TAG Heuer Monaco Quartz Watch For $1,700
Bamford’s primary forte (in addition to irritating some conservative watch purists) is in choosing classic designs and making them a little more hip and trendy. Bamford also has a great deal of expertise in case coatings and dial modifications, which makes the company unique — along with the reality that they support a lot of their watches in house. Bamford Watch Department also spends substantial time producing bespoke or customized watches for customers. This can be done either in person in the BWD “The Hive” headquarters at London, or via their website.George Bamford implemented exactly what he is good at in those new Bamford TAG Heuer watches, taking the new TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02, Carrera Calibre 5, and Monaco Caliber 11 at a range of fascinating directions. Again, Bamford will not only have specific sets of pre-made designs available, but via their online customizer (which for TAG Heuer opens up now) consumers can play with colors and layouts more or less how they enjoy. If the internet customizer does not give you want you want, then give George a call and see his office.It is intriguing to consider how TAG Heuer might make best use out of working with Bamford. Being the subject of expensive art projects (which is more or less the way I consider personalized/customized watches) is certainly a brand boosting chance for TAG Heuer. More importantly, Bamford’s actions serve as precious tests on what colours, styles, and general looks work and don’t work for your brand’s products. This value is very similar to what brands such as Zenith and Bulgari get from working with Bamford.Personally, while I’m disappointed at how little I can manage from Bamford, I love the playfulness of their watches. Taking something classic, and which makes it more trendy and fun with colors and interesting designs is endlessly entertaining for me, and wearing Bamford watches is enjoyable. These are among the best luxury toys out there — and it just wouldn’t work as well if the underlying product wasn’t a timeless classic.
It’s hard to argue that the TAG Heuer Monaco collection isn’t at the top of the list of most recognizable watches. The seemingly endless amount of re-issues and anniversary editions can be dizzying, but has made the watch a staple even outside of the mainstream. Even if you aren’t a watch enthusiast, it would be intriguing to own a watch that Steve McQueen or Walter White wore. Unfortunately for many, that almost-$6,000 price tag was enough to make their eyes roll back into their heads – which is where TAG Heuer’s recent release will fit in. The TAG Heuer Monaco Quartz will start at $1,700 and can scratch the itch of owning a full-fledged Monaco without dipping into your child’s college-fund.
This is the first watch alliance with the artist in the North American sector. Earlier this season, Monopoly collaborated with TAG Heuer for a special edition Formula 1 piece marketed exclusively by a Mexico retailer.Alec Monopoly is also part performance artist. The day following the launch party, he scaled a 40-foot wall at the Fontainebleau Hotel and also place the finishing touches on a mural depicting his iconic character, Mr. Monopoly, also called Rich Uncle Pennybags, from the Monopoly game.Part of this artist’s role as a TAG Heuer ambassador is to create original paintings to be suspended from the brand’s boutiques around the world and also to design other advertising materials. During the parties in Miami, he also introduced a sculpture solely for TAG Heuer, which will be auctioned for charity. A studio has been set up for him TAG Heuer’s fabrication in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he’ll create some of the paintings. Monopoly is famous for wearing a bandana on his head to shield his identity. “It’s part of art civilization to stay anonymous so that you can continue painting,” says Monopoly, who points out that “tagging isn’t legal.” The artist has progressed beyond graffiti to paintings, which are shown in galleries in New York, his team, as well as Miami.The artist was hired by TAG Heuer after CEO Jean-Claude Biver searched advice three decades ago from his afterward 14-year-old son, Pierre. “I asked him how I could connect with the new creation,” says Biver. “He said I must operate with Cara Delevingne (who is now currently a TAG Heuer ambassador) and Alec Monopoly. His son attached him to Monopoly’s Instagram address, Biver became a follower, then a fan, and eventually approached him to purchase some of his work. “The longer I moved Instagram, the more I noticed that he had a good deal of influence on this younger generation — and I began to like his art,” states Biver. “I bought a painting for my son, to thank him”
The TAG Heuer Monaco Quartz has launched in three different flavors – a brown dial with brown leather strap (inspired by the Kingsman: The Golden Circle film), a mother of pearl dial with a white strap, and the traditional black dial on a black leather strap. The polished stainless steel case measures in at 37mm, which is a bit smaller than the original Monaco 1133 which measured in at 40mm, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen this size in the Monaco collection. It’s also a well-known fact that square watches wear a bit bigger than round ones, and this, to me anyway, makes the watch more dressy. The dial itself takes some direct cues from the Monaco 2110 with the exception of the red-tipped seconds hand – a great addition, in my opinion. There is a small seconds indicator at 6 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock. “Monaco” and the TAG Heuer logo are printed under the 12 o’clock index.
One thing I’ve always loved about the Monaco design is its seamless and clean utilization of circles and squares together. Pulling off a uniform look with a square case is tricky, and the Monaco is a great example of doing that right. While I’m typically critical of the needless cutting of applied indices, the TAG Heuer Monaco Quartz has a fluid inclusion of them that doesn’t seem to break up the dial, or feel lazy.
There is going to be some outcry from fans of the brand, and enthusiasts in general over the TAG Heuer Monaco Quartz. One, $1,700 is a bit steep for a quartz model, but it’s in line (almost dead center, honestly) with TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 collections, but a much more desirable style for many people. Two (and I’ve already had this discussion with some collectors this weekend), there’s the apparent “bastardization” of the Monaco collection by adding a quartz movement to it. However, let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time a Monaco has had a quartz movement, nor is it the most expensive model that’s included one. This brings the cost of entry for the Monaco collection down significantly and that makes it obtainable to a wider audience – something I don’t think TAG Heuer will have a hard time capitalizing on.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Quartz WAW131A.FC6177 will have a price tag of $1,700 USD, while the brown (WAW131C.FC6419) and white (WAW131B.FC6247) will be $2,350 USD respectively. tagheuer.com