Those who enjoy the intense feel of the road and the car and find the limit of their own capabilities will be captivated by a new limited edition of the Monaco chronograph, the new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Night Driver. Inspired by the midnight blue, charcoal grey and matte black dials of the iconic vintage Monacos, this newest edition uses today’s materials to build an instrument that enhances the experience and performance of those who take to the roads especially at night.
Driving at Night – the Road, the Car and the Watch
There is something magical about driving in the dark of night. Take away the distractions of roadside scenery and the bright sky, and the driver is left alone with the feel of the road and the car. The driver feels the car and the road more intensely than when driving in the daylight, sensing the power and agility of their car with their hands, feet and back. Every nuance of the road and the car registers in the driver’s body and mind, as there is a purity in being alone with the car and the road. The rest of the world seems to vanish. Without the extraneous inputs, the lights, sounds and other sensations felt by the driver take on a new intensity.
More than ever, the driver relies on their eyes and their instruments for critical inputs. Dashboard instruments glow through the night, indicating the car’s speed and monitoring its critical mechanical conditions (temperatures and pressures). Another instrument becomes especially important in the dark – the driver’s chronograph. The chronograph tracks the current time, while allowing to measure the time of a lap, interval or other event. As with the dashboard instruments, at night, legibility is critical to provide the driver with accurate information in an instant.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition
Since its introduction in 1969, the TAG Heuer Monaco has been the ultimate chronograph for racers, and today TAG Heuer introduces a Limited Edition Monaco Chronograph Night Driver as the essential instrument for driving in the dark of night. The newest Monaco employs its unique “circle in the square” two-piece dial construction to provide instant readings for the driver. At night, the deep grey “circle” at the center of the dial provides strong contrast with the bright blue Super-LumiNova® finish of the hour, minute, and chronograph seconds hands, as well as bright dots that mark the hours. Even the hash-marks that indicate the minutes / seconds glow brightly, allowing the driver to take precise readings.
It is the “squares” of the Monaco Night Driver, that transform the new chronograph into the perfect driver’s instrument, while providing two different and complementary looks capturing the mood of darkness or light. As the day turns to night, the exterior of the dial is transformed from a cool, light grey to a glowing vivid blue, with black-lacquered indexes marking the hours. The chronograph registers are transformed to this same glowing blue, providing vivid contrast with the black markings for minutes and hours, and the hands for the chronograph minutes and hours counters.
This fully luminescent dial is a true technical achievement for TAG Heuer and enables even better and more powerful legibility on the roads. By harnessing the capabilities of Super-LumiNova®, the timepiece is able to expand its luminosity across a broader surface area, allowing the dial to remain prominently visible in the dark for 3 hours after being fully charged. The Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition also evokes some legendary Monaco chronographs from TAG Heuer’s heritage portfolio. The dial of the very first Monaco chronograph from 1969, worn by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans, was called “Midnight Blue”. Now, over 50 years later, TAG Heuer uses modern materials to capture the deep blue glow of the night sky. Other vintage Monaco chronographs used “charcoal grey” for their dials, with contrasting darker registers, and seen in daylight the new “Night Driver” pays tribute to this palette.
Legibility is essential for the driver’s chronograph, but steering a car through the night requires a second attribute – durability. Here too, the new Monaco Chronograph Night Driver uses modern materials to create the perfect instrument for the racer. The case is built of Grade 5 titanium, coated in black DLC (diamond-like carbon) material, with the light weight of the watch ensuring comfort over the hours. The DLC coating of the case will stand up well to its intended use as the racer’s tool, and high-use elements of the chronograph – the pushers and crown – incorporate this same black coating.
Each TAG Heuer timepiece must meet the strict requirements of robustness, precision and quality. This is why Grade 5 titanium has been chosen for the Night Driver, a first for a Monaco chronograph. Offering toughness and endurance, this material allows a combination of fine-brushed and polished finishes, which embody TAG Heuer savoir-faire and enhance the versatile look of this chronograph.
The use of TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 movement to power the Monaco Chronograph Night Driver is yet another essential element of the new instrument’s durability. The Heuer 02 movement uses a traditional column wheel to reliably actuate the chronograph, while the movement’s 80 hours power reserve will keep the Night Driver running over the course of a weekend of racing. The sapphire caseback displays the blue printing on the black oscillating mass, as well as the blue column wheel, extending this palette from the dial of the chronograph.
The Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition incorporates a calfskin strap, with the alternating large and small perforations and bright white stitching along the edge of the strap also evoking Heuer racing chronographs of the 1960s and 70s.
TAG Heuer will present the Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition in a dedicated packaging that evokes the racing heritage of the Monaco collection in a “nomad” travel pouch. All 600 limited edition pieces are individually engraved.