The watch industry has been living through a color revolution over the past several years. After ages of traditional dial colors like white, black, silver, and blue dominating brand catalogs, marques across the industry have rolled out the most vibrant collections in recent memory. While colors like turquoise, orange, green, and red have become more common in brand portfolios, there is one hue that remains sorely underrepresented in the current market: purple. TAG Heuer aims to change this with its latest release, bringing a rich, nuanced violet hue to the classic Monaco design. The new TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition offers one of the most instantly striking Monaco looks in the collection, with unique and vibrant color and a connection to the earliest days of the Monaco series.
The stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition is typical of the current right-hand-crown Monaco series, with a 39mm-wide diameter. The instantly recognizable rounded-square case design is in full effect here, with its broad curving polished chamfers, compact wedge-shaped lugs, and distinctive angled pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. TAG Heuer’s only real revision to this familiar design is a limited-edition serial number engraved on the caseback, but the versatility and familiarity of the base design make this adaptable enough to handle the unorthodox new colorway in images. Like the standard model, the Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition sports a sapphire display window in the caseback and offers a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
Even in today’s marketplace of vibrant, diverse colorways, there are still certain dial colors that virtually demand a double-take, and the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition definitely falls into this category. The brand has poured an impressive amount of detail into the main dial surface in images, incorporating both a heavily grained sunburst texture and a deep, gradual dégradé effect that fades to nearly black around the edges of the dial. Then there’s the hue of the dial itself – a deep, richly saturated shade of Tyrian purple with subtle reddish undertones. TAG Heuer claims this color is inspired by the purple tropical patination sometimes seen in early Calibre 11 Monaco models due to their combination of metallic blue paint with a brass dial base, which is a thoughtful nod to the origins of the Monaco line. With that said, however, most patinated examples of the Monaco that show signs of purple tend to age towards either a paler lavender hue or a patchy approach that leaves segments of the brass dial base exposed. What this color lacks in historical accuracy, it more than makes up for with attractiveness in images, and the brand wisely renders the rest of the Monaco’s dial design in monochrome to avoid upstaging this element visually. The chronograph subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock are finished in black opaline, which should add an extra layer of texture to the dial design on the wrist without overwhelming the design. Each of the dial’s printed elements is rendered in clean, basic white, along with both the central chronograph seconds hand and the (traditionally red) tips of the pointed baton handset. The dégradé dial finish also works to benefit the Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition’s 6 o’clock date window, as the darker hue near the dial edge slightly masks the mismatched black date wheel in images.
Like the rest of the right-hand-crown Monaco series, TAG Heuer powers the Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition with the in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement. Outside of a splash of purple on the distinctive racing wheel-themed winding rotor and the exposed column wheel, the finishing on this powerplant is more or less identical to the standard production Monaco, with broad Côtes de Genève across the wide partial skeleton bridges. The Heuer 02 is TAG Heuer’s modern flagship chronograph movement, with specifications to match including a beefy 80-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. At first glance, the black alligator leather strap fitted to the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition is fairly standard fare, but the brand sets this example apart with an eye-catching purple leather inner lining.
With a dramatic, complex new colorway paying tribute to the earliest Monaco references, the new TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition may not be the most revolutionary addition to the series, but it does provide one of the most striking visual statements for the line in recent memory. Only 500 examples of the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition stands at $7,150 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.