Fifty-five years after the launch of the TAG Heuer Monaco, the brand decided to shake things up. And it lies in the keyword: "rattrapante" (French for "catch up"). It's a chronograph movement that's difficult to manufacture. TAG Heuer's repute is built upon its split-seconds rattrapante function during the early days of motorsports. It is this complication that would lead to some of TAG Heuer's best chronograph mechanisms like its newly announced Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph.

In the early days of motorsports, TAG Heuer was hard at work in mastering the split-seconds. Introduced in 1916, its Mikrograph was the preferred timekeeping device with a recording down to 1/100th of a second. Then came the Microsplit, another rattrapante also accurate to 1/100th of a second. The iconic 11.402 model would arrive later, this time capable of measuring time with 1/10th of a second accuracy.

The 11.402 model was Jean Campiche of Scuderia Ferrari fame and then in 1989, TAG Heuer gave us a quartz split-seconds chronograph wristwatch that was popular among racing legends like Ayrton Senna, Gerhard Berger and Michael Schumacher.

This brings us to the split-seconds chronograph: TAG Heuer's Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph.

The distinctive square-shape dial, the split-seconds innovation... it's a match-up that's a long time coming. Constructed from lightweight grade-5 titanium and sapphire crystal, you can peer through the domed sapphire crystal to see its inner workings. Within the Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph is the TH81-00 calibre, that's developed with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. Not only is this a precision in timekeeping, it's also one of the lightest chronograph movements ever crafted by TAG Heuer. It comes in two colourways: a racing red or classic Monaco-blue.

The price tag for this is (does a spit-take) a whooping USD138,000 but with a complication like a split-seconds movement, it may be worth every coin.

The crowd at the TAG Heuer pop-out outside ION Orchard

Sergio Pérez goes by many names. He’s known as “Checo”; the “Mexican Wunderkind” and, judging by the crowd chanting his name, he can add “People's Choice”.

The prominent Mexican racing driver is firmly entrenched in the world of Formula One. Currently a racer for Team Red Bull Racing, Pérez’s racing prowess shines through with six remarkable victories in F1 Grand Prix races. His debut triumph occurred when driving for Racing Point at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix where he broke the record for the most starts before securing a race win, clocking in at 190.

Another defining moment in Pérez’s career happened at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where he clinched his inaugural Formula One pole position. This feat rewrote history by surpassing the record for the most races before claiming this coveted achievement, with a total of 215 races. Pérez’s journey in Formula One began back in 2011 when he made his debut as a Sauber driver. It was in the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix that he achieved his first podium finish, all the more remarkable considering his youthful age and outstanding performance, earning him the moniker of “Mexican Wunderkind”.

A significant chapter in Pérez’s career unfolded when he joined McLaren for the 2013 season. Despite his best efforts, the team failed to secure a single podium finish, leading to Pérez’s replacement by Kevin Magnussen for the 2014 season. In 2014, Force India secured Pérez’s talents with a noteworthy €15 million contract.

Red Bull Racing teammates, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez

He remained loyal to the team even during challenging times when they faced administration problems in 2018, subsequently rebranding as the Racing Point team for the 2019 season. His commitment to Racing Point was further solidified in 2019 with a three-year contract extension. However, in September 2020, Racing Point announced Pérez’s departure at the end of the season, as they had signed the illustrious four-time F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel, to take his place. In a remarkable turn of events, Pérez inked a deal with Red Bull Racing in December, securing his place on the team for the 2021 season and beyond. Currently, Pérez is under contract with Red Bull Racing until the culmination of the 2024 season, promising continued excitement and excellence in the world of Formula One.

We are at the TAG Heuer Motorsports Experience Pop-Up at Ion Orchard. Already a crowd has swelled to about 180. Eager faces framed by F1 gear; carrying signs of support for Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen who are due to make an appearance later. A small child, decked out in Team Red Bull race suit and cap, perched on his father's shoulders as he held up a placard saying, "Sergio Pérez 11; you are my number #1".

I tell this to Pérez later at our interview at the pop-up.

ESQUIRE: Did you ever think that you would have the support of fans in a country like Singapore?

SERGIO PÉREZ: Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s great to get so much support from all around the world. You’d think that when you’re so far away from home, that nobody would recognise me, but here people know who I am. It’s funny to see that happen.

ESQ: Where is the furthest that you’ve been in the world where you’re surprised that people have recognised you?

SERGIO: Singapore is quite far from Mexico. So, this would be one of the furthest places.

ESQ: Throughout your career. What is the high point and low point for you?

