The Monaco V4 was designed to be an automatic but it does not have a traditional semi-circular rotor. Instead, it was designed to have a linear rotor. What’s that? Well rather than going in a circle, a linear rotor travels black and forth in a straight line. This isn’t technically brand new as such concepts were tested when automatic-winding was first being invented long ago, but you’ll never see anything even remotely modern have one save for the Monaco V4 and one version of the Corum Golden Bridge that came later and offered something similar.

One of the biggest issues with the  linear rotor (meant to remind the wearer of a car engine’s piston) is the shock on both ends of the weight. There is no shock when a circle spins around endlessly, but a weight such as this must hit each side countless times each day. TAG Heuer expressed particular disdain at the recollection of having to design a solution to ensure this did not wear out the movement quickly. With four mainspring barrels, the rear of the movement looks a bit like a V4 engine which is the source of the watch’s name. It also has about 42 hours of power reserve.

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This particular TAG Heuer Monaco V4 watch ref. WAW2041.FC6288 is a serious rarity and was released in 2013. Chances are that you’ve never seen it and will never see it. More recent Monaco V4 watches upped the case size to a 41mm wide square, that looks a bit better than the original (which always felt small given its bold appearance.) It is a good size and the classic Monaco-style case and sapphire crystal is always a winner. This limited edition version of the Monaco V4 has a carbon case with 18k rose gold trim that includes the hands, some elements on the movement, and the crown.

This is, of course, the first Monaco V4 to come in a non-metallic case. Previous models were produced in platinum, gold, or titanium. It is quite light, but feels very solid. In case you were wondering, water resistance is 50 meters. According to TAG Heuer this ref. WAW2041.FC6288 was produced specially for Eastern Europe – specifically the Crystal Group, which I believe is a distributor that works with regional luxury stores in Ukraine. And yes, that means a lot of illegitimate money going to luxury goods – perhaps the most excited money around when it comes to buying luxury goods. This very rare all carbon-cased TAG Heuer Monaco V4 watch was a limited edition of just 10 pieces. Price is $110,000. tagheuer.com

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