A special Zenith chronograph auctioned for a worthy cause

Sydney Swans footballer and Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation ambassador Buddy Franklin is auctioning off his Zenith watch in the name of education.

Article by Luke Benedictus

Zenith x Buddy FranklinFootballer Lance "Buddy" Franklin is auctioning off a special Zenith chronograph. Photography courtesy Zenith.

“I’m super proud of my heritage, where I come from and of my people,” says Lance “Buddy” Franklin over the phone. The AFL superstar is talking about his Indigenous background that he inherited from his mother, a Whadjuk-Noongar woman from Western Australia. Franklin’s pride is reflected by the tattoos that cascade down his left arm. Below his shoulder, there is a portrait of an Aboriginal elder playing the didgeridoo that melds into a series of Indigenous-inspired motifs and images. “Next to the picture of the old fella, it’s all about land, kangaroos, the bush,” he says. “It’s just telling a story about hunting, and where we come from really. But it’s a pretty special piece of artwork that really means a lot to me.”

The reason that Franklin’s background is under discussion is due to his new initiative with Zenith. The Sydney Swans player has collaborated with the Swiss watch brand to design a special version of their DEFY Extreme model. With standard models retailing from upwards of $25,000, this is an impressive watch in itself due, in part, to being powered by the El Primero 21 calibre, an exceptionally precise 1/100th of a second automatic chronograph. But what makes this piece unique is that aspects of Franklin’s heritage and the rugged Australian landscape have been introduced to inform the watch’s unique look. The sapphire dial has been crafted in a custom-made red/orange hue while the sub dials have been given a texture that evokes the sacred site of Uluru.

Zenith x Buddy Franklin 2
A special version of Zenith's DEFY Extreme model with textured subdials that evoke the sacred site of Uluru. Photography courtesy Zenith.

Only two pieces are being produced. The first belongs to Franklin himself, while the second will go under the hammer on the auction site, loupethis.com. All proceeds from the watch will go towards The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and their vital work with the Alice Springs community, providing hundreds of children and young people with Literacy Packs, full of learning supplies and books.

The ALNF’s support is urgently needed, too. According to their research, 46 per cent of Aboriginal adults in Australia are “functionally illiterate”, a figure that can reach up to 70 per cent in remote areas. Worryingly, this cycle is yet to be broken. Using the Grattan Institute’s 2016 report “Widening Gaps”, year nine Indigenous students in very remote areas were found to be five years behind in numeracy, six years behind in reading, and seven to eight years behind in writing.

“Obviously, myself being Indigenous, my kids being Indigenous, just to see what the charity do to raise awareness is unbelievable,” says Franklin, who has been an ALNF ambassador since 2018. “I think sometimes we take education for granted – we think of it as a given. To see what the foundation is doing for Indigenous kids is fantastic.”

Franklin speaks from the vantage point of acknowledging the profound difference that education made to his own life. He grew up in Western Australia about 170km northeast of Perth with four older sisters on a small hobby farm with sheep, goats, horses and a pet donkey. “We were literally out in the dirt, in the middle of nowhere,” he says.

The nearest community was to be found in Dowering, a dusty wheatbelt town with a small population of under 500. The website aussietowns.com.au describes it as “particularly sleepy”. By outback standards, Franklin’s upbringing was not excessively remote. Yet hearing the footballer speak about his childhood still gives you a sense of the isolation and the resulting lack of facilities. “The local school was called Ejanding and it only had 12 or 13 kids in it,” Franklin recalls.

Zenith x Buddy Franklin 3
Photography courtesy Zenith.

Growing up as footy-mad kid who’d spend hours kicking a ball against the corrugated tin walls of a shearing shed, Franklin’s obvious talent meant that he was able to get a sports scholarship. As a teenager, he went to Wesley College in Perth – a private school that’s honed the skills of many a future AFL star, including Ben Cousins. Today, Franklin is very aware of how lucky he was to get that chance and credits it with giving him the springboard for his magnificent career.

“I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to go to such a prestigious school,” he says. “Without that chance, who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t be playing AFL – you never know. That school gave me an opportunity to get an education. But also to try my shot at football, too.”

The bespoke timepiece will be available to bid on at loupethis.com from Monday 31 October to Monday 7 November.

