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2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Held in the small Principality of Monaco, right off the south of France on the Mediterranean Sea, the Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually since 1929. As a sponsor of the Automobile Club de Monaco as well as official sponsor of the Red Bull Racing Team, TAG Heuer hosted several guests and press to enjoy not just the Formula 1 race, but all the requisite fêting that’s associated with the event. Of course, no event like this would be complete without some appropriate timepieces. First, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Red Bull Racing Edition watch, a subtly modified Carrera Heuer 01 honoring the F1 team sponsored by TAG. Complementing this “new” (read, post-Biver) TAG Heuer watch was the motorsports heritage timepiece classic – a “Steve McQueen” Heuer Monaco.

In this article I discuss my experience at the race as well as some watches. I’ve added photos from not just the event but Monaco itself throughout which I hope will help give you an idea of the setting.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Though it’s far from news at this point, Ferrari’s F1 team took the top two spots at the Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen taking the first and second spots, respectively. Red Bull Racing’s own Daniel Ricciardo came in third. What stood out to me was the sheer narrowness of the streets coupled with the tight turns throughout. For those who have been to the race and seen the track this isn’t news, but I really got a true feeling for it after a lap on the race route (albeit in a van going at a considerably unhurried pace).

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Nearly every apartment building was filled with spectators packing the balconies and rooftops.

Though Monaco itself is small in size at .78 square miles, there’s nothing lilliputian about the place. Well known for its lax, or rather, nonexistent, tax laws, Monaco is the second most densely populated country in the world, after Macau. It’s populated with multi-millionaires, billionaires, their cars, and their yachts. For the annual race, the population swells to several times the 40,000 residents (I believe there are something like five or six public colleges in the United States that have more students enrolled) with the entire city-state essentially serving as the venue.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

An Autavia Heuer 02 spotted in the crowd

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

It’s tough to separate TAG Heuer in 2017 with the man at the helm, none other than Jean-Claude Biver. Making his presence known by donning chef’s whites and a toque blanche (all branded, naturally), Mr. Biver pitted brand ambassadors, actor Chris Hemsworth, and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo against each other in a match-up worthy of Thor and an F1 racer: a fondue contest. Of course, Biver is known for making his own cheeses so it’s no surprise that this cheesy sauce battle took place. I’m not entirely sure who won, but I believe Hemsworth took this one.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Nobody can accuse TAG Heuer of under-appreciating the art of branding…

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

…no, seriously.

Of course, this isn’t the first time aBlogtoWatch readers have heard about the connection between motorsports and TAG Heuer. Ariel did his best Anthony Bourdain with his Chasing Time video at the Indianapolis 500 last year. You’ll remember he accompanied the lucky winner of the 2015 Watch & Experience Giveaway where he won a trip to the race and got his own Carrera timepiece.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

As I mentioned before, I was sent a TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 “Steve McQueen” (Ref. CAW211P) watch and the new Carrera Heuer 01 Chronograph Red Bull Racing Special Edition watches. I’ll begin with the new Heuer 01, a watch which is the epitome of what can be considered the “new” TAG Heuer under Jean-Claude Biver, and will later get to the Monaco which is the embodiment of a “heritage” reissue piece and one of my favorite watches in the mid five-figure range (and beyond, really). I do want to note that I specifically chose these two watches, so these are going to be pretty positive looks at both of them. Two arbitrarily picked TAG Heuer pieces would probably get harsher treatment.

And though the environment would suggest otherwise, the $5,900 price for the Monaco and $5,350 price for the Heuer 01 ($5,950 in 45mm) presents a lot of value to a broad range of buyers. In a time when there is uncertainty in the industry and a vast swath of options for buyers, especially in this price range, both of these timepieces stand out and outclass many similarly priced offerings.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Thousands of words have been written on the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01, a watch which goes into the “Hublot-lite” territory with gusto. A contemporary timepiece with the design language of a much pricier watch, it’s completely emblematic of the direction TAG Heuer is going in to appeal to a whole new audience base. Where the Monaco evokes images of a romantic technicolor racing heritage, this watch is the “now” as 2017 was TAG Heuer’s second year as partners with Red Bull Racing, which is about as long as the Heuer 01 has been released.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Thankfully, the designers of the watch decided to keep any in-your-face team branding to the case back, with the dial differing enough from the standard Heuer 01 to stand out from it, but not obnoxiously so. It’s got a different skeletonization structure, the words “Drive Timer” on the 12 o’clock sub-dial, and large Arabic numeral 5-minute markers. It’s once you turn the watch around where you notice the smoked exhibition case back featuring the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team logo and text. That’s about it for branding on the watch, which is refreshingly subtle considering it’s a partnership with a racing team titled after an energy drink.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Note that the model I wore is the new, smaller 43mm version as opposed to the previous 45mm models. The two are basically the same apart from some black titanium carbide on the base of the pushers and the center of the case. The matte ceramic blue bezel is deep and attractive, matching the dial wonderfully. I’m also happy to report that the new date window between 3 and 4 o’clock is actually quite legible and easy to read.

