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Tag Heuer's Monaco LS Marks new way to tell time

Jun '09
Marrying vintage appeal with a thoroughly modern aesthetic, TAG Heuer is ushering in a new era of its classic Monaco chronograph with the introduction of the Monaco LS Chronograph Calibre 12. Unveiled at a press conference hosted by TAG Heuer President and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and brand ambassador Lewis Hamilton, this timepiece is as aggressive as a Porsche 917 taking to the curves of Le Mans.

The hallmark of the Monaco LS is the disruptive design of its dial. Unlike traditional watches that display seconds in a circular manner, the Monaco LS defies convention and indicates them linearly, enabling wearers to effortlessly differentiate between seconds and chronograph functions. The seconds, which are demarcated by luminescent indexes, tick off right to left through a rectangular opening at 3 o'clock. A red rhodium hand sweeps across the opening, pointing up for zero to 30 seconds, and then pointing down for 30 to 60 seconds. This new way to tell time provides at-a-glance access to precision timing.

Moreover, an angled window at 12 o'clock shows the current date, as well as the previous and next day. These windows, combined with the chronograph hour and minute subdials placed at 6 and 9 o'clock, respectively, complete the provocative look of the Monaco LS.

Other features of the 40.5 mm timepiece include: scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and caseback, anti-reflective double-sided treatment and water resistance to 100 meters. It is featured on a black alligator strap or stainless steel bracelet.

"The Duel"
At the press conference, Babin and Hamilton also debuted the finale of "The Duel," a digitally reworked version of the 1971 racing movie "Le Mans." Starring TAG Heuer brand ambassador Steve McQueen, "Le Mans" recounts the story of two teams competing on the world's most difficult endurance race course, found in Le Mans, France.

Striving for the utmost accuracy in portraying race car driver Michael Delaney, McQueen consulted his friend, Grand Prix champion and TAG Heuer ambassador Jo Siffert. At McQueen's request, Siffert lent the actor his white racing suit, which was adorned with a "Chronograph HEUER" crest over the right breast. To complete the look, McQueen opted to wear in the film the brand's new Monaco automatic Calibre 11.

In this updated version, McQueen is pitted against Hamilton, the 2008 Formula 1 world champion. Sporting the Monaco LS, Hamilton goes toe-to-toe with McQueen on the windy roads of Le Mans, and secures a victory at the last moment in dramatic fashion. At the end of the film, McQueen offers his Monaco Calibre 11 to Hamilton, who kindly declines, noting, "You keep it Steve. We're in the future now."

The History of the Monaco
The Monaco's introduction in 1969 marked a radical departure from the conventional codes of watch design and engineering. Prior to the Monaco's debut, watchmakers had been unable to create perfect water-resistantsquare or barrel-type cases, forcing them to produce only circular dials.

TAG Heuer's patented water-proofing system allowed for a break from the standard, rounded case, and the creation of the Monaco's iconic square dial. Housed within the watch's distinctive case is the Calibre 11 movement, the first-ever self-winding automatic chronograph with micro rotor. This mechanism provides wearers with precision timing comparable to the standards of professional chronometer instruments.

TAG Heuer

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