Panerai’s Big and Bold ESteel Highlights a Commitment to Sustainability

An ecological mindset and nod to its aquatic lineage informs the Italian brand’s Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel dive watch.

Article by Luke Benedictus

Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteelPanerai's Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel in Verde Smeraldo. Photography courtesy Panerai.

If a member of the Panerai watch family ever tried to commit a crime, it’d get collared as soon as it stepped into the identity line-up. The brand’s timepieces are so instantly distinctive, they’re recognisable at the merest glance. The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel, for example, is unmistakable thanks to its oversized cushion case and idiosyncratic crown guard. But this watch is also notable for another, more contemporary, reason. 

Panerai is a brand with a long connection to the ocean, having made dive watches for the Italian navy since the 1930s. Given this aquatic lineage, it’s not surprising that the brand takes its ecological responsibilities seriously, recently partnering with UNESCO on an ocean conservation initiative to develop ocean literacy activities for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. That green mindset informed the design of the Submersible QuarantaQuattro. Some 72g of the watch – just over 50 per cent of the total weight – is made from recycled materials. The case is made from eSteel, Panerai’s sustainably sourced material, while the straps are hewn from fabric made from recycled PET, with a second strap made from recycled rubber.

Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel
Panerai's Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel dive watch in Blu Profondo. Photography courtesy Panerai

The Hardware

Thankfully, these green credentials don’t come at the expense of the watch’s looks or performance. The Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel is available in three colourways, each with a corresponding high-gloss ceramic dial. The green and the blue dial versions have matching bezels, while the grey dial is encircled by a black bezel. Each dial is rendered with a gradient pattern where the colour shifts progressively darker as it drifts towards the base. In short, it’s a very handsome dive watch indeed.

QuarantaQuattro is, of course, basically an exotic word to describe the 44m case size. That makes for a fairly large watch at a time when modern trends increasingly lean towards smaller cases. Then again, Panerai have always made watches that are unapologetically big and bold – hence their popularity amongst Hollywood action heroes from Sylvester Stallone to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Those hefty dimensions are also practical for what is, after all, very much a fit-for-purpose dive watch that delivers 300m water resistance and oodles of lume for visibility beneath the waves. Inside, the watch is powered by the familiar P.900 movement that’s used in a variety of Panerai models. 

The Verdict

Panerai set a very high bar last year, trumpeting their eco credentials with the Submersible eLAB-ID, a concept watch constructed from 98.6 per cent recycled materials by weight. This was an impressive achievement, but it also cost €60,000. In comparison, the QuarantaQuattro eSteel is composed of 52 per cent recycled materials, albeit positioned at a more affordable price. 

But these are beguiling dive watches nonetheless, and demonstrate that Panerai’s environmental efforts stretch beyond the tokenistic – the brand should be recognised for committing to this approach for the long haul. Plus, given their Italian roots, they’ll no doubt be aware that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro ESteel™ is available now for $16,400.

The Latest Trend in Watches: Going Back In Time

Heritage is a revered commodity in an industry that’s more obsessed than ever with the past.

Article by Luke Benedictus

Omega spacesuitA spacesuit on display at the Omega Museum in Biel, Switzerland. Photography courtesy Omega.

Petros Protopapas is a petite man with a professorial air and a penchant for bow ties and tweed. He can also scarcely believe his luck. “I am living my dream,” he insists, speaking over Zoom from Switzerland and reflecting on his position as the head of brand heritage for Omega. Given that for many years Protopapas worked in a completely different industry as a commercial pilot, he may seem an unlikely choice for this highly specialised role. That’s until the conversation turns to the brand he adores. Ask Protopapas anything about Omega and you won’t get a short answer but a full-blown history lesson delivered with authority and palpable glee. Ten minutes later, you’re sure to be significantly more informed about, say, the thinking behind the hand set on the Alaska Project Speedmaster or the pioneering metallurgy of the PloProf. “He’s a monster of knowledge,” insists the Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann with visible pride. “Petros is our Wikipedia of Omega.”