While I prefer a bracelet to a leather strap 99% of the time, I have to say I was really enticed by the model on the leather strap. Perhaps it’s because the leather strap kind of softens the whole watch up a little bit. Alas, I wore it on the steel bracelet which still looked good.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

Getting back to the event, I’ve never actually seen a crash during any kind of race. Fortunately, there was no serious incident during the race, though Pascal Wehrlein’s clash with Jenson Button was a notable exception. What was fascinating to watch during the qualifying sessions was a minor crash (not sure of the driver) where the front right wheel blew out. Nearly a dozen pit crew guys go onto the track during the race to pick up debris and secure the car to an attachment from a crane which lifts the crashed vehicle out of the race. You can see the visual representation of what I mean in the photos above. It’s probably not remarkable to a lot of enthusiasts who attend a lot of races, but seeing the process up close in person was pretty wild.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

When I wasn’t watching the race, I was snooping around trying to see what watches people had on. It was mostly the usual suspects but I did particularly appreciate a Monaco V4 watch in titanium. You’ll remember the Monaco V4 was introduced back in 2004 (though released in 2009), designed for TAG by Jean-Francois Ruchonnet as a high-end concept watch that took 14,200 days of research and development to create. The name makes sense when looking at the case back (alas, I didn’t ask this gentleman to remove his watch but you can check the stock image above) which has four cylinders reminiscent of a car engine. It’s certainly a very cool watch and considering the six-figure price and limited edition run, it’s one that is most appropriate to see in the wild at the Monaco Grand Prix.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

2017 Monaco Grand Prix With TAG Heuer Watches Featured Articles

There were moments of some downtime on the TAG Heuer Yacht, where we lodged and also attended several parties. During one of these brief moments, I got a moment to sit down with the brand’s newest ambassador Chris Hemsworth, who has played Thor in Marvel movies like The Avengers and Captain Kirk’s dad George Kirk in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. He chose to wear a Carrera Heuer-02T Tourbillon in gold, but what I really wanted to know was what his on-screen progeny Captain Kirk would wear. He thought about it for what I thought was far too long before suggesting it would obviously be the Connected watch. I’m not entirely sure what generation it would be by the time we reach the Star Trek universe timeline but Hemsworth agreed (probably because he wanted to move on to his next battery of interviews). Anyway, he couldn’t have been more gracious and I look forward to seeing his watch appreciation in the future.

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Comments

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  • Raymond Wilkie

    As far as am concerned the Tag Monaco is the worst looking watch ever made.

    • Saul Sloota
      • Sheez Gagoo

        Even through the screen they smell like rotten wood, spiderwebs, bergamot and the smell of old people.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Am here every day ! . You’r right the models shown are completely over the top but i didn’t clunk them because of the work used to create them. They are so over the top a wee bit of sick came up when i first looked at them.
        The Monaco made as an every day watch is a small very light, cheap looking, over pointy squares within a circle mess of a watch.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      I like the Monaco. And the square Nomos as well. But I think the best Heuer is the Autavia.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Tag are my 2nd least favorite brand.

        • Mikita

          After Dolce & Gabbana?

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Spooky,……………D&G are my third least favorite watches

          • Mikita

            And what is the first? Montegrappa? 🙂

    • Yan Fin

      Many moons ago I used to love Monaco on photos. Finally, went to AD to try on and potentially buy. It was one of the biggest disappointments … Felt so cheap and awkward.

  • JF Schnell

    Kinda a little big for my wrist but nonetheless a nice timepiece…

  • Saul Sloota

    “I’m also happy to report that the new date window between 3 and 4 o’clock is actually quite legible and easy to read.”

    Much better in person, I guess.

  • Mikita

    The only modern Heuer I like is Jack Heuer 80th Birthday edition. But I think that many vintage Autavias look sexy as hell.

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang
  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Nice photos of Monaco.

  • SuperStrapper

    I loved monaco and would love to go back to see the race ones day.

    • IG

      Highest douchebags per square mile ratio on the world.

      • SuperStrapper

        Are you from there? Or migrate as part of a pilgrimage.

        • IG

          I am the Prince. Kiss the ring.

      • DanW94

        Ever hear of Hollywood?

        • Sheez Gagoo

          Gstaad? St. Moritz? Zürich Bahnhofstrasse?

          • DanW94

            I guess that’s the Swiss edition.The U.S edition is far too numerous to list….

