TAG Heuer Monza 40th Anniversary Calibre 17. Is it a proper vintage reedition or a modern watch with vintage accents. Let’s check out. The original Heuer Monza was launched in 1976 to mark Ferrari’s World Championship in 1975 with Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni, and was on sale until the early 1980s (source: Calibre 11). For collectors, the original and real Monza is the limited edition with Black PVD case, black dial and red accents. A swiss best watch with a cushion-shaped case, almost like an egg, with the Calibre 15 (an automatic chronograph movement from Heuer, close to the calibre 11, but with the small second oddly placed at 10), with the distinctive crown at 9 and a black dial mixing two scales: a tachymeter and a pulsometer.
In 2000, the Monza was re-edited with a very different look and case, still cushion-shaped, but bulkier, more modern and less race-oriented. The watch measured 39mm and was available in several editions (time-only, chronograph, small second, gold or steel…). This case, that most modern collectors know as the Monza, is still, more or less, the one used for the 2016 TAG Heuer Monza 40th Anniversary Calibre 17.
The case is closer in style to the 2000s editions of the Monza than to the original egg-shaped one. It has this squared / cushion shape, with a strongly raised bezel, together with a round aperture for the dial. The 42mm case (that’s 3mm more than before) is now made in grade 5 titanium (sometimes modernity has some advantages…), with flanks polished and flat surfaces brushed. A good point for the choice of material. Usually, watches under 5,000 Euros are using grade 2 titanium. Here, TAG Heuer went for the more expensive and hard to machine grade 5 titanium – the only one that can be polished. The case is then coated with black titanium carbide – much more resistant than the PVD used in the vintage edition.
While the 1976 Heuer Monza featured a crown at 9 and a small second at 10 (two strange but iconic features), due to the use of the Heuer / Buren Calibre 15, the modern TAG Heuer Monza Replica 40th Anniversary has a modern automatic movement (calibre 17), meaning a small second classically located at 3 and a crown located at 3 too. That’s actually rather sad that TAG did not used the modern calibre 11, which features the crown at 9… a matter of choices and tastes. This automatic chronograph movement is based on a modular construction and features a 30-minute counter at 9 and a date window at 6 – also faithful to the original 1976 edition.