TAG Heuer unveil latest in Monaco anniversary series

Dan Owen 17/06/2019
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TAG Heuer have a long association with motor sport

TAG Heuer have revealed a new timepiece to mark their long and storied association with Monaco and motor racing.

The setting was Le Mans, France, where watch aficionados set their sights on the latest Monaco anniversary edition.

Every aspect of the original Monaco timepiece’s design was radical, and went where no other watch had ever gone before in terms of design and technology. Not only was the TAG Heuer Monaco the first ever water-resistant square watch, it was also the first to feature an automatic-winding chronograph movement.

In honour of the Monaco’s 50th anniversary, five limited editions will be successively revealed throughout this year. These new models are inspired by the different decades from 1969 to 2019 and pay tribute to a style icon now more contemporary than ever. The special collector’s editions unveiled in 2019 pay tribute to the Monaco’s timeless design and TAGHeuer’s never-ending innovation.

After the unveiling of the first model at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, TAG Heuer was proud to reveal the next limited-edition model celebrating the period from 1979 to 1989 in Le Mans, France. The first model took inspiration from the years 1969 to 1979 – the first decade of the Monaco’s history.

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Red-hot racing through the 1980s

Hot on the heels of the first of the five timepieces, the second model reveals a fiery design with a bold red dial synonymous with cutting-edge design and racing victory. Presented on a black calfskin strap punctured with holes lined in red, this special edition captures the speed and style of the Monaco’s second decade. The stainless-steel model, with its iconic square case, features a red sunray dial and two rhodium-plated subdials with curved edges. Black and white accents on the dial perfectly complement the black-tipped hour and minute hands. The hands and indexes are coated with Super-LumiNova® for improved legibility.

As with the original, the pushers are on the right of the case while the crown is on the left – an unconventional feature that has distinguished the Monaco over the past 50 years.

The caseback of this 1980s-inspired wristwatch is engraved with the “Monaco Heuer” logo as well as “1979-1989 Special Edition” and “One of 169”. Sporting a design inspired by the original model, the stainless-steel caseback has vertical and circular brushed patterns. The case houses the renowned Calibre 11, a modern version of the automatic-winding chronograph movement that made its debut inside the original Monaco in 1969. This watch has been produced in an edition limited to 169 pieces.

Looking back on 50 years of the TAG Heuer Monaco and Calibre 11

When the Heuer Monaco (TAG was not part of the company name at the time) was introduced at simultaneous press conferences in New York and Geneva on 3 March 1969, journalists and watch aficionados around the world were amazed. With its never-before-seen water-resistant square case, the Monaco’s daring and iconic design made it instantly recognisable.

The watch’s design was the perfect complement to the advanced technology being presented by the Swiss watchmaker at the time. Developed and commercialised by Heuer, the Calibre 11 was the world’s first automatic-winding chronograph movement.

CEO at the time Jack Heuer believed that this groundbreaking innovation required a design that would demand attention. The Monaco did exactly that.

In 1971, the Monaco was worn by Steve McQueen, the “King of Cool”, in the movie Le Mans.

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Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Mulla begins UIM Aquabike world title defence in Portugal

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Rashed Al Mulla. Image: Simon Palfrader.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Mulla will be looking to extend his remarkable unbeaten run to a seventh Grand Prix when the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship gets under way in Portugal next weekend.

The reigning world freestyle champion begins the defence of his title in the season opening three-day Grand Prix event getting under way in Portimao on Friday.

Dominating the Freestyle category last season, Al Mulla clinched his first world title with a brilliant display in the final round on Khalid Lagoon to complete his sixth Grand Prix win in a row.

Since then the Emirati has been working tirelessly to improve some of his trademark tricks, including barrel-rolls, back-flips, reverse 360s, and combinations, and to develop new ones.

“I’ll be introducing three new tricks in the world championship,” said Al Mulla. “I’ve been working on my backflip, the barrel role and a double back flip. I’ve been practicing every day and also working hard in the gym. If I don’t have any problems with the ski I’m 100 per cent confident that I can win the world title again.”

Also representing Team Abu Dhabi in the Grand Prix of Portugal will be Rashid Al Tayer who lines up again in the Runabout GP1 championship and Salman Al Awadhi who contests the Ski Division GP1.

Al Tayer returns to international jet ski racing just a week after helping Team Abu Dhabi produce a brilliant victory in the 24 Hours of Rouen, part of the world powerboat endurance racing series.

Sponsored by Etihad Airways, Team Abu Dhabi runs under the umbrella of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club which has its sights on multiple world titles this season.

A week after the aquabike grand prix, reigning UIM F1H2O world team champions Shaun Torrente and Thani Al Qemzi begin the defence of their title in Portugal following the weather affected opening round in Saudi Arabia.

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Duo making final preparations for Dubai International Baja

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Fedor Vorobeyev.

The South Racing Can-Am Team duo of Oman’s Abdullah Al Zubair and Russia’s Fedor Vorobeyev are in the UAE making their final preparations for this weekend’s Dubai International Baja, round two of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.

The two drivers are tackling rounds of both the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the shorter Bajas this season and have already taken part in events in Russia and Qatar in their Can-Am Maverick X3s, entered in the competitive T3 category.

Al Zubair and fellow Omani Faisal Al Raisi finished second in the T3 category and 11th overall at last month’s Baja Northern Forest Rally in the Republic of Karelia and currently trail T3 series leader Michele Cinotto by just seven points in the race for the Baja title that will be fought out over eight rallies in Russia, Dubai, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Jordan and Portugal.

The AZ Racing Team driver teamed up with navigator Nasser Al Kuwari the following week to finish 11th overall and fourth in T3 at the Qatar Cross-Country Rally after incurring one stage maximum time penalty following a turbo failure.

Vorobeyev and fellow Russian navigator Kirill Shubin finished sixth in T3 and 15th overall in Russia and delivered an impressive performance together in Qatar to cross the finish line second in T3 behind Reinalde Varela and in a superb seventh overall.

Abdullah Al Zubair.

Abdullah Al Zubair.

The crew will again run their South Racing Can-Am under the Zavidovo Racing Team banner in the UAE from March 7-9.

Competition in the T3 category in Dubai comes from series leader Cinotto, former FIA T2 world champion Adel Abdulla, Spain’s Santiago Navarro and Emirati driver Michel Fadel.

The Dubai International Baja is organised by the Automobile Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATC UAE) and runs to a shorter format than the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Based at the Dubai Autodrome, crews will tackle two selective sections of 201.60km and 204.03km on Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, before the ceremonial finish back at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday afternoon.

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