      • Yan Fin

        There is always Kentucky Derby and premier of Hamilton on Broadway

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I to have been to Monaco and it was capital B for Boring, overpopulated, dense wee place, overpriced. Things to do ?………….spend……that was it,…………oh, and gamble.

      • SuperStrapper

        We were on a 5 week trip on a friends yacht and were only in Monaco for 2 days. I’m not a gambler but the food was good and the people watching was interesting. You are right about the density though, I dont know i could be paid enough to live there.

  • DanW94

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Looks like a great time.The yachts, the cars, (the women) look incredible. The watches, ehh..okay. My favorite is the Autavia on the spectator. As for the tattoo, I’m surprised it’s not a tramp stamp of Biver’s face.

  • Watches? Did you write something about watches? Must have missed that. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/496e66425ea4812b11ddcadab1f9c812076877e3ca1ad7797e3a324730547c39.jpg

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Is that filthy or not ? am not to sure.

      • DanW94

        Let me put it this way. She’s going to need a Tag Showeuer when he’s done with her.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Don’t be filthy !

          • Sevenmack

            There’s a photo that could fully describe what would happen. But you can find such a photo on Google.

    • Word Merchant

      Getting a tag tattoo, even temporary, is beyond sad.

  • Travis Cannata

    Great read, Bilal. Looks like you had a blast.

  • Bert Kanne

    A motorsports marketing company that happens to sell watches…

  • Oldman Johnson

    So TAG puts “Calibre 11” on the rotor of a Sellita movement? I guess they bought it and can do what they want with it, but I mean this reeks of fraud, and the watch may as well be fake. Another reason why I always have an uneasy feeling around this company…

  • BNABOD

    I Like the look of the Heuer Carrera chrono in blue but even at 43 it is still too big, awkward and thick. The leather strap as Ariel mentioned looks quite nice as well. Good news is you can find these Carreras in the 3k range if you have the wrist for them

    • Simon_Hell

      If 43mm is “still too big” then you’re a wimpy sissy. No two ways about it man.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I (silently) agree with you , don’t tell anyone else.

        • BNABOD

          I (silently) could care less 😉

          • Shinytoys

            Haha! Give’em the other barrel !

          • SuperStrapper

            Wasted effort it would be. Ray doesn’t actually deserve it and Simon is just a spunk-crusted sock puppet.

          • Shinytoys

            Ray is cool in my books,I get Ray, the comment wasn’t meant for Ray by any means…

      • BNABOD

        That must be it then wimpy sissy it is

  • Word Merchant

    This is some of the best photography of a Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 I’ve yet seen. And it makes me realise how cheap the watch looks. Really nasty. That strap recalls 70s Seiko folded steel offerings with depressing accuracy. And I used to quite like the Monaco. Not any more.

  • Marius

    I am pleased to see that ABTW is finally publishing an article about Monte Carlo, my hometown. As a result, I would like to highlight a few crucial aspects.

    1. Tag Heuer is seen as a low-class, vile, vicious, and nasty watch by my fellow monegasques. No self-respecting monegasque would be caught dead wearing a Tag Heuer, a brand which is really regarded as a “marque non grata.”

    2. The only people wearing Tag Heuer watches in Monte Carlo are the poor tourists who spent a few hours in our beautiful principality. You might occasionally see one of my fellow millionaires purchasing a Tag Heuer, but that’s bought as a gift for the slaves and servants who work for us.

    3. This article states in a rather crude and primitive way that: “Many, many boats. In fact, the entirety of Port Hercules is the yacht version of the 101 in Los Angeles during rush hour. That is to say that there are a lot of them and they are not really moving for the most part.”
    This isn’t correct. Besides the fact that Port d`Hercule isn’t the only port — there is also Port de Fontvieille — the reality is that most yachts do move around quite a bit. Even the Lady Moura, which is probably the biggest & most expensive yacht in Monaco has been at sea quite a few times.

    • Mikita

      Don’t even know how they were admitted – these plebeians with their TAG Hoyers… Maybe you have to change the guards.

  • Shinytoys

    Having a bit of trouble getting used to the ” new ” busyness of the faces on these watches. What ever happened to Autavia simplicity ?

  • MeaCulpa

    Bring the lube!

  • Shinytoys

    sounds like you prefer the keester, Si…

  • Mark1884

    All this over a mall watch.
    NEXT………>

  • Phil leavell

    I must admit I’m not fond of tag I’ve always found them a bit overpriced for what they are now with this face they look like the dog’s breakfast

  • PR

    I love the blue Monaco, its one watch even though its a tad heavy and thick, I still want to keep it in the collection based on overall look/design and wow factor even though I know overall its nothing that special when it comes to the details for the price point. But there is something about it…

  • Joe Downey

    to be Honest and TAG would be Fine with me Both a Work of Art and a Wonderful piece of Engineering

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