SERGIO: Obviously winning—it is everything in the sport. Winning is the high point. But then, you would also go through the difficult beats, you know. Sometimes you’d have difficult moments.

ESQ: Then, how do you deal with the pressure, especially as a member of Team Red Bull?

SERGIO: Oh yeah, the pressure. That’s part of the job. We’d have to deliver at the right time and so on. So that makes it really tricky at times. On the track, I need to make sure that I arrive when I should, and deliver when I can. That is very important.

ESQ: This marks the 250th time for you as a racer. What does this milestone mean for you?

SERGIO: It means a lot because, to be able to race this much, means you’ve survived many years of the sport. It’s the pinnacle of what you have achieved.

ESQ: What do you want to do in future?

SERGIO: I want it to be related to sports, to be able to support new athletes in different sporting fields. And maybe form a business that’s away from racing. Maybe real estate. That’s something I will enjoy doing that’s not racing.

ESQ: Before starting a race, do you have any rituals or superstitions that you observe to psych yourself up?

SERGIO: Not really. I just make sure that I’m adequately stretched and warmed up. That’s what I do to get ready for the race.

ESQ: What’s your strategy for the race?

SERGIO: Singapore is exciting and also very unexpected. This circuit is challenging. The heat and a circuit with no straight stretch are tough but we hope to drive well.

ESQ: Do you remember the first watch you got?

SERGIO: Yes. The first watch I ever bought, I remember that it was with my salary that I earned during the summer. Once I got that paycheque, I went straight to the shop to buy that watch.

ESQ: (points to the timepiece on Pérez’s wrist) Is that a [TAG Heuer] Monaco?

SERGIO: (shows the watch dial) This one. This is the Monaco watch that I got when I won my race.

ESQ: What do you like about the Monaco?

SERGIO: Mainly for its precision. That level of detail that goes into the watch, that’s something that I really like and respect.

The black DLC-coated titanium grade 5 case houses the expert Calibre Heuer 02, visible through the sapphire case back

The very model that Pérez is wearing has its sandblasted black skeletonised dial accented by luminous turquoise highlights and scarlet lacquered hands.

At his appearance, TAG Heuer’s CEO Frédéric Arnault unveiled the Monaco Night Driver Chronograph Limited Edition. Encased in a Grade 5 titanium housing and adorned with a black diamondlike carbon coating, the Monaco Night Driver chronograph showcases TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 movement. This marks its first utilisation of Grade 5 titanium in a Monaco timepiece.

The chronograph features an anthracite circle set in a sophisticated grey opaline dial, with three distinct counters at the three, six, and nine o’clock positions. At the three and nine o’clock places, you’ll find the anthracite luminescent minute and hour chronograph counters, while a second indicator gracefully resides at six o’clock.

When darkness falls, the luminescent outer dial constituting the grey opaline section shines with a vivid blue luminescence. This mesmerising hue contrasts with the black-lacquered hour indices. The chronograph counters also adopt this enchanting luminescent blue, harmonising with the hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands. Bright dots are placed around the anthracite circle to represent the hours. Capping the “light show” on the dial are the anthracite TAG Heuer logo and the inscriptions “Monaco” and “Automatic”.

Limited to 600 pieces worldwide, the Monaco Chronograph Night Driver Limited Edition will be individually engraved and presented in a distinctive “nomad” travel pouch.

ESQUIRE / TAG HEUER

Tag Heuer is most famous for its chronographs: a watch genre it has excelled in so comprehensively that at one point it was producing them for many of its storied Swiss rivals, including Rolex. Its founder, Édouard Heuer, was an inventor and innovator and something of a maverick, setting up his 19th century watchmaking business in the village of St-Imier and becoming a central part of the history of watchmaking.

Heuer took out his first chronograph patent in 1882 and five years later came up with the oscillating pinion, the part that allows chronographs to be stopped and started, which is still used today. The company went on to design chronographs for planes, cars and boats. During the Thirties its innovations in dashboard chronographs led to the Autavia (a portmanteau of ‘automobile’ and ‘aviation’), which became one of its key lines. It also came up with the first wrist chronograph in 1914 and, soon after, began making stopwatches.

Heuer timepieces were used for three Olympics during the Twenties, so beginning an association with sports that stands to this day. By the Seventies, however, the company was beginning to falter and a private holding company, Tag (Techniques d’Avant-Garde), purchased a majority stake. The resulting business, now known as Tag Heuer (which is pronounced "tag hoy-yur", BTW), was in turn acquired by the LVMH luxury conglomerate in 1999, for nearly half a billion pounds.

