The one-of-a-kind TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch showcases avant-garde mechanical innovation sparked by a spirit of charity
Only Watch has been a permanent—and highly-anticipated—fixture of the world of watchmaking. In this biennial charity event conceived by Luc Pettavino, watchmakers would present one-off timepieces which will be auctioned off to raise funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Of course, for fans of haute horlogerie, Only Watch presents the opportunity to see major watch brands go all out in creating astounding, one-of-a-kind timepieces that push the boundaries of creativity.
Now, for Only Watch 2023, TAG Heuer enters the fray with the TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch. More importantly TAG Heuer has created a suitably impressive watch for its fifth time participating in the auction, as it is the brand’s very first mechanical split-seconds chronograph.
“TAG Heuer has created a suitably impressive watch for its fifth time participating in the auction, as it is the brand’s very first mechanical split-seconds chronograph”
“We are extremely honored to be part of the esteemed Only Watch once again, supporting the crucial research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and are grateful to Luc Pettavino and his team for allowing us this wonderful platform to create watches without limits. This year, we present the TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch, a timepiece that embodies our relentless pursuit of avant-garde. Unveiling an avant-garde interpretation of the Monaco case and the incredible calibre TH81- 00, this unique watch stands as a testament for our dedication to pushing boundaries. We look forward to the auction and the opportunity to make a meaningful difference together,” said Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer.
The chronograph, as it happens, has been a major area of focus for TAG Heuer since the early 1900s. One of the major milestones in this chapter of the brand’s history was the Mikograph—the first timing device capable of recording 1/100th of a second—in 1916. TAG Heuer chronographs would then become the timing device of choice for the Olympics in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as for motorsports since the 1960s. Then, in the same decade, the Monaco was born. And now, the story continues with the TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch.
The definite highlight of this one-of-a-kind Monaco is, of course, the movement. Designed and crafted under the watchful eye of TAG Heuer Movements Director Carole Kasapi—and in collaboration with Vaucher—the TH81-00 mechanical split-seconds chronograph movement sits at the cutting edge of haute horlogerie. It is the lightest automatic chronograph movement ever by TAG Heuer and is crafted completely in titanium. Moreover, TAG Heuer also collaborated with Artime Créations SA to apply a graté damier finish to key parts of the movement. This was then complimented by black polishing, anglage, perlage and brushed finishing.
The oscillating weight of the TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch also deserves special mention. Shaped like the iconic TAG Heuer shield, it features the official colors of Only Watch 2023 hand-painted by André Martinez—an artist based in Le Locle who is famous for his miniature painting skills, especially for timepieces.
This mechanical wonder is then placed in a 41mm case of texturized titanium, which boasts a unique crystalized appearance as well as improved scratch resistance. The dial, meanwhile, features a sand-blasted, vertical-brushed anthracite surface. The sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock are crafted in anthracite opalin and come with red lacquered hands, while the seconds indicator at 6 o’clock is polished silver featuring a rhodium-plated hand. The watch’s main hour and minute hands are also rhodium-plated, as is the central chronograph hand. The central rattrapante hands stands out in red lacquer. Naturally, this layout ensures superior legibility while also adding a sense of depth to the watch’s appearance.
As the finishing touches on the dial, a rhodium-plated TAG Heuer shield is positioned at 12 o’clock, while the word RATTRAPANTE is printed beneath the 9 o’clock counter, along with ONLY WATCH under the 3 o’clock subdial to mark the occasion.
“I am incredibly proud of TAG Heuer’s team and expert collaborators for this innovative and extraordinary timepiece, a true testament to the values of TAG Heuer,” Frédéric Arnault added. “As we present this remarkable watch, we extend our best wishes to Luc Pettavino for a successful event that can make a meaningful difference.”
With its artistic merits and mechanical virtues, the TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch will surely make one collector extremely happy, while providing hope for thousands of people struggling with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
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