As conventional wisdom attests, one of the keys to longevity is rejuvenation. The most iconic square-cased sports watch, the TAG Heuer Monaco, is living proof of that. Since 1969, the racing chronograph immortalized on the wrist of Steve McQueen has gone through a plethora of new wardrobes, facial reconstructions, and even a heart transplant two years ago. Keeping its maverick spirit alive, the Swiss watchmaker has administered an injection of a bold new color to the latest Monaco. Today, TAG Heuer is releasing the Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition in a run of 500 numbered pieces.

Before you gasp, let us recall the glorious case for purple watches here, which Brandon put forth this time last year. And many of you responded favorably. Coincidence? Perhaps. It’s almost as if TAG Heuer was secretly stalking us to come up with a dose of inspiration for the next “surprise” (the brand’s word, not mine). And we can’t dismiss the serendipity, as Thor just presented the compelling case for wearing #PURPLE this summer here.

TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition Chronograph WatchLet’s talk about the colors

The purple here is what I’d call more of an “aubergine” (or eggplant) hue. It’s rich and deep, which works perfectly with the black and white in the color scheme for this new model. The gradient shading from lighter purple in the center to darker purple at the edges characterizes the sunray-brushed square dial. The fumé (smoky) finish around the corners adds depth and sophistication to the timepiece.

According to TAG Heuer, the purple dial bears a subtle resemblance to some of the very early Heuer Monaco references. These include the 1133B and its successors (before it was known as “the McQueen”), as well as the reference 1533 Calibre 15. These pieces had a metallic blue paint on their brass dial plates, which had the tendency to patina from blue to a gradient fumé purple. You hardcore Monaco fans can have a field day here and let us know if you recognize that.

TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition Chronograph Watch

Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition — Aesthetics and layout

For this limited edition, TAG Heuer pairs the fumé purple dial with two black chronograph registers. For optimum legibility, all of the sub-dials markings as well as the minute track are in white. The rhodium-plated indexes and hands with white Super-LumiNova and white lacquered chronograph hands aid readability as well. A small running seconds indicator sits above the date display at 6 o’clock. Atop the dial sits a square box sapphire crystal.

TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition Chronograph Watch

The Monaco’s polished and finely brushed stainless steel case now measures 39 × 39mm. This actually makes it slightly more square than its early 40 × 38.5mm ancestors. A defining feature for the Monaco since the heart transplant in 2020 is the winding crown at 3 o’clock. This breaks away from the traditional Monaco setup with the crown on the left, while the chronograph pushers remain at 2 and 4 o’clock.

Seduction beyond skin deep

The tri-register layout with 3-6-9 sub-dials as well as the crown position are dictated by the movement. Inside, you’ll find TAG Heuer’s latest in-house caliber, the Heuer 02. This automatic chronograph movement comprises 168 components and 33 jewels. It operates at 28,800vph (4Hz) and provides 80 hours of power reserve. This high-performance, beautifully decorated caliber is visible through the sapphire case back. It is certainly a striking derrière to behold, too, with its black skeletonized rotor, purple detailing, and purple column wheel. Both the rotor and the mainplate feature Côtes de Genève.

TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition Chronograph Watch

The solid steel part of the case back has several engraving with the general details and each piece’s limited-edition number of 500. This (dress-)code-defying take on the Monaco is presented on a black alligator strap with a purple lining and a steel folding clasp with two safety pushbuttons. While it’s meaty, it’s not quite the “muscly sports watch” typically associated with chronographs. This is a classy rendition in a regal hue.

The Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition will set you back €6,800 if you manage to put your name down for one of the 500 pieces sold exclusively at TAG Heuer boutiques. Failing that, you may find it inducted into Brandon’s purple watch hall of fame.

Learn more about TAG Heuer Monaco via the brand’s official website here, and let us know your take on this new rendition in the comments!