Tag Heuer now sits as part of the same stable as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co and Moët champagne.

The association with sports and timing continues to be a profitable one, with numerous high-profile sponsorships including, at one time or another, Manchester United, the French Professional Football League, Porsche’s Formula E Electric Racing Team, the Ferrari F1 team and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Accordingly, Tag Heuer has become synonymous with watches with a sturdy, sporty aesthetic – as borne out by the advertising slogan ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’ – perhaps most famously embodied in its Monaco, the square watch made famous by the film Le Mans, and also its Aquaracer and Formula 1 lines.

Most recently it has branched out into smartwatches. Its Connected line of modular watches come with a host of interchangeable features: allowing you to customise the watch faces via the touchscreen interface, as well as swap the straps, lugs, even the watch head itself.

It's innovation like this that keeps Tag Heuer in its pole position as one of the big names in quality, precision watchmaking. Édouard Heuer's maverick vision is alive and well in the 21st century.

1. Carrera Limited Edition Porsche

TAG HEUER

Though Porsche and Tag Heuer have shared the name ‘Carrera’ for decades, the two motorsport icons didn’t get round to collaborating until 2021. Now, on the car’s 50th birthday, the two have created on a watch honouring the mighty 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (named for its 2.7-litre engine). Riffing on its colour palate, two models are available: a blue version in steel and a red version in rose gold, the first limited to 500, the second to 250. Attention to detail is impressive: the ‘Carrera’ font is rendered in the same proportions on both watch and car, while that white dial isn’t actually white – it’s ‘competition white’, a specific shade Porsche owns.

2. Carrera Three

TAG HEUER

The Carrera models make up a very rich tapestry indeed. The bold lines and motorsport lineage are still there, but the alligator leather strap, day-date display and black and gold face give this a much more late night vibe – the sort of thing you'd wear having taken the chequered flag, done the champagne spray, showered off and headed out to celebrate rather than one for on the grid itself. Inside the calibre 5 automatic movement has a 38-hour power reserve.

3. Calibre E4

TAG HEUER

While most luxury Swiss companies held back in the face of the smartwatch boom, believing cogs and mainsprings would always trump Bluetooth and ECG sensors, Tag Heuer went all in. Its first “connected” model was released the same year as the first Apple Watch. Seven years on, its latest itineration, Calibre E4, is arguably the only serious Apple alternative. Battery life has been boosted by a third, a new workout function joins cycling, swimming and golf tracking with lessons from 3D motion-captured PTs, a feature that feels genuinely futuristic. You can toggle between digital and ‘real’ (ie: analogue) faces, too.

4. Formula 1

TAG HEUER

Unsurprisingly for a brand with such a rich motorsport heritage, the Formula 1 line has been a staple since the 1980s. Tag Heuer recently introduced a trio of bright racing-centric colourways into its offering: green, yellow and red. The new chronographs come in 43mm cases with PVD-steel tachymeter bezels and pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. All come on matching rubber straps, with the motif of a chequered flag on their casebacks.

5. Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver

TAG HEUER

There’s been a race to the bottom for seriously deep, deep-diving dive watches (see also: Omega’s Ultra Deep, able to withstand depths of 6,000 meters). Since the world-record scuba dive stands at just 332.35 meters, the whole thing is faintly ridiculous – but maybe that’s the point. Most people don’t buy a Ferrari to drive it at 211mph. This 1,000 meter-diver is certainly handsome – black and orange details, sunray-brushed dial and a custom backlit case. It also comes with something not on the official specs – serious bragging rights.

6. Formula 1 X Red Bull Racing Special Edition

TAG HEUER

If any watch brand has earned the right to call product line "Formula 1", it's Tag Heuer. It has sponsored McLaren, Ferrari and Williams over the years, while its motorsport associations date back to 1968, when Jack Heuer signed a sponsorship deal with Swiss legend Jo "Seppi" Siffert. It is still the official timekeeper of the Monaco Grand Prix and the Automobile Club de Monaco. This new Red Bull Racing special edition chrono makes the connection explicit, deploying all the colours and graphic codes of the F1 team.

7. Aquaracer Professional 300

TAG HEUER

The newest iteration of the Aquaracer come with a number of spot-the-difference design tweaks that mark it out from its predecessors (the date window moves from 3 to 6 o’clock!). It’s also slimmer, with a better fit. These subtle improvements make it the nicest-looking dive watch in the Tag Heuer catalogue. Available in multiple colours, we like this all-blue with the sun-ray brushed dial – appropriate for a sporty dive watch.

