To support the Only Watch 2021 auction, TAG Heuer presented a one-off, high-end, carbon-cased version of its iconic square-cased chronograph. The TAG Heuer Only Watch Carbon Monaco will be auctioned at the biennial charity watch auction, which is scheduled to take place this year in Geneva on 6 November.
The Only Watch Carbon Monaco is reminiscent of the black-PVD-cased Monaco Reference 74033N known by collectors as the “Dark Lord”. The rare and highly prized watch was produced in limited quantities in the mid-1970s and never appeared in a Heuer catalog or any of the company’s advertising. The one-off watch’s case represents the story of this special watch using state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques. It’s forged in black carbon fiber, giving it a wonderfully mysterious look.
The watch features the skeletonized dial that is worked from a single piece of carbon fibre and was created in collaboration with the dial specialist ArteCad. It was made by milling and drilling the basic form to reveal striking structural shapes that stretch across the face of the watch like the struts on a racing car. Each of the dial’s intricate skeletonized facets has been finished by hand using the fine-watchmaking technique of anglage. Underneath these, we can see a date wheel and the top side of the movement. The top side of a caliber is left raw, hidden by a solid dial.
Positioned on top of the carbon dial are three black galvanized brass plates that form the watch’s chronograph and small-seconds subdials. Orange detailing inspired by Only Watch’s 2021 color palette makes the hands stand out against the black dial, while the hour markers are individually machined blocks of highly luminescent beige Super-LumiNova®.
The TAG Heuer Only Watch Carbon Monaco is powered by TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph, a Swiss-made movement with an 80-hour power reserve. The movement carries TAG Heuer’s innovative in-house carbon hairspring, developed by the company’s TAG Heuer Institute. Appearing in the Heuer 02, and therefore a Monaco for the very first time, the carbon hairspring delivers exceptional levels of anti-magnetism, shock resistance, stability across temperature ranges and refined geometry for excellent chronometric performance. The movement also features a unique oscillating weight in the form of the TAG Heuer shield.
The watch comes on a new strap that looks like a metal bracelet, but which is in fact made of leather. The link effect is produced using a highly skilled process. Silicon is injected into the sole of the leather, after that it is heat-stamped with a mould in the shape of a metal link bracelet.