Protopapas’s fascination with the brand was kindled when he was given his grandfather’s 1964 Omega Seamaster as a graduation gift. He slowly became a collector and began scouring flea markets and garage sales for vintage pieces. “Back then you could really make amazing discoveries, finding 18-karat, pie-pan Constellations for $5,” he recalls. But his real education came from a friendship he struck up with a private importer of Omega watches in Greece. Protopapas would spend hours in the man’s basement, poring over the watch papers that accompanied the man’s purchases and detailed the product references and technical info. “Every free day I had, I was in their house, going through papers, learning stuff and getting access to really firsthand information that no collector was able to see,” he says. “So I got a very early start before the internet really took off.”

Armed with this insider info, Protopapas’s infatuation with Omega grew and his collecting became more serious, until he became such a regular presence at the boutique that the brand invited him to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as the Greek VIP guest. It was there that he met Aeschlimann, who was struck by his encyclopedic depth of knowledge. Protopapas was promptly offered a position at Swatch Group in Greece, firstly in the customer service department due to his knowledge of spare parts and later as a sales trainer, which had him educating staff on the provenance of the watches. Finally, he was offered his current position, heading Omega’s heritage department and overseeing the Omega Museum.

The latter is based in the Swiss town of Biel and is a treasure trove of Omega’s horological adventures, which stretch back to 1848. Wandering around the museum, you’ll find everything from a full-size moon buggy, which marks the brand’s triumph of becoming the first watch on the moon, to a section of a running track that features the technology Omega used to time the track and field events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Timepieces worn by various James Bonds are displayed in glass cases, as is the prototype watch that the adventurer Victor Vescovo attached to his submersible when he went deeper than any person had before, descending 10,935 metres to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. “For me, it still feels like being a kid in a candy store,” says Protopapas.

Omega may boast a particularly illustrious history, but it’s not the only company hell-bent on celebrating its past. Others who’ve invested in dedicated museums include Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, IWC and TAG Heuer. Many other brands, meanwhile, have their own heritage departments that seek to ensure no anniversary goes unheralded and every former glory is retold by the marketing teams in technicolour detail.

Omega Speedmaster
The new Omega Speedmaster ’57, inspired by a 1950s model. Photography courtesy Omega.
Rolex Explorer
A Rolex Explorer, a style first released in 1953. Photography courtesy Rolex.

The watch world, in short, is obsessed with the past and nowhere is this nostalgia more evident than in the endless vintage reissues that are inspired by the archives and retooled with the latest tech. This year, for example, Vacheron Constantin celebrated its 222nd anniversary by bringing out the Historiques 222, a faithful take on the integrated-bracelet sports watch it launched in 1977. That was also the year of release for the Heuer Monaco Dark Lord, an extremely rare collector’s piece that TAG Heuer has just updated with a spanking new version. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date in green is the latest entry into the brand’s Polaris family (reintroduced in 2018 to celebrate the original’s 50th anniversary), while Longines recently brought back its 1968 Ultra-Chron Hi-Beat diver, Baume & Mercier is hammering its Riviera collection from the ’70s and Cartier continues to breathe fresh life into its Pasha line, which was resurrected from the 1980s. Observing so many brands ransacking their back catalogues for inspiration, one is reminded of the line F Scott Fitzgerald wrote for his lead character in “The Great Gatsby” (1925): “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”

“It’s obviously more and more prevalent, no doubt,” says Patrick Stewart, a qualified watchmaker who now works as the commercial director of the multi-brand watch retailer Kennedy. “When did I notice this trend develop some legs? Probably around 2010. I was working with LVMH at the time and remember TAG Heuer reintroducing the Heuer logo and losing the ‘TAG’. Now that’s not to say that was the beginning of it, nor do I give credit to TAG Heuer as necessarily being the catalysts towards nostalgia-driven watch revivals. But that was the point I noticed it.”

Reflecting on the roots of the trend, Stewart points out that there is something almost inherently anachronistic about our love affair with timepieces, so our habit of looking backwards is hardly surprising. “We don’t need to tell the time on our wrists anymore, but we’re also drawn to it,” he says. “And I think that a watch is such a classic piece of jewellery that, subconsciously, we like to hold on to this historical connection.

“What is always fascinating to me about watches and watchmaking is the history of the technology,” continues Stewart. “Despite all our advancements, we’re still using centuries-old technology, without really much changing apart from the materials we use and the lubricants. For the most part, the technology is the same.”

