2011 saw both super high-tech and decidedly retro watches from Tag Heuer. The most retro of which was probably this “re-issue” Monza. The Monza came back briefly in 2003 with an updated look using the traditional cushion case. For 2011 original look from the 1930s is back. There is no hiding that this is a retro-themed timepieces. It doesn’t attempt to be “classic,” by instead to offer a look from times long past, in today’s quality and materials.
The dial is all 1930s and the case is much more 1970s. According to Tag Heuer the design of the watch draws from both eras. In steel, the case is 38mm wide and cushion shaped. I like the brushed bezel and polished outer side of the case. The dial is exceptionally easy to read with its high contrast hands and numerals. Tag Heuer uses their “heritage” logo that is just “Heuer, ” with “Monza” right above. The numerals are very retro looking and they used a cream colored lume outlined in blue (to match the hands).
The bi-compax dial layout for the chronograph is fitting, and inside the watch is the Calibre 36 automatic. I believe this is actually a Zenith El Primero high-beat automatic. This is one of the most sought after Tag movements, and you can see it through the sapphire display back. The automatic movement is COSC Chronometer certified. Don’t miss the date window covertly placed between 4 and 5 o’clock. Tag Heuer watches like this aren’t made for mass consumption – like many of the heritage collection pieces, this will be part of a limited edition of just 1911 pieces.
For me the question is “when can you wear the watch?” The execution is good and I like the piece, but I am not sure what I would wear it with. New York fashion dudes would no doubt find something to wear this with, but can you pull it off with a t-shirt and jeans? Maybe. The strap is brown leather that looks a bit like bomber jacket leather. Very typical of the time period it is trying to emulate. I believe the Tag Heuer Monza Automatic Chronograph Calibre 36 Re-Edition watch will cost about $8,000 bucks, and should be available (starting in Switzerland) in June.