8. Monaco

TAG HEUER

The iconic square-faced model as worn by Steve McQueen in Le Mans – and by Steve McQueen in Tag Heuer’s promotional material today. Available here in a black-on-stainless-steel-on-black colourway for something that looks a little more like a dress watch, while retaining some essential "Steve McQueen" DNA.

9. Aquaracer x Bamford Limited Edition

TAG HEUER

The UK’s leading watch customising company, Bamford Watch Department, teamed up with Tag Heuer in 2020 for this eye-catching Aquaracer. With its titanium case and bright orange details it harked back to classic sports models from the Sixties and Seventies – though the spec was entirely 21st century, of course. Boss George Bamford said they’d made “the ultimate tool watch”. He might have been right.

10. Indie 500

TAG HEUER

Another motorsport icon, this one inspired by the Carrera Panmericana, the Mexican/US border-to-border rally that ran for five years from 1951, often called The Most Dangerous Race in The World (at least 27 people died, including spectators, before it was shut down). It comes with a 42-hour power reserve and, as the name suggests, Tag Heuer’s leading Calibre 16 automatic movement.

11. Modular

TAG HEUER

The Calibre E is the current flagship Tag Heuer smartwatch, but this earlier Modular model has much to recommend it, featuring accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, Bluetooth, wi-fi and a whole suite of connected tech suitable for Android devices.

12. Autavia 60th Anniversary Flyback Chronograph

TAG HEUER

Tag Heuer excels at motorsport watches. But that’s not to say it can’t turn its hand to pilot’s watches, too. Its Autavia line has been around since 1933 and takes its name from a dashboard stopwatch engineered by the brand to meet the toughest ‘AUTomotive’ and ‘AVIAtion’ requirements. This anniversary model features an unusual flyback function, allowing you to rest the chronograph hand at the push of a button.

13. Carrera 02 160 Years Silver Limited Edition

TAG HEUER

Another handsomely designed anniversary model. The pops of colour – blue and red on the scale, yellow on the subdial, red on the central hand – set off the otherwise minimal design. The case back is engraved with “ONE of 1000” limited edition numbering.

14. Monaco Skeleton

TAG HEUER

In tribute to the first ever Monaco and its blue dial, Tag Heuer introduced a flurry of special blue touches to the iconic square watch earlier this year. The stand-out detail, though, is the skeletonised dial, which gives a glimpse at the inner workings of one of Tag Heuer’s best-loved styles.

15. Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 All Black 42mm

TAG HEUER

For better or for worse, fitness watches don’t have the best rep. But Tag’s Connected Calibre E4 manages to combine all the bells and whistles you’d expect – a smart interface, wellness and performance features and a whole host of sports tracking capabilities – with an enviable aesthetic. This option comes in matte black Sandblasted titanium, meaning there aren’t many smartwatches on the market that look better.

Originally published on Esquire UK

Barbie's perfect pink shoes and vintage Chanel jewels are great and all, but in this Mojo Dojo Casa House, we're a little more homed in on a certain Ken-sential: a damn good watch.

For Ryan Gosling's Ken in Barbie, one TAG Heuer Carrera doesn't cut it. And why would it? The guy's just brought the patriarchy (sans rule by horses) back from the Real World and into Barbieland—sorry, into the Kendom. All the Kens are getting into Matchbox Twenty and The Godfather and beer and all that good ol' manly man stuff. The focal point of the scene is Gosling's Ken, who is decked up in an infamous fur coat, a black bandana, two pairs of sunglasses, and three Carreras tied to his wrist.

The Carrera 2448 NT from 1968, which takes its design cues from the 1963 original.

A gold Carrera perfectly embodies the Kenergy every guy needs. It's sporty, a little flashy, but eminently wearable. Ken opts for the 2448 NT from 1968 (inspired by the original from 1963!), the 1158 CHN from 1971 (check out that Côte de Genève dial!), and the 110.515 from 1974 (with a solid 18-karat gold bracelet!).

The Carrera 1158 CHN from 1971, with its solid gold Milanese bracelet.

Each is a fantastic example of vintage Carrera style, showcasing the looks that turned the watch into such an icon. He became a genuine Watch Guy during his brief stay in the Real World, and his collection matches even the most eye-catching ensembles in Barbie's closet.

The Carrera 110.515 from 1974, with a sunray-brushed finish and Côte de Genève dial.

For a Ken whose job is "beach," he makes a pretty good watch collector. And, really, if he's taught us anything, it's that you can never have Kenough watches.

Originally published on Esquire US

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