IWC Museum
The IWC Museum in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Photography courtesy IWC.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Date
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Date in green. Photography courtesy Jaeger-LeCoultre.
TAG Heuer’s new Monaco Dark Lord
TAG Heuer’s new Monaco Dark Lord. Photography courtesy TAG Heuer.

Another big driver is the fact that modern consumers seem to seek a sepia-tinged look that’s redolent of the past. The Patek Philippe 5226G-001, for example, might be a new design, released this year, but the off-white lume on the hands and indices make it look like it has gradually yellowed with the passage of time. It’s a practice so prevalent in the industry — the equivalent of denim brands selling jeans with pre-made rips — that it’s spawned the portmanteau “fauxtina”.

It’s hard to separate all this from one of the biggest overarching watch trends: the inexorable rise of the pre-owned market. Not only are auction houses enjoying great returns on many vintage watches, online trade in the secondary market is also booming. McKinsey & Company expects that over the next three years pre-owned watch sales will climb by up to 10 per cent annually, increasing to $43-47 billion in 2025.

Yet Protopapas believes the reason brands return to the past is to reinforce their credibility. Showcasing a long history allows a company to reassure consumers by asserting its provenance and authenticity, he notes. This deepens the value perception while adding a sprinkle of prestige, not to mention offering an irresistible brand narrative for marketing purposes. “We can interpret heritage as history or DNA,” he says. “So anything that is heritage- or history-related gives legitimacy to whoever is using it. That’s not just important for watchmaking brands, it’s important to brands as a whole. That’s why the companies who have history — and it’s not like everyone has it — choose to highlight it. Because it’s the base for everything. It’s not marketing. It’s your history.”

The new Cartier Privé Tank Chinoise, a model first launched in 1922. Photography courtesy Cartier.
The new Cartier Privé Tank Chinoise, a model first launched in 1922. Photography courtesy Cartier.
Tudor Black Bay
2012’s Tudor Black Bay, a nod to the Submariners of the 1950. Photography courtesy Tudor.

But what, then, do you do if you’re a newer brand that doesn’t have a long history and you’re trying to establish yourself in a notoriously sniffy industry that rarely welcomes newcomers? After years as the market leader in luxury pens, Montblanc started making watches in 1997. The brand invested heavily, establishing a dedicated watchmaking facility in Le Locle, Switzerland, that gradually developed full manufacture status, meaning it could produce entire watches, including their movements, in-house. Despite these valiant efforts, Montblanc initially struggled to gain acceptance so it got creative. In 2007, it bought Fabrique d’Horlogerie Minerva, a revered specialist in mechanical movements. Lacking a watchmaking history of its own, it simply acquired one.

The Minerva deal shows just how prized the cachet of heritage is in the watch world. But the industry’s emphasis on the past does carry a certain risk. Watch brands, after all, specialise in making technical instruments that live or die by their accuracy and precision. And if you’re not careful, nostalgia can be the enemy of progress. This, Protopapas insists, is a fact that Omega is acutely conscious of. Sure, it may have spent two years painstakingly recreating the Calibre 321 movement that sat inside the Speedmasters that accompanied the Apollo moon mission astronauts into space. But Omega is also committed to defining the future of watchmaking and places great emphasis on technical innovation — this year, for example, it released the Ultra Deep, a civilian dive watch that’s water-resistant to an extraordinary 6,000 metres.

“If you only look backwards because you have history, then you become repetitive and nobody needs you anymore,” says Protopapas. His advice for the industry? “Keep your history visible but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to become a shadow of your former self.”

IWC Top Gun
IWC's new Big Pilot’s Watch, which takes its name from the film “Top Gun”. Photography courtesy IWC.
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak
A 50th anniversary edition of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. Photography courtesy Audemars Piguet.
This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our eighth edition, Page 30 of T Australia with the headline: “A Matter of Time”

The Raymond Weil Freelancer Is A Mechanical Chronograph That Is Actually Available

The entry-level Swiss mechanical chronograph market is a fiercely competitive market, but the Freelancer Chronograph 7741 holds its own with some assurance.

Article by Luke Benedictus

The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741Photography courtesy Raymond Weil.

