

  • the chronograph's readability is not intuitive
  • night legibility is weak
  • the titanium buckle

 

Further information:

  • journalist's wrist = 17 cm
Slideshow
18 pictures to see this watch in all its angles
Click on one photo to enlarge the watch gallery
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Manufacturer data

Brand TAG Heuer
Model name Monaco Twenty Four Concept
Reference number CAL5110.FC6265
Case material Steel with black PVD coating
Case diameter (without crown) 40,5 mm
Case diameter (crown included) 45,22 mm
Movement type Automatic
Calibre Calibre 36
Calibre base Zenith El Primero
Functions Second
Minute
Hour
Date
Chronograph
Crystal Dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve ability 50h
Transparent back Yes
Lug width 22,51 mm
Length from lug to lug 49,23 mm
Case thickness 17,17 mm
Water resistant 100 m
Strap material Alligator
Clasp type Deployment clasp
Clasp type Titanium
Total weight 129 grammes
Retail price France at 2011/01/10 8,500.00 € calc

Editor's opinion 70/100

Confort (/15) 13
more Movement (/20) 11
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 3.5
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 4
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve ability (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 1.5
more Finishing (/20) 16
Dial finishing (/6) 5
Case finishing (/6) 5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 4
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 1
more Practicality (/20) 13.5
Diurnal legibility (/5) 4
Night legibility (/4) 1.5
Water resistant (/3) 1
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
more Bonus (/10) 4.5
Limited edition (/3) 2
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 0.5
Goodies included (/1) 0
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 12
When to wear it ?
For the 24 Heures du Mans racing!

Users' rating 75/100

Confort (/15) 12
Movement (/20) 17
Finishing (/20) 16
Practicality (/20) 13
Bonus (/10) 7
Value for money (/15) 11.5
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