Black beauty: TAG Heuer 2016 Heuer Monza

By David Flynn , September 23 2016
Black beauty: TAG Heuer 2016 Heuer Monza

TAG Heuer's 2016 Heuer Monza commemorates the 40th anniversary of the original Heuer Monza, issued in 1976 to celebrate Niki Lauda's victory in the 1975 F1 World Championship.

Lauda’s victory was sealed on the track at Monza in his team’s new 312T Ferrari, of which the Swiss watchmaker – then known simply as Heuer – was a sponsor.

The story

Take a good, long and possibly lustful look at the original Heuer Monza.

This black beauty was an instant hit, and is still highly prized today.

The slightly askew placement of the sub-dials, a winding crown located on the left side of the case and Ferrari red seconds hands to reflect its racing heritage all gave the 1976 Monza a unique character.

Intriguingly for a racer, Heuer enclosed the Monza in a ‘cushion-shaped’ square case with rounded angles – a form making a strong comeback today – which combined undeniable masculinity with refinement.

Now dwell on the new Heuer Monza, and note that it doesn’t look all that new.

The style

TAG Heuer has skilfully carried through the hallmark touches and overall aesthetic of the original Monza.

The result is a modern watch which echoes a vintage vibe – but it’s an authentic vintage rather than a fashion-minded retro look, if that makes sense.

The 2016 Heuer Monza is still wrapped in black casework, today cast in Grade 5 titanium coated with titanium carbide for a deep finish as well as durability in daily wear.

That case is elongated as the 2016 edition is a slightly larger 42mm against the first-gen’s 39mm, but 42mm is now the sweet spot for men's sports watches before they veer into overt wrist-dominance.

Those red highlights remain, as does the cream-orange lume which almost looks ‘pre-faded’ – although the revamped dial has more balance, the right-side stainless steel crown and pushers more symmetry.

In addition to standard chronometer time-keeping the 2016 Heuer Monza retains a tachymeter scale for measuring speed and a pulsometer which – you guessed right – can be used to measure somebody’s pulse.

Even the calfskin leather strap with its large rally-style holes is a nostalgic nod to the spirit of ’76.

Likewise, the rear of the modern Monza is a solid non-nonsense statement: a flat brushed black adorned with only sharp white Monza script, the red Heuer shield and the unique manufacture number of your favourite new timepiece.

This is a sublime piece of work: a watch which is at once new and classic, and retains that same sense of presence as its inspiration.

The details

  • 42mm case
  • Calibre 17 automatic movement with 38 hour power reserve
  • Water resistant to 100m
  • Reference number CR2080.FC6375
  • $6,700; for stockists, visit www.tagheuer.com.au
David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


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