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Anybody who has seen the film Le Mans will remember the moment when Steve McQueen, the brooding anti-hero of British cinema and one of the coolest people who has ever lived, raised his arms to button up his racing jacket, revealing a watch in a glimmer of light. That watch became one of the most iconic watches of all time: The Monaco 1133.
What made the Monaco so special?
The Monaco 1133 was first designed in 1969 in honour of the Monaco Grand Prix. Before its touted film appearance, the Monaco was already ground-breaking in its design. It was the world’s first square automatic chronograph, allowing for a more stylish design, and it was contained within TAG Heuer’s own first-ever square water-resistant case. It was always going to be a classic watch. When Steve McQueen chose to don the watch in the aforementioned cult racing movie and brought it to the public’s attention, it was immortalised. The watch was applauded for its beauty and intelligent design, and is considered a benchmark in watchmaking today. Incidentally, the actual worn by Steve McQueen in the movie was recently sold to some lucky watch fanatic for $799,500.
If you want to get your hands on one of the original Monaco 1133’s that were not worn by Steve McQueen, it is still going to set you back thousands and thousands of pounds as it is believed there are very few originals left in existence.
The Monaco 1133 became synonymous with racing and formula 1, and TAG Heuer have continued that tradition to this day with a range of watches inspired by professional racing, making them a must have for any F1 fantastic.
Although it may be difficult and extremely costly to find a working original, all is not lost. TAG Heuer have created several watches that embody the spirit of the original Monaco 1133 and capture its timeless design, whilst also updating it with modern technology. One of these is the Monaco Vintage Calibre 11, and we at Winsor Bishop are fortunate enough to have some in store.
It might not be the original, but the Monaco Vintage is just as stylish and was a product of the same engineering as its forefather, except that it adds calibre 11 movement providing more power.
The Monaco Vintage is available now from Winsor Bishop for £5,900.00, along with our extensive range of fantastic watches from TAG Heuer.