Raymond Weil was born into a horological war zone. Eponymously named after its founder, the brand emerged in 1976, right in the middle of the “quartz crisis” that almost destroyed the mechanical watch industry when the advent of battery-powered timepieces caused the Swiss to lose half their watch companies and two-thirds of their watchmaking jobs. Yet despite this rocky introduction to life, Raymond Weil not only survived but prospered, carving out a solid niche in what’s often referred to as the “affordable luxury” end of the market. Almost half a century on, this value proposition has endured and, equally impressively, it remains a family-owned, independent brand with the CEO, Elie Bernheim, the grandson of founder Raymond Weil.

The Freelancer Collection has been around since 2007 and includes a mix of three-handed and chronograph pieces, but the latter has really come into their own in recent years with a range of watches that are good-looking, functional and, while not a total steal, certainly stack up favourably against other brands in the price stakes.

The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741
Photography courtesy Raymond Weil.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741
Photography courtesy Raymond Weil.

The Hardware

The entry-level Swiss mechanical chronograph market is a fiercely competitive market, but the Freelancer Chronograph 7741 holds its own with some assurance. It’s a fairly sizeable watch with a 43.5mm stainless-steel case that combines a variety of brushed and polished surfaces to draw the eye. Those measurements ensure that everything has ample room for legibility, a fact aided by the luminescent treatment daubed on the hands and indexes. Three dial choices are presented – two in silver and one in a deep green. With each one, the outer ring of each sub-dial is rendered in a contrasting tone to make it easier to read at a glance. In another elevating detail, the hour track has a snailed texture to the display while the dial has a slightly smoked effect, adding a further sense of refinement.  

The bezel features a scratch-resistant ceramic inlay, marked with a tachymeter scale, contributing to the all-action feel that one associates with a chronograph. How far you want to run with that mood depends on your choice of strap. The watch is available on both a steel bracelet for a sportier look or a colour-coordinated leather strap for something a little more dressy. 

Under the hood sits the Calibre RW5030, an automatic movement with a power reserve of 56 hours that’s visible through the exhibition caseback – another detail that adds an extra touch of value.  

The Verdict

As a freelancer myself, it’s hard for me to be fully objective about this watch due to its inspired name. I presume the title is meant to conjure a romantic sense of freewheeling city dwellers unencumbered by the shackles of an office-bound existence. As opposed to, say, scruffy home-workers forever chasing up unpaid invoices in a state of nervous desperation. Either way, I applaud this celebration, however misguided the assumption may actually be.

On a more practical note, one of the best things about the Freelancer Chronograph 7741 is that it’s a mechanical chronograph that you can actually buy. The Rolex Daytona may be an object of desire for millions, but limited supply means that it’s basically unobtainable at retail to the average consumer. The Zenith Chronomaster Sport was then spruiked as an alternative, but now requires you to endure a waiting list, too, while the Tudor Black Bay Chrono is no longer readily available either. The black and silver variant of the Freelancer plays in a fairly similar visual realm to all the above, albeit at a lower price point. It’s a watch that you can still snap up on a whim, a happy fact that takes on extra value in the current retail environment.

The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741 is AUD$5695 on a leather bracelet, AUD$5795 on a bracelet or AUD$5895 for the version with rose-gold PVD plating.

Put Your Hands Together For The IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 Edition “Laureus Sport For Good”

The limited edition watches by IWC come with a heart-warming touch, as Luke Benedictus discovers.

Article by Luke Benedictus

The Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher Edition "Laureus For Good", another limited-edition watch by IWC.The Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher Edition "Laureus Sport For Good", another limited-edition watch by IWC. Photography courtesy IWC.

On paper, watch design is an unlikely prospect for Jatin Malhan. The 15-year-old hails from the Jalandhar district of Punjab, India, where 70% of the population work in agriculture and earn about 20,000 rupees [AUD$360 AUD]. But Jatin is also a goalkeeper for the Youth Football Club Rurka Kalan (YFC), which has evolved into a community grassroots organisation that strives to empower underprivileged children and adolescents. 

Last year, YFC took part in a drawing competition, organised by the Swiss watch brand, IWC, as part of its work as a global partner for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Every year since 2006, IWC has invited young people to submit an artwork that reflects the foundation’s goals of promoting tolerance, fostering community spirit and supporting gender equality through sport and education. The winning artwork from the competition is immortalised by IWC into a commemorative caseback engraving of their annual limited-edition watch to support the foundation.

