Slideshow = 18 photos to see this watch from every angle
Special thanks to Tempoinverso.com for entrusting us with the tested TAG Heuer
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.
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.
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 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...
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!
- its original, groundbreaking architecture
- a pleasant design
- the quality of its movement
- the chronograph's readability is not intuitive
- night legibility is weak
- the titanium buckle
- journalist's wrist = 17 cm