If you read this article shortly after publication, you are probably missing the Monaco Grand Prix. Or you are multi-tasking, which I would not recommend; eyes on the road! Either way, TAG Heuer is releasing a new version of its Monaco Chronograph in celebration of the Monaco race.

Join me for a first look at this new model from TAG Heuer, dressed in black and blue with yellow accents.

A new outfit for the TAG Heuer Monaco

Under the hood, this is the same watch as the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Automatic ref. CBL2111.FC6453. It shares the 39mm case and caliber Heuer 02 (TH20-00). The differences may be primarily aesthetic, but they are far-reaching ones indeed.

For starters, the case is now Grade 2 titanium, which receives a sandblasted finish and then a coating of black DLC. Reportedly, it has a 15.2mm thickness and a 47.4mm lug-to-lug length. The water resistance rating is still an ample 100 meters, and the crystals up top and in the case back are still sapphire.

However, this model offers a skeletonized dial. Like the case, it is sandblasted but then lacquered blue. It allows a view of the TH20-00 movement underneath and adds a more modern, technical aesthetic. Then, TAG Heuer finishes off the look with a yellow handset for the chronograph readout and some yellow accents on the backside. Lastly, this new version of the Monaco comes on a blue calfskin and rubber strap with a black-coated titanium folding clasp.

TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Skeleton black DLC titanium lume

Initial impressions of the TAG Heuer Monaco in black and blue

The press release we received for this watch left me a little underwhelmed. It describes how the blue was chosen as a nod to the Mediterranean coast. Additionally, the yellow accents represent sparks flying from Formula 1 cars. Now, most brands do this, so I am perhaps unjustly singling out TH here, but come on…really? It is okay just to pick colors because they look nice. There’s no need to come up with far-fetched justifications. To me, this signals that brands are grasping for straws to find relevance, and that’s not good. I believe a watch should stand on its own without needing to lean on fabricated context. Let me know in the comments if you agree or if I’m overreacting.

That said, I do like the color combination here. I have a soft spot for the pairing of black and blue. There is a slight disharmony about it that speaks to me. Additionally, the yellow accents work well to liven up this Monaco’s otherwise quite moody vibe. Honestly, it didn’t need any justification.

I am less enthusiastic about the skeletonized dial. Most calibers’ top sides aren’t designed to be on display, negating the impact of skeletonization. Unless there’s a sufficiently open-worked movement underneath, I see little use for an open dial. In this case, it does add a more technical, futuristic look. However, like the story-telling around the color scheme, it feels a tad contrived.

TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Skeleton black DLC titanium

Pricing and availability

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph in black-coated titanium is available immediately. It is priced at CHF 11,000, which is almost one and a half times as much as the classic steel model. I reckon watch enthusiasts will lean toward the classic offering. However, TAG Heuer uses these thematic editions to speak to a different audience, as Lex described Tudor doing as well. In this sense, my opinions are moot as I am not the target audience.

What do you think about the new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph in black DLC-coated Grade 2 titanium with its skeletonized dial? Is it in pole position for a spot in your collection? Or is it out in the first corner, Sainte Dévote? Let us know in the comments below!

Watch specifications

Monaco Chronograph
Sandblasted and skeletonized with blue lacquer finish, black sub-dials, and white Super-LumiNova indices
Case Material
Sandblasted and black DLC-coated Grade 2 titanium
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 47.4mm (lug-to-lug) × 15.2mm (thickness)
Case Back
Sandblasted and black DLC-coated Grade 2 titanium with sapphire crystal
Heuer 02 (TH20-00): automatic chronograph with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, 33 jewels, column wheel, vertical clutch
Water Resistance
100 meteres
Blue textured calfskin and rubber swith a black-coated titanium folding clasp
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds) and chronograph (12-hour and 30-minute registers, central seconds)
CHF 11,000