This year, Jatin’s drawing – of eight hands joining together in an expression of unity – won out, which means it’s now emblazoned on the new Portofino Chronograph 39 Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”.

IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 Edition “Laureus Sport For Good”
Photography courtesy IWC.
IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 Edition “Laureus Sport For Good”
Photography courtesy IWC.

The Hardware

IWC’s annual releases with the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation are invariably handsome watches distinguished not only by their engraved casebacks but by their rich blue dials. This year, IWC opted to give one of their elegant Portofino Chronographs the Laureus treatment. This model was scaled down in 2021 from 42mm to 39mm, with these more classic dimensions making it a little more elegant on the wrist. At the same time, however, the inclusion of the chronograph function means that this is a watch that will always retain a vaguely sporty demeanour while still passing muster in a formal setting.

As the third Portofino – and sixteenth IWC watch – that’s dedicated to Laureus Sport for Good, the watch does, of course, feature the typical Laureus blue dial that comes in a slightly desaturated tone that’s delivered here with a sunburst finish emanating a satin-like sheen. That backdrop is particularly eye-catching in this instance as it offers a beguiling contrast with the rhodium-plated hands and applied hands that are housed with a stainless-steel case.

Visually, the dial also provides a pleasing sense of symmetry with the vertical stacking of the sub-dials and the removal of the day/date complication that was present on the 42mm Portofino Chronograph. On the flipside, Jatin’s engraving on the caseback also happens to one of the most aesthetically bold and pleasing that IWC’s partnership with the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation has yielded in recent years. Goalkeepers usually strive to keep more clean sheets, but the decision to besmirch one with this drawing was an inspired move by the teenager. 

The Verdict

There’s no doubting that IWC’s patronage of the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation is an admirable initiative. But what’s great about these annual releases is that they invariably stand up on their own merits as highly desirable pieces (last year’s was a particular cracker). The fact that they’re only available in a limited-edition run of 1,000 pieces only makes them more desirable with the caseback engravings adding a heart-warming touch.

The IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 Edition “Laureus Sport For Good” is available now for $9,900.

TAG Heuer’s Most Daring Collection Welcomes a New Timepiece With a Striking Purple Dial

With a vibrant new aesthetic, the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition explores new design territories without losing sight of its distinctive heritage.

Article by T Australia

TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited EditionThe TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition watch. Photography courtesy TAG Heuer.

The Swiss luxury watchmaker is once again surprising clients and collectors with a bold new interpretation of its famed racing chronograph: the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition. Born in 1969, the rule-defying square-shaped chronograph has kept its maverick spirit alive and thriving through the decades, with many statement and sought-after variations of its original blue dial.

In 2022 the brand is releasing a never-seen-before edition of only 500 numbered pieces. The new TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition combines its unmistakable heritage with fresh and distinctive finishes. The 39-mm square case in fine-brushed and polished steel houses an elegantly imagined dial in a rich purple colour. The dial gradient – from lighter purple in the centre to darker purple at the edge – adds depth and sophistication to the piece, while the rhodium-plated indexes and hands with white Super-LumiNova® and the two black opalin sub-counters subtly enhance the unexpected smoky design.

TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition
TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition

Connoisseurs of the TAG Heuer Monaco lineage might recognise a subtle parallel with the very early Heuer Monaco reference 1113B, the Chronomatic version launched at the beginning of 1969, as well as the transitional series – before what is known as the “McQueen” – and the reference 1533 Calibre 15. These pieces used a different dial finish with a metallic blue paint over the brass plate. Over time, the dials have shown a tendency to patina from blue to a similar purple colour, sometimes slightly faded in the centre and darker around the edges.

In the 2022 interpretation, TAG Heuer’s in-house chronograph movement, Calibre Heuer 02, is clearly visible through the sapphire case back, and features a customised oscillating mass, column wheel, and engravings, with purple details. It offers outstanding timekeeping performance including a power reserve of 80 hours. For an added special touch, the black alligator strap is also lined with purple on the inside and the case back is engraved with the piece’s number of XXX/500.

With this vibrant new aesthetic, the TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition explores new design territories without losing sight of its distinctive heritage. Available from July 2022, the chronograph will be sold exclusively in TAG Heuer boutiques. Learn more at tagheuer.com